Evil Geniuses Evil Geniuses North America Rank #1 Boostio Kelden Pupello ScrewFace Kyle Jensen Demon1 Max Mazanov Ethan Ethan Arnold C0M Corbin Lee jawgemo Alexander Mor and NRG Esports NRG Esports North America Rank #3 crashies Austin Roberts ardiis Ardis Svarenieks Victor Victor Wong faced off for the third time in less than two weeks. This time, they were vying in the best-of-five lower bracket finals for a top-two finish in Americas.

The final scoreline was 3-1 in favor of NRG.

Tactibear onstage during lower bracket finalsPhoto by Tina Ro/Riot Games

In their first match-up, Evil Geniuses banned Haven against NRG. In their second, NRG took the map on a razor-thin 13-11 scoreline. Going into the lower bracket finals, NRG once again chose Haven as their fast map-pick.

Evil Geniuses took the first pistol round, immediately breaking their 0-6 pistol win record from their previous match-up against NRG. Then crashies took a clean 3K in a 2v3 situation to clutch the third round. Despite crashies' heroics, NRG ended the half down 7-5.

After the half, Evil Geniuses won the pistol round once again with a 1v2 on C Long by C0M . NRG won five rounds in a row to take the lead for the first time in the map 10-9. However, Evil Geniuses won three rounds to reach map point 12-10 before taking the map 13-11 in an inverse of the previous match's scoreline.

The first match-up between Evil Geniuses and NRG never reached Ascent, the third map of the series. In the second match-up, Evil Geniuses destroyed NRG 13-7 on the map to take the series 2-1.

Confident after their performance in the last match-up, Evil Geniuses chose Ascent as the second map of the best-of-five lower bracket finals. But this time, Chet and FiNESSE had the read on Evil Geniuses' attack side and took the first half with a dominant 9-3 scoreline.

With the exception of a round 11 thrifty where Ethan knifed ardiis , Evil Geniuses looked dead in the water.

NRG reached map point by bagging three more rounds straight after halftime. While Evil Geniuses did mount a five round comeback, the 12-3 gap proved too wide of a chasm for them to overcome and NRG took the map 13-8.

Evil Geniuses and NRG had yet to play each other on Lotus, the third map of the series. Neither team possessed a storied record on the newest map in the pool, but the analyst desk favored NRG heading into the map.

Evil Geniuses chose to employ an older single-controller composition on Lotus while NRG played the newer, standard two-controller composition. At first, the compositional differences didn't seem to affect Evil Geniuses, who began with a 5-2 lead after losing the pistol round. Evil Geniuses ended their defender's side up 7-5.

After halftime, NRG took the lead by winning the first three rounds. NRG introduced the Neon Operator on their defender's side, which proved scarily effective against Evil Geniuses. Despite converting a 4v5 round and winning two 1v1s, Evil Geniuses weren't able to come back from their early second-half deficit, and NRG took the map 13-10.

Split is the only map Evil Geniuses and NRG played in both of their previous series. In the first match, NRG handily won the map 13-7. In the second, Evil Geniuses won the map in overtime 15-13.

NRG came into Split with their guns blazing in their second rematch against Evil Geniuses. After narrowly winning the pistol round, NRG went up 11-1 in the half. For the second time in the series, Evil Geniuses found themselves in a position nearly impossible to recover from.

Evil Geniuses managed to scrape together a pistol and anti-eco round on their attacker's side, already double their first-half round wins. NRG took the bonus to reach map point. Boostio won a 1v2 and got a 4K to take Evil Geniuses to four round wins. But Evil Geniuses began heating up too late into the map.

NRG only needed one round win, and they found it in round 17. s0m got a 4K on B site to secure NRG the map and the series with a dominant 13-4 scoreline.

Looking Ahead

NRG faces off against LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 saadhak Matias Delipetro Less Felipe de Loyola tuyz Arthur Andrade cauanzin Cauan Pereira in another chapter of the fated Americas rivalry tomorrow at 4 p.m.