Dota 2: Evil Geniuses runner-up, Neon Esports tied for 5th at Singapore tilt

Kennedy Caacbay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2021 01:52 AM

MANILA—Filipino professional player Abed “Abed” Yusop and his team Evil Geniuses (EG) placed second in the One Esports Singapore Major after losing a heartbreaking game 5 to China’s Invictus Gaming (IG) 3-2 in the finals on Sunday.

Replacing the squad’s former superstar middle player Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan, Cavite native Yusop joined the North American esports organization in September 2019.

EG established a 2-0 lead over IG, securing a fine position by being only one win away to seal the championship.

However, they dropped the remaining games to the Chinese team, completing the reverse sweep and with IG eventually winning the title.

Invictus Gaming took home $200,000 worth of prizes, including 500 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points. These points are used to qualify for The International, the biggest annual event in Dota 2. 

EG got $100,000, as the runners-up alongside 450 DPC points.

Game 3 of the series got interesting when Invictus Gaming’s Zhou "Emo" Yi dropped a "question mark" to all of the players in the game, which was an obvious attempt to tilt the opponents and setup its revenge after being down two games.

In game 4, Evil Geniuses’ carry player Artour “Arteezy” Babaev dropped a powerful item—Divine Rapier, which gives a hero +300 damage—to the enemy crew when he died as Phantom Assassin. The "good game" was immediately called after this.

For the championship-closing game, the Chinese team relied on its heroes’ ability to burst down Arteezy’s Lifestealer and Abed’s Storm Spirit. Killing the EG star players’ heroes enabled them to gain more gold and experience. 

In Dota 2, "farming" more gold and experience than the opponent is a must to win games. This gives the players the capability to buy more in-game items and out-level the enemies.

Abed played one of his signature heroes, Storm Spirit, 5 games in a row in the finals. However, as the games were played, the opponents figured out how to deal with his hero, shutting him down in the latter part of the series.

Due to the recent upset, the North American squad remained unsuccessful in getting a major title.

The Filipino Dota 2 community boasts Abed as the first player to reach 11,000 matchmaking rating (MMR) or rank points in the game. He reached the milestone in May 2020.


Neon Esports, meanwhile, certainly surpassed expectations of the Dota 2 community, as they cemented a 5th to 6th place finish in the major to take home $25,000 in total.

The Filipino squad also earned 300 DPC points.

Considered underdogs, Neon, however, reached round 3 of the lower bracket of the tournament by defeating Southeast Asian region kings Fnatic and China’s indomitable Vici Gaming.

They also managed to put up a fight against Europe-based Team Secret, considered the strongest team in the Dota 2 professional scene in the present.

On April 1, the Filipino team first dethroned Southeast Asian kings Fnatic in round 1 of their lower bracket run, 2-1. 

Heavily favored to win the series, Fnatic lost its footing to the 24,000-gold lead of Neon and Rolen Andrei Gabriel “skem” Ong’s Leshrac in the clincher.

Fnatic is also the esports organization that houses Filipino professional players Djardel “DJ” Mampusti and Marc Polo Luis "Raven" Fausto.

Chinese team Vici Gaming also bowed to Neon, 2-1 on April 2 in the same bracket.

In the third round, Neon battled with their hearts when they faced Team Secret. Unfortunately, the latter won the series 2-1, Saturday.

However, an underdog winning a game against arguably the world’s strongest team is already a statement.

The Taguig-based team owned Secret in game 2, finishing it in just less than 27 minutes.

Quoting an article from One Esports, Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer of Neon Esports is considered as the breakout star of the Singapore Major. 

The rising star got the attention of the esports community after his stellar performances as Puck in the middle lane against Fnatic, Vici Gaming, and Team Secret.

The One Esports Singapore Major is Dota 2 Pro Circuit’s first major tournament in 2021.