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Evil Geniuses need to bounce back strong

The North American team hailed as the second best behind Team Liquid had a very rough tournament at EPL S15. In a very top heavy group, the roster led by Stewie went 0-5, with especially tough losses versus Complexity and AGO. This was not the expected result for a roster as good on paper as EG is. So what went wrong?

Evil Geniuses seem to be a project which hasn’t gotten the time it needs to work. This is a very different task for Stewie2k, who had never been the solo IGL for a team before. In addition to having the sole responsibility for this role, he has to work with head coach Malek to make the 5 players work, including himself. 

It’s important to remember that autimatic had been playing Valorant for some time, RUSH was benched from Complexity, so even the pre-existing synergy between the Major winning Cloud9 roster isn’t really there anymore. 

On the other side of the team, we have brehze and cerq, the EG core. It was hard to predict how the roles would be split between these names, and it shows. 

Before EPL S15, the main points to take from the team were these: autimatic and RUSH look great, given the circumstances surrounding both players; stewie’s individual form dropped considerably, which makes sense under the much more demanding role of sole IGL; brehze and cerq are underperforming hard. 

EPL changed a lot of these points, but it seems like the balance shifted to the opposite side: autimatic and RUSH had a considerable drop in form; stewie mostly maintained his previous numbers; but the good news is, cerq and brehze looked much better. Especially the latter.

So we’ve seen that stewie can enable both “cores”, just not at the same time. The synergy isn’t really online between these two “halfs”, and the eye-test shows that perfectly. There are very few trade kills, weird calls, a lot of individual attempts. These 5 players are not working as a unit, so the names on paper never quite show up in the server.

Yet, hope is not lost. This was a weird one because the team was forced to play without their Head Coach maleK for the entirety of the tournament, putting even more weight on Stewie’s shoulders. This was also seen in their very inconsistent map choices, which was topped up by the fact that they seemed to be performing better on their opponents’ picks than on their own maps. This was quite evident in the series against Navi, in which they almost made a very impressive comeback against s1mple and co. in Dust2. 

This was a very disappointing tournament, but as Mauisnake pointed out during the analyst desk segments, the team is showing improvements and good signs. They just have to make all the pieces fit at the same time. 

This week is one to forget, especially the loss against fellow North American team Complexity, but there is a lot to learn. This was the longest tournament EG has played so far, and they need to work on what is not going well before the next event comes around. 

They have the talent and the support from the organization, they just need to make the pieces fit.