Why wait for Evil Geniuses VALORANT?
That’s the question we all ask ourselves in the current climate of media; why? Why am I waiting for this? Why should I be excited when 200 other things vie for my attention? With all the other teams in the world, why pick Evil Geniuses to stick within North America? Past the cliche underdog’s tale and ignoring the rich history the team–and the brand–has, it’s the tangible potential this roster has leading into the new year.
With how much has been done to improve and finalize Evil Geniuses’ VALORANT stable, we’re left wondering; where have we seen that massive potential play out? We know they are led well by the tenured Counter-Strike (CS) veteran Christine “potter” Chi, we know they have explosive duelists and a strong entry threat in Daniel “roca” Gustaferri, but where have we seen it manifest? Why should we wait for Evil Geniuses coming into 2022?
And it all starts with a recent showcase.
One of the more recent crystallizations of this skill coalesced during the second open event during Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship just last month. What jumps out immediately is Kelden “Boostio” Pupello’s Jett performance. Boasting a 380 average combat score (ACS), a +16 kill to death differential and ending the map with 239.0 average damage done per round (ADR) among other things. That’s not something you both see every day and can ignore. However, more interestingly, Roca’s signature Reyna traded out for a Skye. In fact, throughout their run during this event, he was trading time with the two picks. Outside of Icebox, Skye was his primary pick.
Mind you, it was a best-of-one, but even with that said, this kind of individual performance and newfound flexibility should be a sign of health from one of North America’s oldest esports brands. The potential is there and this match against a team of equal calibre showcased that beautifully. Again, that was against a team they should be drawing close. This begs the question; what happens when they face some of the best that North America has to offer?
This past August, Evil Geniuses took Cloud9 into deep water. Now, to temper expectations not only was this months ago but also EG still had Nolan “Temperature” Pepper on their active roster. That said, being able to draw them into tight maps like Split, which Evil Geniuses ultimately won 13-11, and Ascent, which C9 took 13-10, should speak to the competitive edge this core has baked within it.
On top of that, you have Roca showing why he’s an underrated entry fragger with 215 ACS, a 31% headshot percentage and six first kills across the series as a whole. With Cloud9 now advancing to VALORANT Champions through the North American Last Chance Qualifiers, we’ve got to wonder where the ceiling is for EG?
Another positive data point for Evil Geniuses was their victory over Built By Gamers during the Nerd Street Gamers Summer Championship. Trading blow for blow and going the distance on the third and final map of the series, EG managed to put away one of North America’s most promising contenders. Again, the two pillars that continue to be braced upon have been EG’s individual performances, particularly from their duelists, and their flexibility.
Having someone like Temperature on the starting roster opened them up to three different agent selections across all three maps. On top of that, you’ve got Boostio with another impressive individual performance to add to his menagerie of flourishes. 264 ACS, 75 total kills across three maps, a +16 kill to death differential, 15 first kills, and a 32% headshot rating–it doesn’t get too much better than this.
So, why wait for Evil Geniuses?
With the entire mural painted, this is a team that has proven that even with an undecided roster they can compete with some of the best VALORANT teams from North America, they’ve shown that they have the presence of mind to continuously grow and adapt to the landscape, and they have the firepower to hang with domestic powerhouses.
This is a team to place an early bet on, because from here on out the odds are going to start to narrow. As Roca becomes more comfortable on the Skye, as Boostio continues to grow as an ace, as the team, in general, begins to materialize and reach its finale, Evil Geniuses VALORANT roster should be considered a contender coming into the new year.
It’s pretty clear why North American VALORANT fans should be waiting with bated breath. The hype is real, the potential is tangible and Evil Geniuses are only getting better with time.
Images via Riot Games