China has some of the best competitive “Dota 2” players in the world, but that didn’t stop team Evil Geniuses from becoming the first U.S. based team to win The International tournament.

 

On Saturday, Evil Geniuses beat popular Chinese team CDEC in a surprising 3-1 victory at The International 2015, taking home over $6.6 million. With a prize pool of over $18 million, the competition was fierce, and teams needed to figure out how they would beat the aggressive play style coming out of Chinese teams like CDEC.

 

How was Evil Geniuses able to overcome CDEC’s aggressive strategy that had gone undefeated throughout the main event bracket? There are a variety of factors that could have led to their victory, but a big part of their win came from their superior drafting. When drafting heroes at the start of their games, Evil Geniuses made choices that stopped CDEC’s early to mid-game aggression, such as picking characters like Naga Siren and Earthshaker.

 

 

Every team was after the $6.6 million first place prize, but part of Evil Geniuses’ victory came from wanting it more than their competition. Evil Geniuses member, Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan, grew up in Pakistan with little money and limited access to video games. He had to sell personal possessions, like his bicycle, to help fund his love of gaming.  

 

 

Hassan continued to pursue his passion for “Dota 2” and trained for nine hours a day while living in a small apartment occupied by eight other family members. This tournament was an opportunity for Hassan to follow his dream and bring home money to his family. Now, Hassan is the youngest champion in the history of The International at only 16 years old.                                

 

While Hassan’s career is just taking off, Evil Geniuses member Clinton “Fear” Loomis may soon be facing the end of his gaming career. The 27 year old is known in the gaming community as “Old Man Dota” because of his age and many years of experience. The life of a gamer’s career is short because rigorous training is hard on the hands and wrists, which dulls their ability to react quickly.

 

 

Before the tournament started, Loomis understood that this could be his last chance at The International championship. Instead of buckling, Loomis used this pressure to fuel his motivation, so he could bring his team to the top before exiting the world of professional gaming.   

 

What do you think most contributed to Evil Geniuses’ victory? Who did you want to win The International 2015? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.