North American favorites Evil Geniuses has been marked by strong leadership, and they’ve only remained set in stone about this philosophy since last year’s The International 6. Part of this push was bringing in Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen, a position-five formerly from OG, to captain the team. Through the year and with Nielsen at the helm, EG formed consistency that put them in the upper bracket of TI7’s main event.
We dropped by for a quick chat with the Danish captain before the main event to reflect on his role as a European captain in the American scene.
So, you moved over from Europe to America, right? How’s that working out?
Pretty well so far. I’d say it’s more natural for me, honestly, to play with American players in the American scene, just because of the personalities. Europeans in DOTA are not really like my type of guys, I guess, so it was pretty natural for me, and I’ve played with a lot of American players before.
Has there been a difference in mentality between last year’s TI and this year’s?
I’d say the pressure is definitely not as high as it was last year for us. This year we’re part of a group that we’re expected to be able to win, but last year we were just the favorites, and its a lot different. The only difference is now I’m a captain, so that way now there is some added pressure, but it’s not really something that I feel or think about too much.
I was going to ask about that—how does it feel to fill in the shoes of EG’s captain? That’s been a legendary spot.
I’ve just given it, I guess, my own version of it, try to apply what I think this team needs, and I don’t think it was very similar to what PPD did previously. A lot of people like to compare, and obviously every time we lose, people are like “This would have gone better with PPD” or whatever, but I think its very hard to compare because we have very different styles. I don’t really think about it a lot, I just try to make it work for us.
What’s the most exciting thing about this event, coming out of the group stages?
For me it’s going to be—this is my second TI, last year was not very enjoyable, so hopefully we get to win a couple of games on the main stage. That would be ideal. If we could go all the way, that would be the dream, but we’re going to take it one game at a time, and I’m just looking forward to playing.