Screengrab via Valve (CC-BY)
Coming into the event with little to show for themselves, Digital Chaos have completely turned their fortunes around, eliminating favorites such as EHOME, Fnatic, and now Evil Geniuses on their way to the grand final. The team was quickly relegated to the loser’s bracket, meaning that each series they’ve played at the main event has been played with their backs against the wall.
The semifinal series started out in Digital Chaos’ favor, with the team claiming the first map with ease as Omar “w33” Aliwi and Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok tore through the Evil Geniuses squad. The reigning International champions responded quickly in the second game, in which the terror of Resolut1on’s Slark was only matched by Clinton “Fear” Loomis’ Sven, who pummeled the mixed European roster into submission.
With everything on the line, the third game of the series became a drawn-out affair, as Digital Chaos made split-pushing a priority. The team aimed to spread the defenses of Evil Geniuses rather than confront the massive teamfight provided by Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora’s Tidehunter and Syed “SumaiL” Sumail Hassan’s Brewmaster.
Digital Chaos’ plan worked initially, but after losing a teamfight Evil Geniuses quickly transitioned over to Roshan. With Fear’s Terrorblade reaching critical mass, the fights became harder and harder for the unexpected semifinalists, who subsequently doubled down on taking down buildings and simply aimed to stall Evil Geniuses from sieging their base.
Evil Geniuses seized the moment, and after winning a teamfight in the midlane they charged into Digital Chaos’ base, setting their sites on the Radiant throne. But it all went awry for the North Americans, as Digital Chaos narrowly defended the assault and barreled straight into their opponents barren base. With no buybacks left to defend, Evil Geniuses could only watch their Ancient, and chance at becoming the first-ever two time TI champions, fall to the wayside.
Digital Chaos will now be challenging Wings Gaming in the grand final to decide who gets the lion’s share of the $20.6 million prize pool in roughly an hour’s time.