Ahead of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series season, Evil Geniuses made three big changes to their roster to revamp the team. Thanks to their newfound star power and quickly-developed synergy, Evil Geniuses immediately became one of the scariest teams in the league.
With the roster update, EG are headed into the LCS Lock In final without a loss and just three wins in a row away from going the entire tournament undefeated. Team Liquid stands in their path as the defending champions to challenge them for the $150,000 grand prize and bragging rights before the start of the LCS spring split next weekend.
Evil Geniuses’ new roster
This offseason, Evil Geniuses signed one of North America’s best native supports, Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, one of Europe’s best junglers, Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and one of NA’s biggest rising stars, Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun. With the changes, Evil Geniuses have gone from a 5th-6th place finish last summer to a 9-0 run in the Lock In through the semifinals.
Each of the three additions complements the two remaining players from last year, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki and Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, and fit well into the Evil Geniuses identity: a fast-playing, hard-hitting team that loves to fight.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) January 29, 2022
Despite having only two players with any history playing together, the team is obliterating their competition, bulldozing through anyone and everyone in their path. And although they are one of the teams that have their full roster available, their undefeated record is no accident.
While discussing how Evil Geniuses were growing together and developing as a new roster this Lock In, Impact praised the two young carries on his team multiple times.
In a recent interview, jojopyun said the team had immediate synergy, but Impact said that it’s not necessarily that they’re synergizing well, but that jojopyun and Danny are smarter than most players who grow up on NA solo queue.
Impact called out the youngsters’ game knowledge and ability to be creative. “In NA, not many young players play well, so that’s special,” Impact said of Danny and jojopyun. That higher level of in-game understanding helps EG make plays as a unified force.
“If people know how to play the game and how to win, you don’t need synergy that much,” he said. “We are on the same page easily.”
While laughing and calling himself a “boomer,” Impact continued his praise of EG’s “zoomers,” calling out their ability to learn quickly and commending each of them for not getting defensive when given feedback, but rather taking in what they’re told eagerly and implementing it faster than most veterans.
Impact’s thoughts on Lock In and the spring split
Like the rest of his team, Impact is confident that Evil Geniuses will win the preseason tournament over Team Liquid. “We can lose against them, maybe one game,” Impact said. “But I think we are going to win 3-1.”
But then he laughed, acknowledging his own lane opponent’s prowess, and said, “Let’s see, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau can 1v9, who knows?”
Despite whatever happens in the finals, just because Evil Geniuses made it there without losing a game doesn’t mean they are the favorites to win the LCS spring split. Many LCS teams did not even have their starting rosters for the Lock In, including Team Liquid themselves.
Not only will those teams who later complete rosters improve themselves, but they’ll also improve the overall level of the LCS. Additionally, the meta will shift and teams will grow at different rates. It’s still up to Evil Geniuses to continue developing if they want to remain at the top of the league.
“I think Dignitas played well for this meta at this time,” Impact said, commenting on Dignitas’ upset over 100 Thieves last weekend in the Lock In quarterfinals. “But 100 Thieves played bad meta-wise… it’s last year’s meta. But I think they can come back, they have good coaches and good players.”
“Maybe it’s bad to say, but who cares about Lock In,” Impact said, highlighting his importance on continued growth for both EG and the rest of the league. “We need to see after the start of the spring season.”
Impact showed confidence in his new team and their ability to perform past the Lock In tournament into spring and beyond. Only time will tell, and there’s still one series left before the start of spring, but at the very least it’s easy to say this new EG squad have got a lot of potential, and boy are they entertaining.
The LCS Lock In finals take place Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET, and fans can watch the series between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid at lolesports.com.