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What Can We Glean From EG’s Loss To XSET?

The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Challengers has begun and with that Evil Geniuses has put pen to paper on their first major event of 2022. With all the potential in the world, Evil Geniuses battle some of North America’s finest to secure either some of the earliest circuit points available or better yet a ticket directly to Masters. And while their initial outing against fellow regional rivals XSET resulted in a disappointing finish, there are a myriad of lessons to be learned. 

While Bind stung the most, it was Breeze that showcased what this roster had under the hood. Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond bought a 4-piece thrifty meal to really dent XSET’s forward momentum on top of being a dynamo all series long. While the 188 average combat score (ACS) and negative kill to death differential don’t speak to that, the fact that he is such a consistent weapon–featured in both maps–really lends itself to Evil Geniuses future. Looking at Bind for a moment, YaBoiDre led his team with 220 ACS, 163 average damage done per round (ADR) and almost a 50% headshot rating. 

Past that it was Jeffrey “Reformed” Lu that really showed up in a big way for the underdog NA staples. Consistently reformed was able to make his presence known and is quickly becoming a tertiary asset that the team can rely on. Throughout the 0-2 loss, reformed’s support stylings netted Evil Geniuses 190 ACS, nearly 30 kills, and was very present in the team’s kill participation.  

It goes without saying at this point that Kelden “Boostio” Pupello was another feature that headlined Evil Geniuses 2022 mainstage debut. Leading the team across the series with 194 ACS, nearly 30 kills, 135 ADR, and multiple opening kills, he continues to be one of the most reliable forms of pressure Evil Geniuses can leverage onto their enemies. 

Breeze began slightly out of sorts, but EG came alive on their attacking half, once they were really able to find their footing and being able to control the rhythm of the game. Watch as they play round 18, how methodical and well set up they are. Based on the info they’ve gained, Evil Geniuses leans towards the B-Site and rotates reformed towards mid to fight any possible rotations. That slight adjustment not only nets them a crucial counter-frag but also adds another question for XSET to solve. Not contrast that to round 15 where Evil Geniuses blitz onto B-Site with your standard dash-and-flash maneuver. This is hinting at some serious depth in this green lineup that is only going to reinforce and improve over time. 

While expectations saw Evil Geniuses rightfully dropping this set to XSET it’s the competitiveness that is the big takeaway. We’ve seen what players like YaBoiDre and Boostio can do, we know reformed and company can come up clutch, but the fact that Evil Geniuses battled back from, at one point, a 2-6 deficit during the first half says a lot about this team’s character. We’ve seen them play XSET recently, that goes without saying, but the composure and the ability to scale throughout the match really puts meat on the bones of this team. We’ve been shouting for months now that Evil Geniuses VALORANT deserves to be respected and it seems we’re finally starting to see that put into motion.

Images via Riot Games