How EG can still suprise in Group D
Evil Geniuses are now 0-2 in Group D after their second sweep in a row. A 0-2 loss against Astralis was now followed by one against Navi, which reinforced some of the previous issues experts had with EG (namely map pool) and the positive signs they keep showing despite the results.
The series kicked off with an incredibly one-sided 16-2 win for Navi on Overpass, which was a puzzling pick from EG to say the least. The team had had a very good victory against BIG on it during Blast Premier Spring, but they had just 16-8 against Astralis on the previous day.
This had given a lot of footage for Navi to analyze heading to this series and it showed. Navi had an iron fist hold on the map from the CT Pistol round and didn’t let go for a second, concluding that first half with an impressive 13-2 scoreline. Hope was dim for EG heading into the second half, and it was snuffed out quickly when Navi won the second pistol and closed the map out 16-2.
Whatever EG had planned for the T side didn’t work against S1mple’s top-tier awping and B1t’s insane aim was just the final nail in the coffin.
Dust2 seemed like a lost affair before it even began, given how dominant Navi had looked on it in their series against AGO, and remained so during the first half. The team, who has been playing without their IGL in Boombl4, looked as dominant on their CT side as they did on Overpass, locking the half with an almost as dominant 11-4 scoreline. But this time, Stewie had some tricks up his sleeve.
Navi won the second pistol round, trying to repeat the first map’s prowess, but EG finally showed that North American aggressive flair and translated a force round into a 6 round winning streak. Cerq was looking impactful on the AWP, out-dueling S1mple at times and even pulling out an impressive clutch with some nasty shots.
Brehze’s openings on T-side alongside Rush’s consistency showed how dangerous EG can be, even when players like Stewie are having an off game individually. Despite this streak, Navi put a stop to EG’s dominating streak at 12-10 and finished the map 16-10 with a 4 round streak of their own.
Stewie’s calls seemed to be working, but the duels and post-plants just weren’t going their way. Electronic and S1mple were the dominating duo that they’ve shown they can be for years now, and that firepower was just too much for EG to handle in this series.
EG have had the hardest schedule possible, having to go through Astralis, Navi and Heroic all in succession, so not all is lost. 3 wins is the aim for a third place finish, so they can still bounce back if they manage to topple Heroic in their next series and string that into two wins versus the weakest teams in the group in AGO and Complexity.
EG is still a work in progress, and the fact that they’re now playing without their coach Malek for medical reasons only slows that progression. Despite this fact and their poor results on paper, EG should be a dark-horse to fear in this group and might do some damage against an Heroic squad which has shown some flaws. Let’s see what the NA scene can still do against Europe’s best.
Images courtesy ESL.