Evil Geniuses, formerly known as NRG, have defeated Astralis to claim their first title under the leadership of stanislaw
As the dust settles after ESL One New York, let’s review who the stars of the tournament were.
Evil Geniuses, formerly known as NRG, have defeated Astralis to claim their first title under the leadership of stanislaw. The North American side had a dominant run in New York, going undefeated in the group stage having beat both FaZe and Astralis 2–0 to make playoffs. In the semi-finals, they brushed off G2 who had surprisingly made playoffs after defeating ENCE in Group A. The North Americans only faltered on Train in the final against Astralis, as they went on to win the series 3–1 in front of the home crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The win means that Evil Geniuses finally get a big win under their belt as they have notoriously struggled in the latter stages of tournaments despite convincing group stage runs. Their run could not have been more legitimate, as the format for this tournament was excellent with BO3s throughout the group stage including a BO5 final. In addition, they beat the major winners Astralis twice in convincing fashion, showing that their tournament win was no fluke in the slightest.
There were a ton of great games in this one, but I would have to highlight the final between Evil Geniuses and Astralis. The North American side started off with a bang on Inferno, winning 16–4 on what is normally regarded as a signature map for Astralis. Evil Geniuses were able to consistently take Astralis off guard with aggressive pushes, many of which came from tarik in particular.
The North Americans were able to ride that momentum into Dust2, a map that could not have been better suited for their aggressive style. Astralis were able to win the pistol round on the CT side, however, EG were able to answer straight back with a win of their own with a force buy after an excellent triple from tarik with the P250. The first 15 rounds was a back and forth affair, as the half finished 8–7 in favor of Astralis. The Danes were able to string together four more rounds on their T side, however, it was all EG from there on as they went on a nine-round win streak to close out Dust2 16–12.
The map of the tournament came on Train, as Astralis were able to mount a comeback from 11–15 down to bring it to overtime. The Danes were able to win out many key rounds after big clutches from the likes of Magisk, device and gla1ve which ultimately gave them the win 22–20 to take us to another signature map for Astralis; Nuke.
Astralis have always been a feared team on Nuke, but EG showed that they were far from fazed as they went on an impressive 8–1 run on their T side to start the map. However, Astralis were able to answer back with a run of their own as they won six rounds to close out the half with a more respectable 8–7 scoreline in favor of EG. In the end, EG proved to be far too strong on their CT side as they closed out the map 16–8 to win the tournament in front of a packed Barclays Center in New York.
Brehze has been an unsung hero for EG ever since he joined the roster from Selfless back in 2017. Since then, he has continued to improve and he has been a monster ever since tarik and stanislaw joined the roster. This tournament was no exception, as he put up a positive K/D ratio in every single map of the tournament, including two excellent series against major winners Astralis. The final was particularly impressive, as he posted a K/D differential of +31 with 93 kills, 11 assists and 82.2 ADR to win EG the title.
Consistency has been the hallmark for Brehze and he showed in this tournament that he is excellent at both anchoring sites and working off the aggression from players like tarik and CeRq. With Brehze in this type of form, EG will continue to be a dangerous opponent for anyone and he has an excellent supporting cast which is able to rival even Team Liquid in terms of mechanical skill.
In our preview for the event, I gave out some banging tips. One of those was OpTic upsetting FaZe at odds of 2.69. However, those who believed in EG taking home the whole thing was able to get the best returns, as an EG win paid out at odds of 8.20. Not too shabby.