"Tier 3 team" beats #1 team in the world
The opening match of BLAST Premier Spring Groups pitted a young Evil Geniuses team against the world's best roster in Heroic. The Danes are coming off a strong year which included a finals appearance at the IEM Rio Major. Despite a last place finish at the BLAST World Finals, the Heroic team is looking strong. As for EG, they are having to deal with the departure of Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov and the promotion of Jerric "wiz" Jiang, the second EG Black member to join the main team.
Starting out on EG's pick of Inferno, the North American roster lost the pistol but seemed to make the game competitive when they rallied back to a 3-2 lead in the early stages of the match. Despite the momentum on the T-side, it was all for naught as Heroic would hold strong on their defense and take nine consecutive rounds to widen the gap to 11-3, before finally letting EG gain one back to make it an 11-4 half.
Heroic would continue going from strength-to-strength on their T-side by claiming the first four rounds of the half to bring it to match point at 15-4. Thanks to an incredibly questionable play from Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard to let wiz take his time clearing the B-site, EG were able to clutch out a few rounds before finally acquiescing to Heroic and dropping their map pick 16-7.
Moving on to Ancient, it was EG's turn to try out being CTs first. It certainly seemed to help them as the Americans were able to quickly get a 6-0 lead with some brilliant shooting. Despite Heroic making waves towards the end of the half, the Geniuses were able to close it out 11-4.
With the sides switched, the emotional momentum was on EG's side, but it was quickly distinguished as Heroic were the ones to take seven quick rounds to start it out and make it an 11-11 tie. With backs against the wall, EG forced through a half-buy rush that turned out successful and would widen the gap to 13-11. While Heroic would bring the match to the brink, the Americans were not deterred and confidently closed out Ancient at 16-14.
The decider would be Overpass, a map that both Evil Geniuses and Heroic have decent records on. EG would start on the T-side and show the signs of life that they had on Ancient. A quick 4-0 lead would bring confidence, only for the Americans to have to fight back after relinquishing it to Heroic. The Geniuses wouldn't give up however as they closed it out 9-6 and moved on to the more favored CT-side.
However, it did not go according to plan. The Geniuses would lose the pistol and struggle to gather their own momentum as Heroic would get bomb plant after bomb plant. There were some signs of life as EG kept it close to 11-13, but it seemed like it was all over. However, EG seemed to find it within themselves to rally and would win the next four rounds. Despite losing one last round because of some miscommunication on the timing of the bomb and if players had the kits to defuse, EG would not let it affect themselves as they would claim a 16-14 victory where they win the match, 2-1.
Evil Geniuses showed incredible strength on their opponent's map pick and throughout the match. Their upset victory now puts them to play the winner of Vitality and Astralis on Saturday at 09:00AM.