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HyperX D2L Western Challenge – The Wild West Wanes

Evil Geniuses have been involved in some of the most fierce competitions in Dota 2. They’ve done more than compete in them — they’ve won them. EG’s history in the esport is long and rich, and features some of the most impressive tournament runs in history. Whether exciting losers bracket runs or complete domination in all aspects of an event, the teams have always been able to put on some exciting shows for fans. This series will take a look back and remember some of EG’s most exciting tournaments in Dota 2. This time, we will consider the team’s performance at HyperX D2L Western Challenge.

Before The Event

If some told you about the HyperX D2L Western Challenge, you probably wouldn’t assume it was that crazy of an event. Only western teams, a short format, and only eight rosters were invited. However, looking closer, it’s clear this was an elite Tier 1 event. Though there were no eastern lineups present, there were still many of the best teams in the world that were competing.  

Team Empire and RoX were present — two of the strongest lineups in all of Eastern Europe. Fnatic was rising to be one of the most promising teams in Europe. You had the legendary Alliance team — the organization that had just won The International a year, and still had championship heavyweights such as Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg, Gustav “s4” Magnusson, and Jonathan “Loda” Berg. 

There was EG’s rival Team Liquid, boasting legends like Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale. Cloud9 also had a talented lineup behind them, and had stars like Wehsing “SingSing” Yuen and Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao. And, of course, there was Natus Vincere — backed by still prime legends like Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and Danil “Dendi” Ishutin. 

With so many strong teams, as well as more than $60,000 on the line, it would be a tough competition. EG also had a strong lineup: Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, Saahil “Universe” Arora, Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Peter “ppd” Dager, and Mason “mason” Venne. The team had a lot of talent, that question was if they could put the roster together well for a win. 

Showtime 

Throughout the group stage, EG played very effectively — going 6-1 in matches, and 13-4 in games throughout the league play. Alliance failed to do much, and the only teams that looked close to EG were Team Empire, Cloud9, and Natus Vincere. Natus Vincer was actually the only team to win a series against EG.

Going into the playoff stage, EG had a relatively easy time. Seeded in the Upper Bracket Round 2, they had an easy time facing RoX to advance on. Facing Fnatic the Upper Bracket Final wasn’t much different, and one sweep later found themselves in the finals. What was worrying was who they would meet. Natus Vincere — especially at that time — is famous for being one of the most fantastic Dota 2 lineups in history. They had some of the craziest tournament runs in history. What’s important to note is how they got to the finals. 

After initially losing to Fnatic, they went on a crazy three-set win run through the losers bracket — eventually beating Fnatic 2-0 to meet EG in the finals. Natus Vincere had all the momentum, the perfect Cinderella story, and had even already shown they were a good match for EG earlier in the tournament.

EG just couldn’t be stopped.

It wasn’t a perfect sweep for Natus Vincere. It wasn’t even a close five game set, or a four game set for either side. EG had the perfect resilience to take down Natus Vincere, and demolished them 3-0. Though it was a smaller tournament, it’s a memorable victory in how EG’s skill didn’t care about narrative or momentum, they can still demolish. No matter how crazy of a team, pure skill can prevail in the end. The wild west wanes.

Images via Dota 2.