LCS 2020: Evil Geniuses Scouting Report
The Evil Geniuses organization has been a notorious name in esports since their inception in 1999. Their inclusion and dominance over a variety of game titles has come as no surprise given their level of expertise and investment in the field. 2020 has become the year of redemption for Evil Geniuses on the League of Legends front as their return to the LCS has been met with a number of marquee signings. As the infamous organization gets set to mark their second residence as an LCS team, the pressure for success is at a fever pitch given their CEO’s tough talk once their slot was officially announced.
As the announcement for a mid laner pends approval to finish out their roster, the future success of Evil Geniuses will rely heavily on the surplus pieces Cloud9 left behind. Svenskeren, Kumo and Zeyzal have all been added in one fell swoop as they are now one player away from completing their lineup.
Solo Lane Ranking: 5.5/10
In order to win games in the LCS, having strong solo laners that can match the top tier talent the league has to offer is the first step in order to insure playoff contention. Signing Colin “Kumo” Zhao from Cloud9 was no doubt a cost efficient signing that complimented the preexisting synergy already built in with Svenskeren and Zeyzal.
Although Kumo is no doubt a rising prospect within the league, there are still fundamental holes in his game that limit him from competing regularly at the highest level. When Licorice was out with a hand injury last year, Kumo enjoyed success on certain niche picks. There is still much to be seen from Kumo’s ability to determine whether or not he is as bright a prospect as the professional community made him out to be. Expanding his champ pool and excelling on a variety of styles will be the first stepping stone in order to reach that goal.
As the mid lane position remains the last open slot for this team, Evil Geniuses should opt for a domestic pick in mid that opens them up to the possibility of an import signing in future splits. Names like Damonte and Pobelter come to mind when assessing the talent left available within the role. Signing either of these two players doesn’t make them elite in the solo lane category, but its a solid starting point to achieving success over the course of the season.
We think it's time for this top laner to have the opportunity to prove his abilities full time in the big League.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) November 26, 2019
Jungle Ranking: 8.5/10
Without a doubt, having Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen on this roster is the only pickup that takes Evil Geniuses from a struggling, middle of the pack team to hopeful contenders given the surrounding pieces at his disposal. Svenskeren has been a self-starter in the jungle position way back since his early days as a member of SK Gaming. His knack for finding the right place at the right time and punishing his enemy with exquisite control of the map when ahead is a hallmark of his ability.
This year at Evil Geniuses will be his most daunting task yet. As a jungler, he is challenged with the task of getting three new lanes on the same track, regardless of the concurrent teammates he brings with him from Cloud9. However, Svenskeren showed his MVP credentials last year as the most consistent member of his team, and he will look to bring that same form of confidence and self-assurance to this EG lineup.
Bot Lane Ranking: 7.0/10
The bot lane for Evil Geniuses remains the x-factor to this team becoming a top five threat in the LCS or falling back into obscurity. Both Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam have had a rocky 2019 that have made them reconsider options for this season. Bang’s first season in the LCS wasn’t a complete disaster, but it left many fans wanting more from the two-time World Championship winner as he underwhelmed against top talents.
Zeyzal grew into a more prominent Support figure after Cloud9’s miracle run in the 2018 World Championships, but the same cannot be said for the following season after a slew of misplays and bad decisions left him open to scrutiny. From a mechanical standpoint, Zeyzal has gotten a similar reputation to CLG’s Smoothie as an effective communicator, but his variance in playstyle isn’t necessarily world class. Having a former World Champion as his laning partner will surely put the onus on Zeyzal to reach new heights.
Our newest acquisition is no stranger to Worlds domination.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) November 22, 2019
The Bottom Line
For a newly assembled roster with no recent experience in the LCS, Evil Geniuses have assembled a lineup worthy of a second look with the promising talent and fortified names they have picked up thus far. To truly take this team into the top four or top three conversation, a solid mid lane pick up and consistent output from their bot lane will be key to finding success alongside Svenskeren.
With this current iteration of the team and a North American mid laner, it’s hard to put Evil Geniuses comfortably in the top four conversation unless one of the more established teams take a noticeable dip in form. They lack a top three laner in all three roles and having an MVP caliber jungler can only get you so far without a decent supporting cast. Sixth or fifth place would be a healthy placing for Evil Geniuses in the standings given their current roster strength.