Evil Geniuses victorious at MDL to kick off the Dota 2 season

Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen stepped up to the captain's role on Evil Geniuses. Provided by Patrick Strack/ESL

Evil Geniuses are the victors of the 2016 MarsTV Dota 2 League Autumn tournament after defeating Newbee in a 3-1 series on Sunday. The team takes home $112,500 for their first-place finish, and a boost of confidence to start the 2017 season.

The newly formed EG squad, headed by former OG support Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen, was in the rough after a loss to Newbee in the winner's finals. To earn a rematch and shot at the top, Nielsen would have to lead the new EG against his former team OG. After beating OG in a 2-1 series, Evil Geniuses got a chance to redeem themselves against Newbee.

In the first game, Nielsen and the team made a statement in allowing Invoker through the draft. Song "Sccc" Chun, Newbee's mid laner brought up from its starter squad, put on an Invoker clinic against EG in the winner's finals. Though the first match was dead-even in the midgame, closing out at only a 0.5 percent gold differential, EG held out on the back of Syed "Suma1L" Hassan's incredible Mirana and some heavy support from Nielsen and Ludwig "zai" Wahlberg.

Game 2 saw EG further the advantage, putting Newbee on match point off more impressive play from Hassan and Artour "Arteezy" Babaev, with the latter finding his footing on a signature Ursa draft. Newbee looked scattered in Game 2, struggling to find any momentum.

The Chinese squad struck back in Game 3, however, pressuring a greedy Drow draft with a dual core Mirana-Luna lineup and snowballing off captain Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi's Bounty Hunter roam.

With momentum shifting in Newbee's direction, Nielsen drafted a strange lineup for Game 4. Hassan took Medusa to the middle lane, while Babaev took the hard-swinging Sven, with Wahlberg in tow on Wisp. While Babev is likely best-known for getting stuck in trees as Sven, he has a 64 percent career win-rate on the hero, and Wahlberg has a 61 percent win-rate on Wisp. The duo had a stellar performance, alongside Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora, putting insane pressure on Newbee's safe-lane Lifestealer.

Evil Geniuses took the series 3-1, redeeming themselves for the winner's finals loss and making EG the first winners of an international Dota 2 LAN in the 2017 season. The boys in blue will get a quick respite to enjoy the victory before moving on to the DreamLeague Season 6 League Play to face a spurned OG starting Oct. 10.