Evil Geniuses started the long road to The International 7 on a high note Sunday, with a dominant 3-1 win over Newbee at the Mars Dota 2 League Autumn LAN.
EG's run through MDL was mostly unmarred. They had a 2-0 record in the group stage and beat Team Secret before suffering a 2-0 loss to Newbee in the Winner's Finals that briefly sent them to the lower bracket. There, Cr1t- met his former team, OG, for the second time in the tournament and helped EG defeat them 2-1.
The TI5 champions looked unstoppable in the grand finals, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match despite almost losing Game 1. EG looked very shaky in Game 3, as they made several misplays and suffered what looked like poor communication that led to sloppy teamfights, but Newbee were not able to convert that momentum into further wins. EG came back strong in Game 4 and finished off Newbee in just over 35 minutes, the fastest game of the series.
SumaiL in particular put on quite the show for EG fans, going 11/2/8 on Mirana in Game 1, 10/1/12 on his signature Storm Spirit in Game 2 and ending things with a 7/1/18 scoreline on Medusa in Game 4.
This win comes less than a month since Evil Geniuses changed their roster in the post-TI6 shuffle. Both Artour "Arteezy" Babaev and Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen joined the squad, while Peter "ppd" Dager moved to a management role and legendary carry Clinton "Fear" Loomis became the teams' coach.
With MDL over, the next challenge for Evil Geniuses will be DreamLeague Season 6, which announced its lineup of teams recently. The Dota 2 calendar for the foreseeable future remains somewhat bare however, as the Fall/Winter Major has yet to be announced by Valve.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore esports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.