posted by Malystryx.GDS,
Today's big clash in the MDL 2016 was between Team Secret and Evil Geniuses who went head-to-head for the first time since the reshuffle.

Evil Geniuses victory ensures them of at least top 3
The Team Secret and Evil Geniuses match was a highly anticipated match of the first day of the MDL 2016's playoffs, and for the most part it lived up to the hype. The encounter ended in favour of Evil Geniuses, who came out with a 2-1 victory and who will progress to play cn Newbee in the upper-bracket final.

For the playoff stages MDL 2016 rolled out the player intros that OG and Secret teased on their social media pages. Evil Geniuses' can be found in the video below and pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan's intro is unforgettable.

Cr1t leads from the front in convincing EG display
Four deaths in the first 10 minutes for kr Sang-Don 'FoREv' Lee's Timbersaw set Secret's offlaner back significantly, resulting in him being two levels behind EG's offlaner Universe and with half the farm.

In engagements Secret would lose a team member to pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan's OmniSlash and MidOne's hesitancy to use Reverse Polarity saw him fall without using Magnus' ultimate in at least three major engagements.

Mana also became a problem for Team Secret's frontline, especially when Universe's Axe Calls set up Sumail and Arteezy for the jump. Sumail built Diffusal Blade and Manta Style on Juggernaut, and with ca Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev's Mana Break AntiMage also maxed out, they burned through the enemy mana pool before they had a chance to respond.

Cr1t's excellent Oracle play in the first period of the game set the pace for his new team

5th pick Magnus for MidOne has minimal impact
It was clear if all went to plan the combination of MidOne's Reverse Polarity with Puppey's Ghost Ship and Forev's Chakram could rip through Evil Geniuses' four melee line-up, but superior movement and vision on the map made sure Secret never got that wombo combo off.

The Magnus was Secret's 5th pick and although MidOne started the game well with a kill on Sumail's Juggernaut and the early game runes, the hero ended up being a bystander.

Cr1t escapes and TPs out right from under the noses of MidOne, PielieDie and Forev

Team Secret fended off Evil Geniuses in their base successfully for about 15 minutes near the end of the game, but overall never looked like they could win the game after a poor start for their offlaner ForeV and a great performance by EG captain dk Andreas 'Cr1t-' Nielsen on Oracle to help his side get an early lead.

There were brief signs of life in the last 5-10 minutes for Secret as ForeV's Timbersaw and MP's Morphling benefited from the spoils of a solid base defence, but it was too little too late.

Game 2:

Timbersaw was in the hands of pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan in the second game, and he enjoyed a much better first 10 minutes than Forev had in the previous game. With no real kill potential on Secret's side to stop him farming bottom lane, he topped the networth chart alongside Universe's Faceless Void.

A cheeky Roshan at 8 minutes into the game allowed MidOne's Ursa to help himself to an Aegis, and with Puppey's support Naga Siren already level 6, Secret had an escape route with Song of the Siren. Puppey put the Song of the Siren to great use at 12 minutes and turned an ugly fight into an even trade.

Evil Geniuses were winning a 5v4 fight mid lane when Puppey slept their troops. Puppey then cleverly moved slightly to the west (pictured below) to allow Arteezy's Huskar to be woken up right next to MidOne and MP who were ready to pounce.

Clever Song of the Siren by Puppey at 12 minutes into game 2

The Secret captain struck again six minutes later when EG went for a high ground push on Secret's top tier 3. Puppey smoked and wrapped around solo for another Song of the Siren on the EG line-up, who had turned to flee after ca Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev's had fallen early to the hands of MidOne's Ursa and ForeV's TideHunter.

"I didn't feel the footprints of Huskar this game," said commentator Merlini during the cast, putting the EG mid's poor performance down to a slow Armlet timing and a handful of early deaths.

Puppey struck again at 18 minutes with a sneaky solo smoke to catch out EG

Off the back of that battle Team Secret stopped the rot and took control of the game, and were in the lead from then until the end of the game 15 minutes later. Standout performance by Team Secret captain Puppey on Naga Siren.

Sumail on fire in game 3 after Zai and Universe prepare his meals

The final game of the day was defined by pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan's Outworld Devourer, who crushed his lane against MidOne's Juggernaut, so much so that Secret had to invest both supports into trying to slow him down in the first ten minutes. However, it was not to be for Team Secret.

us Saahil 'Universe' Arora's Beastmaster Roar and se Ludwig 'zai' Wåhlberg's Kunkka Torrent and X marks the Spot just served Secret up on a plate for Arteezy to rage at and SumaiL to finish them off. Sumail had the highest networth for the entire 45 minute game, and he was the best player in the final game of the series.

It was the most one-sided of the three games in today's series between EviL Geniuses and Team Secret, and yet another example of just how formidable the TI5 champions are when Arteezy and SumaiL are both on form.

Arteezy and Sumail's link-up play has been extremely convincing so far in the MDL, especially their Huskar and Ursa combination against OG yesterday, despite inconsistent results with both players in the team while under the leadership of us Peter 'ppd' Dager last year. The team still placed top 3 in eight events during Arteezy's last stay in Evil Geniuses, but Arteezy has looked more at home in-game in the new EG roster, after a frustrating period with Team Secret earlier this year.

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