North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses (EG) soundly defeated top Southeast Asian squad T1 2-1 in the best-of-three lower bracket finals of the WePlay AniMajor to advance to the grand finals against Chinese team PSG.LGD.
EG had a shaky start to the WePlay AniMajor, finishing the Group Stage with a middling 7-7 record and failing to secure an upper bracket berth in the Playoffs. Despite starting in the lower bracket, EG tore through the likes of NoPing Esports, TNC Predator, Team Nigma, and Vici Gaming to survive to the final day of the tournament.
Meanwhile, T1 were directly seeded to the upper bracket of the WePlay AniMajor Playoffs as the top team of the Dota Pro Circuit's (DPC) Southeast Asian regional league. T1 defied expectations by pulling off huge upsets over Team Aster and Quincy Crew — the top teams of the Chinese and North American regional leagues, respectively — to face PSG.LGD in the upper bracket finals.
PSG.LGD then outlasted T1 to become the first team to advance to the grand finals and send the Southeast Asian squad down to the lower bracket finals to face EG.
EG's Filipino midlaner, Abed Azel "Abed" Yusop, continues to be the standout player for his team to fuel their run to the grand finals. In the first game of their showdown against T1, Abed on Puck notched a series-high 20 kills against just three deaths to lead EG to a 40-minute victory.
T1 stormed back into the series after they outlasted EG in a 64-minute marathon in game two, thus forcing the lower bracket finals to a game three.
EG's Singaporean offlaner, Daryl "iceiceice" Koh, was the difference maker for EG in the deciding game of the series. He managed to top the net worth charts despite being an offlane Sand King and provided an overwhelming amount of damage in team fights that proved too much for T1.
Despite T1's best efforts to defend their base, Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Terrorblade scored a Triple Kill to force the GG call and cap off EG's 2-1 victory in the series.
With their victory, EG advance to the best-of-five grand finals to challenge PSG.LGD for the championship of the WePlay AniMajor. They also guarantee themselves at least a Top 2 finish, US$100,000, and 450 DPC points.
This also marks the second time that EG reached the grand finals of a Major in the 2021 DPC. Back in April, EG reached the grand finals of the ONE Esports Singapore Major but were defeated by Chinese team Invictus Gaming in a 3-2 reverse sweep. The North American powerhouse will now be looking to defeat another Chinese team to finally capture the organisation's elusive first Dota 2 Major championship.
Meanwhile, T1 bow out in third place and with US$75,000 and 400 DPC points in consolation. This marks the highest placement for a Southeast Asian team in a DPC Major since TNC Predator won the MDL Chengdu Major in November 2019.
Artour "Arteezy" Babaev
Abed Azel "Abed" Yusop
Daryl "iceiceice" Koh
Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen
Tal "Fly" Aizik
Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon
Karl "Karl" Jayme
Carlo "Kuku" Palad
Kenny "Xepher" Deo
Matthew "Whitemon" Filemon
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