By Radu Muresan
September 18, 2019
It was bound to happen one day. But nobody expected to see it now. After more than three years of playing for Evil Geniuses and helping them win The International 2015, SumaiL has left Evil Geniuses together with s4. According to EG, he’s still under contract, while s4 is a free agent, but it’s evident that he no longer has a place on the team.
With RAMZES and Abed being announced as the new offlaner and midlaner respectively, it’s only a matter of time until SumaiL is announced as a member of a new team. In my opinion, it will be Liquid, but we’ll have to see. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at SumaiL’s and s4’s history with Evil Geniuses.
SumaiL started to play for Evil Geniuses at the beginning of 2015. And as soon as he joined the team, they began to show some real signs of strength. At the time, Team Secret was dominating the professional scene. But EG won the most significant events of the season and established themselves as the strongest team in North America.
The first event that showcased SumaiL’s abilities was Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015. Evil Geniuses won this great event thanks in part to his superb performances in the middle lane. The mechanical skills he displayed throughout the tournament left everyone speechless, and his midlane opponents did not enjoy playing against him at all.
After this great result, EG then went on to place 2nd at three other tournaments, before winning Dota Pit League Season 3 and then The International 2015. TI5 was SumaiL’s greatest moment. It was also EG’s greatest moment, and the team has never quite managed to climb back to that level since then. They did get multiple 3rd place results at The International and various other big events, but they were never the winners or at least the finalists.
SumaiL’s role in helping EG secure the Aegis of Champions will remain as one of the most impactful in the history of TI winning teams. And what was even more surprising was his resilience. Often confronted with great adversities in the early game, he always managed to come back with a vengeance. His opponents would regularly invest all of their resources in shutting him down during the first 10 minutes, only to discover that he’s back on track by minute 20.
In particular, SumaiL was an absolute genius at playing two heroes: Storm Spirit and Ember Spirit. Whenever he was on one of these two heroes, he created enormous advantages for his team and won the game almost on his own.
During the next season, SumaiL got three tremendous 3rd place results: at The Frankfurt Major, at The Shanghai Major and The International 2016. Apart from these results, Evil Geniuses finished 2nd at four other important tournaments: MLG World Finals, StarLadder & i-League StarSeries Season 1, MarsTV Dota 2 League 2015 Winter and Dota Pit League Season 4.
This was another excellent season for SumaiL and Evil Geniuses, who managed to get a lot of good results with his team. The list includes: 1st place at Mars Dota 2 League 2016 Autumn, 3rd – 4th place at The Boston Major, 1st place at China Top 2016 1st place at Dota Pit League Season 5, 3rd – 4th place at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017, 1st place at The Manila Masters, and 2nd place at EPICENTER 2017.
At TI7, EG had an inferior performance and finished 9th – 12th. This was their worst result at this competition in all of their participations.
This season was almost a complete failure for SumaiL and Evil Geniuses. The only saving grace was the 3rd place at The International 2018, which was largely the merit of Fly, who had joined along with s4 right before the tournament. Apart from this result, EG only got small victories here and there, as well as the 3rd place at one of the many DPC Majors: DreamLeague Season 8.
This was SumaiL’s final year with Evil Geniuses, and the overall results weren’t bad. They weren’t amazing either, but certainly not bad. They included three 3rd place finishes at three of the five DPC Majors, the 2nd place at ESL One Birmingham 2019 and a 5th – 6th place at The International 2019.
EG’s unfortunate result at TI9 was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s not very clear whether Sumail felt the need to escape and start a new life elsewhere or if his team was the one that initiated the separation. But as we can see, that separation is now inevitable, and the only question is: which great Dota 2 team will present the best offer?
Along with Fly, s4 joined Evil Geniuses toward the end of 2018, just before The International. Both of them had left OG, citing a lack of faith in the team and a desire to start anew elsewhere. Overall, s4’s impact on the team was positive, and his performances allowed EG to stay at the top, even though they never managed to play a Major Grand Final.
After this latest announcement, s4 is a free agent and will undoubtedly receive offers from many teams.
These are the most likely teams that will make SumaiL an offer in the coming weeks.
For SumaiL, the teams that may show interest in his abilities are quite a few. First of all, there’s Team Liquid. They recently lost their entire roster and will try to put another one together over the next few weeks. With that goal in mind, having someone like SumaiL as part of the new squad can only be a positive thing. It will allow them to attract other world-class players as well. If that happens, there’s a high chance that SumaiL will join Liquid together with s4.
Another distinct team that might show an interest in SumaiL is ex-Liquid or KuroKy’s stack. Even though w33 is a good midlaner, SumaiL is still vastly better in almost every way. Since w33 was never a real choice for Kuro and was adopted because no other good midlaners were available, we might see him let the Romanian go and bring someone better.
One other team on this list is Secret. After several years of playing with Midone, they might have grown tired of him. The Aegis of Champions was still out of reach, even at the height of the team’s power. So why not try something new?
Virtus.pro lacks players at the moment. They’re not the most likely destination for the North American superstar, who would probably find it rather strange to live in Russia on his own. His youth and the fact that he’s so used to the US makes me think that Liquid will probably rebuild a North American team around him and keep him there. There’s no reason for them to be in Europe anyway, with so much competition around.
One other possibility for SumaiL is OG, assuming of course that ana leaves again. If he doesn’t, then there’s no reason for OG to make any changes, given how close they’ve become. This team truly is the definition of friendship and commitment. So I don’t see them making changes unless they’re forced to make them. And why do they? After all, they’re the winners of the last two TIs!
And finally, the former Forward Gaming team may ask SumaiL to join them. After all, what could be more epic than the two brothers competing on the same team, one in the carry role and the other in the middle lane? Yawar is already an experienced carry player, and with a little bit of help from his brother, he could be magnificent.
For s4, the possibilities are not as numerous, but I can imagine him in a lot of rosters. His experience and abilities are world-class so that he would be a valuable asset on any team. Excluding Team Liquid, let’s see who else might want him.
Let’s start from the obvious place: Alliance. A year ago, this would have seemed impossible. But now that the team has real value and can take on the giants of the game, bringing in s4 to work along Loda and the rest of the boys could prove invaluable for the team. It may be what they need to thrive again, finally. Last season they came very close to doing well and even got a direct invite to The International, but something was missing. The experience and aura of s4 would raise the morale and level of skill of everyone on the team.
Now that 9pasha transferred to Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro will have a real need of someone like s4 or perhaps even UNiVeRsE, if he decides to come back and play once more at the highest level. The only question is: would s4 enjoy playing on a Russian team?
It’s hard to think of other teams for now, simply because they all lack something or are in conflict with s4’s past. For example, OG might need them if they lose ana, but I doubt they’ll have him back after what he did to them in 2018.
Tags: Dota 2