EMS One North America Grand Finals lends itself to controversy

A close and controversial series between Take 5 and Evil Geniuses in the EMS One North America Grand finals has the Dota 2 community split on the results.

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Take 5 beat Evil Geniuses yesterday in the Dota 2 Raidcall EMS One Fall American Grand Finals. The series, a best of five that went to match point, granted Take 5 a birth in the Raidcall EMS Fall Offline Finals in Poland later this year.

Photo Credit: DreamHack and Brita Jonsson

Though the series itself was a nailbiter, factors outside of the series may have been more discussed than the games have been.

Take 5 and Evil Geniuses have a rivalry in making. Take 5’s captain, Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho, was removed from the Evil Geniuses lineup last month, having spent two years on the team.

While both parties have gone on record saying the split was amicable, banter on Twitter, albeit presumably friendly on the whole, indicates that these are important matches with pride on the line for both groups.

Evil Geniuses’ new roster has had a great start, convincingly defeating other big teams like Dignitas and Rattlesnake International, but they have struggled against the Take 5 squad. Evil Geniuses has fallen short on both occasions they've played them.

Take 5’s ambitions as a team, at least initially, have seemed remarkably low, much lower than Evil Geniuses, and fans were inclined to give Evil Geniuses the edge going into both matches. Dota 2 betting website Dota 2 Lounge indicated the Evil Geniuses team was largely favored going into yesterday's match.

Ho told GameSpot, “Our main goal was MLG Columbus. We just kept getting invited to other tournaments.”

In contrast, Evil Geniuses captain Clinton “Fear” Loomis told GameSpot when announcing his team’s new roster, “Dedication and commitment are what I've been looking for in teammates for a very long time and I feel like I found the four perfect guys to fit that bill.”

The disparity in dedication, whether real or perceived, paired with the Ho v. Evil Geniuses rivalry, again whether real or perceived, has been the low hanging fruit for those looking to criticize Evil Geniuses after their losses.

Take 5 also used Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist, from the $1,430,000 International 3 winning team Alliance, as a stand in for yesterday's series. His ringing for Take 5, which was jokingly referred to by the series' broadcasters as the “million dollar stand in,” has led the competitive Dota 2 community to raise their collective eyebrows for a handful of reasons.

Lundkvist is on the permanent roster for another team participating in the same league. While it’s not unusual to see inter-team cameos in professional Dota 2 online tournaments, some fans are uncomfortable with the notion of players playing for two teams in the same event. This particular instance grows further interesting when you consider that Lundkvist’s team, Alliance, is managed by the same organization that manages Evil Geniuses.

In this case Lundkvist played a proactive role in stopping his sister team from making their way to a major offline finals in match that he didn’t need to play in.

This further adds to to Evil Geniuses and Take 5 beef.

Take 5 will play for their part of $35,000 at the season’s offline finals taking place in Katowice, Poland later this fall. At the time of publication the dates of the finals have not been released by the events organizer. Though the public has speculated that the team, who still lacks a sponsor, might not be able to attend, Ho confided to GameSpot that the only variable that would keep them from going was an academic responsibility from one of their players.

The next time we might have the opportunity to watch Evil Geniuses and Take 5 do battle is in the Prime Dota 2 Cup on October 17th. Take 5 would need to beat their first round opponent Dignitas and Evil Geniuses would need to beat their first round opponent Key D2 for them to meet in the second round.

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