SMG, representing the APAC region, were coming in undefeated over the course of the year with a 34-0 match record. EG, on the other hand, are North America's first seed after their victory over Shopify Rebellion GC Shopify Rebellion GC Inactive (ex- Version1 Version1 Inactive ). So it was unsurprising that the team entered the match looking collected and confident.
“I think we are very confident because we've been practicing a lot in Brazil, as well,” Team SMG's Abigail "Kohaibi" Kong said. “We're all demons.”
SMG chose Lotus, a map they had only lost once since the team's formation in Game Changers, as the first map of play. SMG then followed their map selection by picking four duelists while leaving their primary duelist, Odella "enerii" Abraham, on Cypher.
Enerii later said the composition was unintentional, and that the team thought they were doing a ping check.
Still, SMG made the pick look entirely intentional by storming out of the gate to win six straight rounds on the unorthodox composition. It eventually took a 4K from Nora before EG could finally get on the board.SMG can do no wrong.
Despite a mild resurgence from EG, SMG ended the half with a 9-3 lead, and then closed out the map 13-3 with a flawless attacking half. It wasn't the four duelists who were on top of the scoreboard by the end; it was enerii. Her 344 ACS and 21 kills were the highest on the server.Enerii is just built different.
“We gave them too much respect,” Jovi, EG's coach, said after the team lost the map. “That was our warmup scrim, now we came to play.”
But even a warmed-up EG couldn't keep up with SMG. SMG got off to a similar early lead on map two by winning five rounds in a row, the last one being a ninja defuse similar to those pulled off on Lotus by them. However, EG were able to bounce back with five of their own, one of them being a 1v3 clutch from Lorri.One of the few bright moments for EG today.
SMG won the final two rounds in the half to end it 7-5. Evil Geniuses were able to tie things up 7-7 after a pistol and anti-eco win, but SMG bounced back afterward. On attack, they won six rounds in a row to take the map 13-7 and the series 2-0.Shirazi, always dependable in a clutch.
The MVP of the series was Alexy, with an overall ACS of 296 on Phoenix and Sova. All of SMG's players had a minimum of four first kills, and four of their players went positive. In contrast, none of EG's players managed to find a positive kill differential.
With this victory, SMG move on in the winners bracket and will face off against G2 Gozen next. Evil Geniuses still remain in the tournament, and will fight TL Brazil in the lower bracket for a chance to continue.