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Searching for a fifth Evil Genius

Left wanting, Evil Geniuses sit waiting and searching for the final piece of its VALORANT puzzle. After Evil Geniuses transferred Nolan “Temperature” Pepper on loan to Gen.G Esports for the North American leg of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Last Chance Qualifiers, we got to thinking; what if the move was permanent?

What if Evil Geniuses were looking for a fifth to round out their roster ahead of the 2022 season? Pack your speculation pants and prep the DeLorean because we’re talking alternate timelines. Who or perhaps where should Evil Geniuses start looking to finalize their core VALORANT roster?

First things first we have to start with what they’re missing. Outside of a player in the server, Temperature fills the niche of a more supportive sentinel player but who also has done so with a consistent record of success.

His previous time with North American fan favourite team Moon Raccoons established Temperature as a bit of a diamond–just held in the clutches of a lunar trash diver. This paints a clear picture of what Evil Geniuses could be looking for if the Temperature move becomes permanent. That being said, they’ve already begun to substitute in contenders for the position. 

Recently Evil Geniuses has been playing with Jeffrey “Reformed” Lu as their fifth and final starter through Nerd Street Gamers’ Winter Championship Open 2.

In their recent win over Nemesis, Reformed managed a 201 average combat score with a respectable 136.4 average damage done per round (ADR). What’s more impressive is that their win prior to that over Andbox, Reformed managed similar numbers–170 ACS with a 117.1 ADR–across three separate agents.

That level of flexibility could be just what Evil Geniuses are looking for with their default driven double-duelist setups. Having someone like Reformed flex into optimal support agents on the given map could result in aces Daniel “roca” Gustaferri and Kelden “Boostio” Pupello seeing more success. 

A familiar face that Evil Geniuses just encountered could be a good shout as well. While competing through the Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship Open 2, EG were dispatched early to the eventual tournament winners, SoaR. Someone who had a consistent showing through the tournament was former Luminosity Gaming starter, Brenden “stellar” McGrath. Again, the agent pool is there with Killjoy, however stellar opens up the possibility pool with other picks like Viper and Sage. Few players can claim that kind of flexibility which may put him higher on Evil Geniuses shortlist of players. 

Another familiar face could be someone like Joseph “Bjor” Bjorklund. With preexisting synergy with EG’s own Mike “pho” Panza, Bjor does check all the boxes of someone who could fit the team nicely. Not only is he experienced with more sentinel-centric agents like Killjoy but he also packs an attractive resume playing for the likes of Built By Gamers as well as Immortals.

With the latter’s eye for talent, you know Bjor can compete with some of the best and would provide another young threat to a team looking for a boost in punching power. And don’t take our word for it, in Built By Gamers recent win over Complexity Gaming, Bjor ended with a strong 228 ACS, a +6 kill to death differential, and a 149.5 ADR. Placing that kind of fresh talent behind someone like head coach Christine “potter” Chi should net some impressive results both in the long term and in the short. 

With a crack of the yoga mat, let’s begin to stretch and take a reach for some fantasy moves that Evil Geniuses could possibly make. Taking and leveraging the veteran presence of someone like Joshua “steel” Nissan cannot be overlooked. After being moved to the substitute position on 100 Thieves starting lineup ahead of the North American Last Chance Qualifiers, steel has mentioned publicly that he still holds a competitive fire. With EG looking for a dynamic sentinel player along with someone that boasts a consistent track record, steel might be an alternative for the fifth and final member of Evil Geniuses’ 2020 VALORANT bid. 

The reality of the situation is this; we’ve seen that Evil Geniuses can compete with their current core against some of the most promising talent in North America. With two bright duelists, a strong coaching presence, and resources to allocate, EG is sitting in a strong position ahead of the 2022 VCT season.

However, stability and building synergy with a core is going to net them the best results they’ve seen–so time is of the essence for the North American esports staple. Rest assured, EG has what it takes and they’re undoubtedly taking their time to find the right fit to maximize their results. 

Images via Riot Games

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