July 14, 2021, 12:02 PM

Evil Geniuses: From mid-tier team to NA's strongest roster

Evil Geniuses: From mid-tier team to NA's strongest roster
Evil Geniuses' win streak has them climbing the LCS standings. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
By Carver Fisher
Filed Under
It’s safe to say the LCS power rankings have been a bit turbulent these days. Cloud9, TSM, and 100 Thieves have all had shaky games. Golden Guardians and FlyQuest have massively improved due to roster changes. TL and Dignitas are having a hard time with recent roster swaps, and IMT are on a downward trend after a strong start. CLG are having issues to say the least. The LCS is a bit of a mess right now, but there’s one team that has weathered the storm and come out on top in recent weeks: Evil Geniuses.
Evil Geniuses has been a middling team for most of Season 11. Basically, they did what any mid-tier team usually does. They always beat the lower teams and lost to the best. EG were never able to make their aggressive playstyle work against teams that were higher in the standings, and EG’s overall macro mistakes and somewhat poor laning felt like their undoing.
Now, EG is on fire. They’ve managed an eight-game win streak while being pitted against C9, TSM, and 100T, and they’ve bored right through every team in the League. Evil Geniuses went from mediocre to meteoric, and they’re taking NA by storm. What changed, and what makes EG the strongest team in the LCS?

Feast or famine

EG’s most talked-about member is Jiizuke, one of the most mechanically gifted players in the LCS. He knows it, too. Jiizuke’s always itching for a fight and an opportunity to outplay the opponent, and it makes him the standout player on EG. For better or worse.
Sometimes he TPs and flashes to look for a pick and misses the Lee Sin Q. Ouch.
Sometimes, Jiizuke takes out both carries and wins the fight for his team. You really never know with him. However, his aggression is something many other players in NA don’t match. Jiizuke feels hungry, and it feels like he wants to be in the driver’s seat for his team. It’s so refreshing to see a player really try to push himself to the limit, even if it doesn’t always work out.
He’s also been utilizing a champion we don’t see very often in NA: Ryze. He’s a classic competitive champion and someone whose ultimate is most effective when used in a team setting.
This clip shows the other side of Jiizuke where he’s perfectly fine with supporting his team. Jiizuke didn’t carry damage-wise in this match against C9, but Realm Warps like this enabled EG to get where they needed to go. It’s also worth mentioning that EG played purely for the objective here, and they weren’t concerned with fighting C9 once they got the Baron. This is also something we don’t typically see in NA, and it’s a part of EG’s new big brain identity in the LCS. It’s a lot easier for Jiizuke to play like this now that EG has a hard carry on their roster.

The new kid on the block

Danny was a big question mark coming into the Summer Split. Deftly, EG’s Spring Split ADC, was definitely underperforming. He would either pop off and roll the game, or he would get shut down early on and be a non-factor in the match. However, Danny wasn’t proven at all. He was supposedly a rough player with potential, someone that EG wanted to take in and nurture into a strong ADC.
As it would so happen, Danny stepping up to carry his team is something that would take mere weeks of practice for him to achieve. Danny’s mechanics are insane, and he’s been a key part of every EG victory. IMT didn’t stand a chance against his Samira, and Danny made the game-winning play look easy here. Mechanical prowess must be what EG’s coaching staff saw in Danny because he’s got that in spades.
Danny’s the sort of guy who isn’t afraid of Varus ult because he knows he can just flash away from it and pull off an immediate outplay. Not only did he 1v1 JohnSun with ease here, but he also killed him so fast that the rest of FlyQuest didn’t have time to catch Danny before the rest of EG arrived.
As the youngest player in the LCS, 17-year-old Danny is set to become the region’s next superstar. His future is bright, and he’s found a place to shine on Evil Geniuses.

It only gets better from here

Danny and Jiizuke are definitely the two big players to talk about on EG, but the rest of the squad have looked great alongside their stellar performances. Impact, Svenskeren, and IgNar are all storied players with a long history in competitive League of Legends. It’s been a shame to see the three of them have middling performances on EG, and it’s been hard not to feel as if they haven’t been living up to their potential.
Impact has been playing a lot of picks like Viego, Sett, Nocturne, and even a little Ornn. Strong teamfighters that either get things started or clean up seem to be Impact’s style. He may have been a carry during his 3 year tenure on Team Liquid, but Impact seems to be doing just fine as a teamfighter on EG. Danny and Jiizuke carry hard enough.
Svenskeren’s been doing great in the jungle, and he seems to have way more opportunities to pressure out the enemy jungler and look for ganks/objectives. Turns out, it’s much easier to succeed as a jungler when your lanes win. Who would have thought? It’s also worth mentioning EG has Contractz waiting in the wings, another jungler that crushed in his single game against Immortals. There’s no reason to swap out Svenskeren at the moment, but there is another amazing jungler just waiting to be put in whenever the opportunity arises. IgNar’s ise feels similar to Svenskeren’s. He was always good, but never had a consistent carry to rally behind.
This clip shows all three of them playing very well. Svenskeren managed to secure drag and IgNar immediately lanterned to get him into the fight. Meanwhile, Impact got a massive Ornn ult that disrupted 100T’s attempt to re-engage. Sure, Abbedage got a 5-man Azir ult, but the fight was already over by the time he was able to set it up. EG have always had the mechanics, but now it feels like they have the strategy and thought process to put those mechanics to good use.
True to their namesake, it feels like Evil Geniuses always know where they should be and what they should be doing at any given time. Something that can’t be said about most other LCS teams. It seems like they’re having a damn good time through these wins, too.
Photo of Evil Geniuses courtesy of Riot Games.
Photo of Evil Geniuses courtesy of Riot Games.
I mean, just look at them after their win against C9. It’s all smiles. I can’t speak for what their comms are like, but it does seem like the EG roster enjoys playing with each other. That sort of relationship between players is how good synergy develops, and that’s usually what separates a good team from a great one. And EG look great.
Keep an eye on Evil Geniuses when playoffs come around. They’re definitely going to qualify if this win streak keeps up, and it’d be no surprise to see EG sent off to worlds. We’ve yet to see whether or not this team can stand up to the likes of TSM, 100T, and C9 when it comes to playing out a 3 or 5 game set, but EG won’t go out without a fight. Considering that they’ve managed the longest win streak out of any team this split, it’s hard not to think EG is the best roster NA has to offer right now. And, considering they’ve only had this roster change for a little over a month, it’s only up from here for Evil Geniuses.

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