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Why Are Expectations So High For The New-Look Evil Geniuses?

Expectations are a fickle thing. We take from the past and attempt to use that as a sturdy base to assume and predict the future with. Counter-Strike is no different. For new fans and the uninitiated, the hype around Evil Geniuses can seem unwarranted and perhaps feel like it’s coming from out of nowhere. However rest assured, the core of this team has been bathed in gold for years. 

The three-man core of Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip, Timothy “autimatic” Ta, and William “RUSH” Wierzba have been synonymous with success in North America. From the back half of 2017 and the start of 2018, this core alongside Counter-Strike legends like Tarik “tarik” Celik and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham were the Cloud9 team that shook the world and gave North American fans hope. 

Performing well at events like ESL One: New York, ELEAUGE’s CS:GO Premier, and IEM Oakland would look pale in comparison to their crowning achievement; winning a major. 

The ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018. 

In attendance were a number of world-renowned teams. SK Gaming, FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, NAVI, were all in fighting form. However, the plucky North Americans would prove too much to handle. Their road to the title was narrow but doable. Holding G2 Esports to 15 total rounds, Cloud9 quickly advanced to face SK Gaming. With statement wins on both Mirage (16-3) and Inferno (16-9), word quickly spread through social media; this was it.

This was North America’s best chance at taking a major. 

And after beating FaZe in a nail-bitingly close final–Cloud9 were crowned. 

One day after the event, HLTV.org ranked Cloud9 as the 3rd best team in the world. 

That same core, breathes life into the 2022 Evil Geniuses roster. While it isn’t the same team that graced the stage all those years ago in Boston, the replacements carried their own weight, their own stories filled with confidence and success of their own.

Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov made a name for himself with the AWP and NRG Esports. 3-4th at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019 doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Rest assured, CeRq is a pillar to Evil Geniuses’ long term vision and has been since 2019. While he doesn’t carry the exact pedigree that someone like Skadoodle might, you can begin to see the similarities. 

And coming in with accolades like being ranked the 8th best player in the world in 2019, the 20th best player in the world in 2020 as well as many of the same awards CeRq can point towards, Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte is another undervalued North American star. EG’s long standing duo has a history as they both hail from the same NRG Esports roster that battles the world’s best during 2019.

The potential is there, history shows us that even when the results might not. 

In a marriage of some of NA’s best teams of recent memory, some of the brightest Counter-Strike stars, this team is not only capable but will likely be within striking distance of a top 10 world ranking by the end of the year. With this caliber of talent, it’s hard not to prescribe them some lofty expectations. 

Images via Valve