Danny on LCS Lock In finals: ‘I think it’ll be a 3-1 for either team’
Evil Geniuses' Danny at LCS Lock in
Danny earned his first career pentakill against Golden Guardians in Lock In quarterfinals. | Provided by Riot Games/ESPAT

Danny on LCS Lock In finals: ‘I think it’ll be a 3-1 for either team’

Can EG secure their first LCS title?
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Evil Geniuses continued their undefeated run in the League of Legends Championship Series 2022 Lock In tournament Saturday after beating Cloud9 in a 3-0 shutout in the semifinals. The scrappy young squad will test their mettle against Team Liquid in the grand final on Sunday. 

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Evil Geniuses’ 2022 roster was already an impressive one on paper, and their seemingly unstoppable run in Lock In so far shows their strengths could carry over into the regular season. With rookie mid laner Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun and sophomore bot laner Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki at the center, flanked by proven talents like top laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, Evil Geniuses are on track to secure the organization’s first North American title.

While Jojopyun jumped at the opportunity to claim Evil Geniuses wouldn’t drop a game during LCS Lock In, Danny is preparing for the upcoming showdown against Team Liquid with a bit more caution.

“I think Team Liquid currently, with [Steven “Hans sama” Liv] and [Bill “Eyla” Nguyen], are much stronger than C9,” Danny said. “Team Liquid could definitely give us a run for our money. Their roster is really strong. They have [Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau] and [Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg]… it could be a 3-1 for either team.”

No longer a rookie

Danny shocked the LCS in his 2021 debut, and narrowly missed an appearance at the 2021 World Championship in his first split as an LCS starter. He said that going into 2022, the pressure from community hype didn’t have any effect on his mindset.

“I know there’s the sophomore slump or whatever they call it,” Danny said. “I think with how I’m doing right now and the trajectory for my future, that won’t happen.”

Despite earning plenty of praise and time in the spotlight for his skills at an early stage of his career, Danny says he knows that he still has a lot more to improve on. Fortunately, his new teammates Inspired and Vulcan have helped him stay on track to do just that.

“Working with Vulcan and Inspired has been amazing,” Danny said. “They’re really knowledgeable about the game.”

The Lock In grand final is Danny’s first shot at building his LCS trophy collection, and a golden opportunity to perfectly cap off a statement tournament from the Evil Geniuses squad. It’s fitting that such an important match will be played against Team Liquid’s on-paper superteam full of experienced and accomplished veterans.

Team Liquid is the last thing standing between Danny and his first big win in North America. As he looks ahead to their fated matchup, Danny’s keeping a close eye on Team Liquid’s Hans sama.

“I’m definitely excited to play versus Hans sama,” Danny said. “I paid a lot of attention to [League of Legends European Championship Series] and when he was on Rogue he was insanely good and I learned a lot from him, especially in 2020 and 2021. He’s definitely a player I look up to.”

Evil Geniuses vs. Team Liquid

Evil Geniuses will meet Team Liquid in the LCS Lock In grand final on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. It will be the org’s first-ever appearance in an LCS final.

While the series is expected to be close either way, an impressive showing would mark EG as the team to beat in the regular season. Evil Geniuses fans will be eating well in 2022 if what the team has shown during Lock In so far is even a fraction of an indicator of their true potential for the rest of the year.

“I definitely think people rate us as one of the more fun teams to watch,” Danny said. “It’s definitely nice to see that EG fans are still getting what they deserve when they expect something from EG.”

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Nick Ray
Pop culture consumer and League of Legends thought-haver. Working on becoming a weirder person.