Evil Geniuses started off strong with back-to-back wins against Cloud9 and Immortals in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Lock-In. EG ignored the excitement of new C9 mid laner Luka “Perkz” (listen) Perković, winning in a bloody fight before disbanding an Immortals team, only two of the LCS are currently in the country due to visa issues.
After the IMT dispatch, Evil Geniuses mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” Di Mauro, team’s new acquisitions with Inven Global’s Nick Geracie, sudden disappearance from the starting lineup at the 2020 LCS Summer Split, and currently affecting EG’s coaching staff talked about visa issues. What the team had to overcome in early 2021.
How does it feel to launch the 2021 LCS Lock in 2-0?
It’s great and getting started strong early is great for the mental strength of our team.
This is your second year at Evil Geniuses, but your coaching roster looks very different this season. How was working with Peter Dun and his colleagues compared to last season?
In fact, our coaching staff is still not here. Both Peter Dun and Gabriel “Turtle” Piexoto have visa issues, so for now only Connor “Artemis” Doyle and Brandon “Mash” Phan are our personal coaching staff. Peter Dun and Turtle are still working remotely with the team, but it’s not the same as being around them. What we’re doing now is working, so once they come, it will be even better.
This makes the start of the team even more impressive. On an individual basis, you played a great game out of the single ‘whooping’ death to the tower on Zoe today. How did you survive this to continue your advance against the Immortals?
I go to games that I believe I can do. If I think there is something I can do, I will. I don’t care if it’s a perfect game or not. * laughs * I stick to my thought process. So for me he was basically laughing at myself. I was like “Ah … I went in. ****.” * laughs * I shook him.
That’s the right mindset to have, especially when your team is as far ahead of you at that point in the game. Since other teams are affected by visa issues, I wanted to ask how long your team had to train before the LCS Lockdown began?
Our players did not have visa issues like our coaching staff, so we’ve been working together for exactly two weeks. As of this week, we started to shine as a team in terms of playing together. It feels good because this time I feel Evil Geniuses are actually a team playing together.
When Evil Geniuses signed mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer and top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon before the 2020 LCS Summer Season kicked off, the team was expected to put them together as options to let you start, but for the rest of the season again you didn’t start. Can you explain how staff decisions were made last summer?
The team decided to play with Huni, and the first is AD Carry Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, and that’s it. I am not an assistant, so EG had to start Goldenglue for me in order to let Huni start. I don’t like to see myself as someone who is pushed aside by Goldenglue. In my opinion, I was mostly backed up by Huni.
The way Evil Geniuses wanted to play last year was different than what I wanted. The coaches at the time had a different view of the game than I did, and when they promised we would get back to the way I wanted to play, we never did.
It was sad because it would be crazy if Huni and I were playing together in the same roster. It would be like I played with Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet on Team Vitality. We would play aggressively and play to dive into the top lane, basically that’s what we’re doing right now in the EG.
Jeong “Impact” Eon-young plays Renekton and stuff, and that kind of play style could have been something the team did easily with me and Huni last year. Instead, the team wanted to play it safe.
This is clearly a better style for you, but the team as a whole looks great so far. We didn’t see Impact play in such a strong side top lane before joining Team Liquid in 2018. Can you say that the new aggressive identity of EG is the result of individual players or is it due to the development of the team as an app? all?
I think it’s definitely actors. This year we have different players with different brains. I think it was important that the change came this year, especially that Impact and Peter Dun let these kinds of games happen. If we did something unusual last year, we wouldn’t do it again or instead go into the safe game.
For example, if I could kill the opponent mid lane alone, my coach would tell me: “Why don’t you just push the wave and wander so your opponent can’t do anything?” For me, ‘Why can’t I kill this guy alone, get 20 CS and then wander?’ I can do both at the same time, but we always wanted to play it safe.
If I had to define my style of play, it would be how we play in Team Vitality. We aimed not to let the enemy team play their game. We don’t let our competitors breathe, and teams in the League of Legends Professional League do that too. I think it’s the best way to play this game.
All the hype surrounding the opening day of the 2021 LCS Lock In focused mainly on Perkz’s debut in North America, but it was Evil Geniuses that surpassed the C9. What did you think about playing against Perkz for the first time since you played in Europe and what was EG’s game plan for entering the C9 match?
I’m not worried about playing lane against Perkz. I’m pretty sure of my lane phase against him, but Perkz’s strength is in his way of communicating with his jungler and his support.
As far as I recall in 2018, the difference between Perkz and Rasmus “Caps” Winther is that Caps appeal to your lane to create roaming opportunities that better use Perkz’s jungler and support. Then there was Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, who did both but was not perfect in both. He was still a threat because he knew them both very well.
Now I was fine playing against Perkz because I learned a lot since we last played each other, but you could see how well Perkz coordinated with his jungler and support. We were able to CS ball, but if I had better communication I would be much more active than I am. Perkz is better than me at communicating with his jungler and support and that’s something I should learn.
I appreciate your understanding. We’ve only got two days left with the LCS Lock In, but would you say who will be your biggest competitor for the top of Group B?
Definitely Cloud9. We haven’t trained against FlyQuest so I don’t know what to expect from them so we’ll see when we’ll play next week. It should be C9 but it’s also the start of the year. Most teams only trained for two or three weeks, and no one should be counted as it’s still early in the season.
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