OG will have a shot at winning yet another Major after defeating Evil Geniuses 2-0 in the semifinals.
Though EG were able to best TI6 champions Wings Gaming and recent Summit 6 victors Virtus.pro on their way through the toughest arm of the Boston Major bracket, OG proved to be their stopping block, thanks to Tal "Fly" Aizik's skillful drafting and the team's consistent execution.
In Game 1, both teams went with illusion-heavy tower-push comps, with EG securing popular Boston picks Luna and Shadow Demon and OG picking up signature n0tail hero Naga Siren along with Dragon Knight and Keeper of the Light. EG got into an early deficit as Gustav "s4" Magnusson's Clockwerk systematically picked off squishy stragglers on their lineup like Syed "SumaiL" Hassan's Mirana and Artour "Arteezy" Babaev's Luna.
The incredible pushing power in OG's draft gave them the answer to EG's illusions, and helped them prevent their opponents from scaling or setting up the sieges they wanted. After a convincing four-for-one teamfight at 17 minutes, OG were able to snowball their advantages to a swift 29-minute win with an 18-4 kill score.
In Game 2, EG took a different tack, drafting the three cores they used to take down Virtus.Pro in the shortest main-stage game so far at Boston: Ursa, Morphling and Clockwerk. But although EG picked the Ursa for SumaiL to counter OG's first-pick Alchemist, Fly changed things up in the last phase of the draft by picking Outworld Devourer for ana — revealing the Alchemist would be played by n0tail in safe lane.
EG's roaming Rubick and Ogre Magi were able to secure them a few early picks, but with n0tail able to win his lane, OG kept a firm net worth lead through the early and mid game. After EG seemed to struggle to find their footing in the mid-game, OG were forcing unfavorable fights at Roshan and sieging high ground by 21 minutes. EG called GG at 30 minutes, with a 25k net worth deficit and a 23-7 kill score.
The series quashed any doubts about OG after their 2-1 quarterfinal yesterday against WarriorsGaming.Unity and a combative group stage where they dropped games to iG.Vitality and Ad Finem. After beating EG so soundly, it's clear the roster Fly and n0tail put together after TI is more than ready to claim their place in the top tier of Dota.
In the post-match interview, SirActionSlacks asked Fly whether he knew that rookie Australian ana, Liquid rising star JerAx and Alliance veteran s4 would be strong enough additions to give OG a shot at winning their third Major title.
“I didn’t know, but that is what I was aiming for," Fly said. "I think with the new guys, I aim to do better. I think we’re gonna be better than [we were] last year.”
EG walk away from the event with $250,000, while OG is guaranteed $500,000 in the Top 2. OG's opponent in the Grand Finals later today will be the winner of the next semifinal between Digital Chaos and Ad Finem.
Jeff Fraser is a supervising editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.
Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.