Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen
Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora
Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan
Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg
Artour "Arteezy" Babaev
We have unlocked Suma1L's Engine settings with the Evil Geniuses Lineup
The Gear Of Champions
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TALENT WINS GAMES; TEAMWORK WINS TITLES
In esports, teams come and go. Rosters reshuffle. Drama takes over. Real life gets in the way. A rare few stay the course. Even fewer achieve greatness.
With top tier teams across multiple competitive games, Evil Geniuses have shaped the esports landscape since 1999. Their Dota 2 team, active since 2011, is the most recent addition to a long and storied tradition of esports royalty.
But it’d be a mistake to assume that it’s just longevity that sets EG apart. When you put on an EG jersey, the spotlight gets brighter. Anything less than a first place finish is substandard. Mistakes mean more, as do victories.
None were sweeter than their unforgettable win on home turf at TI5 in Seattle. Led by former captain Peter “ppd” Dagger, EG shocked the world as they outdrafted and outplayed their often-favoured opponents, becoming the first (and only) North American team to lift the champion's Aegis. Two of its stars – Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora and Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan – remain at the top of the game, playing for EG at the offlane and mid positions. After the dizzy heights of TI5, EG could have solidified their place in Dota 2 history as a true dynasty. But, as they admit, they got complacent.
Following a string of disappointments, the team refocused and reformed. Rather than recruit from outside, they brought former players Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev back into the fold. With pdd’s retirement, all they needed was a new captain. Anders “Cr1t-” Neilsen’s spectacular support play caught EG’s eye, and before long he agreed to come on board.
Former player and team coach Clinton “Fear” Loomis is quick to point out how stacked the current roster is: “They all excel at their positions. When you consider 1v1 mechanics, SumaiL is the best mid player in the world. Everyone knows Arteezy is one of the most talented players of his generation. Universe has been known as the best offlaner for years. Then you have Zai and Crit, one of the most dynamic support duos in the game.”
But finding the winning combination of team chemistry and individual talent isn’t always straightforward. As Universe puts it, “We’ve got a lot of superstars on the team. So something’s gotta give.” Perhaps it’s their long history together that makes it work. “Every player has an ego on this team, but no one has an ego big enough to put another player down,” says Fear. “There’s a lot of respect.”
With big wins under their belt, including a first place finish at MDL 2016, EG are building something special. But they know it’s a process. As Arteezy says, they’re always learning from each other.
“We have some of the best names in Dota 2,” according to Fear. “So as long as we have the results to back it up, we’ll be remembered as one of the greatest teams of all time.” With EG, it’s always team before talent.
EG are working their way to the top with Arctis 5.