Tomi 'lurppis' Kovanen
Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert
Danny 'fRoD' Montaner
Tyler 'Storm' Wood
Derek 'dboorN' Boorn
Evil Geniuses came into this tournament as a definite contender for a top 2 finish. Despite a weaker performance at the WCG Grand Finals last week than their opponent coL, they were fortunate enough to be coming into this event with their official roster. Playing their first tournament together with their in-game leader Tomi 'lurppis' Kovanen and their recent pick-up Derek 'dboorN' Boorn, all eyes were on EG to see if they had adequate time to smooth out their game before NYC. Before the tournament, lurppis admitted that the team was 'not quite there yet as far as preparation goes with [dboorN],' but due to the teams experience in tournaments, he felt they still would be able to perform. EG's n0thing also reiterated similar feelings prior to the event, and also stated that coL would be their main competition.
As expected, EG sailed through the group stage losing only 17 rounds in total and finishing with a record of 3-0. Being the winner's of the last years IEM American Championship, which took place in Alberta, Canada - EG looked to be well on their way to defending their title. In the group stage, they opened up against the tougher American team in the group Damage Inc on de_train. Starting as CT and taking the pistol they won the first half 12-3. They brought that momentum into the 2nd half, and despite a few hiccups, won the first match in their group 16-9. There was little opposition from then on out with EG taking down Blight Gaming 16-6 on de_train and last-minute replacements viGor 16-2 on de_inferno.
EG appeared to have an even easier time in the playoffs, decimating former teammate tuBBy and company in Desire2Excel 16-1 and 16-3. I don't think there is doubt in anyone's mind that EG will have a much tougher time going up against coL.br in the final, but if they are able to beat the Brazilian's having only had a few days practice with their new player, it will bode very well for their confidence in the future.
compLexity Gaming br
Lincoln 'fnx' Lau
Bruno 'bit' Lima
Bruno 'ellllll' Ono
Renato 'nak' Nakano
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Thorin had the following to say about compLexity's new Brazilian roster coming into the match:
coL.br have been a team out of the spotlight up until a month or so ago. It's worth remembering that three of these Brazilians (nak, fnx and bruno) won ESWC in 2006 and adding in bit1 they have four of the MiBR members who placed 4th at ESWC the next year. That's not just significant as a history lesson but also because this core has always had a well defined playing style and that carries over to today.
Those past MiBR teams had a huge strength in cogu's AWPing and their results really did rise and fall with the performance of that player, who was one of the greatest AWPers ever but is now retired. When they sought to make changes in late 2008 and have cogu removed they wanted a lineup identical to this current coL.br one but with ton in place of cogu, ton being the next best AWPer in Brazil at the time. Now in 2010 they have that same lineup but falleN taking up the role of best Brazilian AWPer.
That formula for success is important because it shows that the team's past successes can lay the foundations for its future successes. The blueprint is there of a dominant AWPer surrounded by this well oiled core of rifle players. It's unfair to put pressure on falleN's shoulders in the sense that he's still a young player who is less experienced than his team-mates and whose role carries a lot of in-built pressure as it is. Yet all eyes will and should be upon him in this lineup because if he can power the team forwards and develop himself fully into one of the game's elite AWPers then the rest of the machinery is in place to start coL.br making inroads to the top 5-6 teams in the world.
fnx has had spurts in his career where he has looked like breaking out as one of the world's best individual players but in many ways he matches his team's temprament and form: he's inconsistent but at times brilliant. MiBR and then FireGamers and now coL.br has been a team which more so than any others in recent memory made momentum a very real thing. Capable of losing by huge scores to one opponent, rolling over another opponent of the same skill level and mounting monsterous comebacks against a third equally talented set of foes the Brazilians are unpredictable perhaps even to themselves.
This coL.br team got the victory over that lurppis-less EG at WCG Pan-Am but that didn't come as a big surprise to me, in fact I told the very same Finn I thought that result was probably in the pipeline before the match had even gone live. Playing any kind of pug/mix is going to play right into coL.br's hands. They're one of those teams capable of huge terrorists runs because they match up a good tactician, bit1, with players who are at their best when they're rushing in a semi-coordinated fashion. That's also not a great matchup overall for the real EG lineup.
On train I'd expect these two teams to play a very close game though I have to edge towards EG in as much as that is the map they get their wins over their biggest opponents on. What makes that a fun matchup is that EG can be relied upon to put down a big CT half and solid defense, with fRoD's position-based AWPing always on show. But they will face a coL.br team who are very capable as terrorists and have falleN who is up to the task of getting onto that popdog train outside and engaging fRoD head-on.
Inferno and nuke are hard to call while I think dust2 I'll give the edge to coL.br and tuscan I have to go back towards EG. The most interesting dynamic for this matchup I think is whether EG will play very disciplined or whether they'll mix it up more and take some chances, perhaps they don't even have a choice. Using this lineup they really haven't had much practise at all so the impetus might be there to semi-pug it at this event when the action is coming thick and fast. Should that be the mode of play we see them in then this should be a razor thin back and forth war.
Even down the rosters there are stories to be found in such a scenario. lurppis and bit1 both share qualities of being good tacticians who understand the identity of their team but who are also capable of doing things individually to put their teams in good positions as far as the strategy at hand goes. fRoD and falleN are different types of AWPers but that only makes them meeting even more tantalising as they'll have advantages in different areas.
fnx and n0thing both have that kind of wild aim and skill which can be unleashed on opponents at times and seem unstoppable but which also puts a halt to itself when the player's head is out of the rhythm of the game. nak and storm are two backup rifle players who get their frags in the middle of rounds and are very experienced at clutch situations. If there's any give in the rosters it's that bruno on paper will be giving up some raw skill to dboorN, then again bruno is an ESWC champion and dboorN has yet to build any kind of legitimate resume beyond one questionable DreamHack 3rd place.
If EG goes with a more rigid setup as we're used to seeing them play with their previous lineup then the question comes down to how dboorN will fit into that style. Playing straight up with their old lineup I'd have given EG the edge and said coL.br would have to push the pace and run up big leads on them to take this series. With the unknown factors on EG's side I'd say in the scenario they play disciplined that they'll have some advantages over coL.br in terms of setups and rotations but they'll also have a couple of weaknesses in their defenses that I'll be very interested to see if that fast coL aggression can probe.
EG are still the unknown quantity here so it's difficult to know what weight to give to their Beat IT victory with gfn, which came from a situation of not much practice also, while coL.br just finished 4th at WCG. That may not have been such an action packed 4th since they had an easy draw overall but they still defeated a solid TyLoo team on the way so it carries some cache. What coL didn't prove is that they can beat an elite level team, the question then becomes: is this EG an elite level team?
(Photo courtesy of ESL)
North-American coverage journalist for SK since June 2010.
Best way to contact me is to PM me on this site or send me a direct message on Twitter (@hydrolis).
- SK Gaming: June 2010 -
- CheckSix Gaming: 2005 - 2009
- X3O Gaming: 2008
- My SK Articles
- Evil Geniuses - Grubby (WarCraft III)
- CheckSix Gaming - ThisIsJimmy (StarCraft II)
- Evil Geniuses - n0thing (Counter-Strike 1.6)
- compLexity - dboorN (Counter-Strike 1.6)
- HoN's Development Director (Heroes of Newerth)
- X3O Gaming - NickFitz (Counter-Strike 1.6)
rapha's IEM V American champions POVs
FalleN powers coL.br, IEM American champs
rapha wins IEM American Championship
rapha makes light work of czm, moves to final
rapha moves past DaHanG 2-0
THE NEW JERSEY