EG falters, TSM and Thunder Awaken favored – Stockholm Major 2022
What seemed to be a disappointing kickoff for American fans, has turned into a miracle over the weekend. Three of the region’s favorite powerhouses were looking at either potential elimination or elimination Lower Bracket matches. Evil Geniuses looked ridiculously underwhelming for a team of such calibre, and rightfully got eliminated. TSM and Thunder Awaken however, showed poise and bravado in tie-breakers and secured Upper Bracket seedings.
Here’s how the story for Americas developed at ESL One Stockholm 2022.
A poor showing from Evil Geniuses
EG is an esports organization that gathered every region’s veteran to play under its namesake. Yet, after the third day of group stage matches, EG was down four series and one tie in Group A. They only managed a tie at the end, to bow out of the competition.
Fans bashed EG’s stale drafts, which is reasonable, considering they first-picked Storm Spirit in four out of eight rounds. In fact, they have their opponents to thank for banning the hero during the two other rounds, else it would be a hundred-percent pick rate. Turns out Abed Azel L. Yusop’s Storm Spirit isn’t exactly fool-proof as we saw Tundra Esports, T1 and even OG had no worries getting the jump on the former. Abed got shut down so effectively that he had to build defensively by rushing BKB before any offensive items.
America’s worst showing yet
EG isn’t the only American team that has been underperforming. Fellow local rival, TeamSoloMid, and South American counterpart, Thunder Awaken, were also well beneath the top candidates. Fortunately for Group B, ESL One disqualified Mind Games for their absence, so there will be no elimination here.
However, once tie-breakers rolled around, both TA and TSM went beastmode versus Spirit and Liquid and secured favorable seeds in the Upper Bracket. It was a little surprising how good both teams performed when push came to shove.
A good sign for Playoffs indeed.
New OG, old OG
Team OG have certainly done phenomenally with what they have. For the uninitiated, OG is playing with a stand-in, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs. However, it’s great to see OG give the stage to the young blood instead of forcing them to let Ceb play the offlane role.
Notably, Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf has been delivering new takes on offlane heroes and builds. His impressive Underlord build is worth the praise for shutting down Artour “Arteezy” Babaev during their match. It’s not always we see Arteezy get rendered obsolete, so props to ATF.
This new class of young guns certainly has that OG spirit that fans adore. They will have to prove their prowess against TSM, hailing from a 2-0 against TS and TL in the Playoffs opener.
After dominating Spirit, Team Liquid and TSM, Thunder Awaken seems pretty decent going into their duel against BetBoom. Both teams had tough duels and won against some tough opponents. In my book they are tied in terms of relative strength, and we should expect a full on series on our hands.
I do think TA has what it takes to take down BetBoom, and a win in Upper would mean a whole lot to South American fans. This is definitely a match you shouldn’t miss.
The fall of Evil Geniuses was inevitable, but it’s not out of the ordinary if we take into account the competitive scene. The old-school teams, such as Team Secret, Alliance, and Nigma Galaxy did not even qualify for the Stockholm Major. Teams that have been openly nurturing new players are reaping the rewards in terms of better performance.
Young guns are providing a breath of fresh air on what’s the latest meta because Templar Assassins and midgame snowball meta aren’t effective anymore. Maybe its time for EG to do the same. We only have one last Tour before The International 11 regional qualifiers begin. The time for change is now.