With the 2022 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational on the horizon, the League of Legends Championship Series’ Evil Geniuses are one of 11 regional champions from around the world that are getting ready for the biggest League of Legends international event of the spring. While MSI 2022 isn’t the final stop for the season, the tournament is key for seeing where each region stands in the global hierarchy.
As the young guns of the Evil Geniuses roster, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki and Joseph “Jojopyun” Pyun, lifted the LCS championship, another organization enshrined their place in the history of the LCS. Evil Geniuses’ win heralded a new age of winning organizations in the LCS, but another obstacle remains before they bring true glory back to North America: the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational.
Evil Geniuses (LCS) starting roster breakdown
- Top: Jeong “Impact” Eon-young | Signed in December 2020, previously Team Liquid.
- Jungle: Kacper “Inspired” Słoma | Signed November 2021, previously Rogue.
- Mid: Joseph “Jojopyun” Pyun | Signed November 2021, previously Evil Geniuses Academy.
- Bot: Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki | Signed May 2021, previously Evil Geniuses Prodigies.
- Support: Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme | Signed May 2021, previously Cloud9.
How they got here
Evil Geniuses started the 2022 season by acquiring Inspired, who had come from the League of Legends European Championship after making the final with Rogue. At the same time, Evil Geniuses also promoted two of their developing talents, Danny and Jojopyun, to starting positions straight from Academy and Amateur. Veterans Impact and Vulcan, who had both competed in multiple international events, stood beside these three young players.
The 2022 LCS Lock In tournament was Evil Geniuses’ first chance to prove themselves, and they managed a second-place finish. However, a loss to Team Liquid showed the team had a lot to improve on if they wanted to top the region.
Despite the early success, the team faced may struggles during the regular season, including a three-game losing streak spanning two weeks. They ended the regular season at a 9-9 record, giving them an upper bracket berth in the LCS playoffs.
Their first match came against Team Liquid, the reigning first seed in the playoffs and one of the best collections of international talent this side of the Pacific. Despite Liquid being the favorites, Evil Geniuses put up a great fight and pushed the series to a fifth game. EG took a gamble on a Nidalee and Renekton combination that didn’t pay off.
After that, every member of the team began to improve every game. Evil Geniuses beat FlyQuest 3-1 in the lower bracket to secure their place in the lower bracket semifinals against Cloud9. And after dropping one game to FlyQuest, they didn’t lose a single game on the way to their LCS championship in Houston’s NRG Arena. They cleanly swept Cloud9, got their revenge on Team Liquid and also swept 100 Thieves in the playoff final.
Now, a greater challenge awaits the North American representatives on the international stage.
Players to watch
The main player to watch will be Jojopyun as the confident mid laner has already been talking trash on Twitter. More importantly, it has been a long time since North America saw such a confident young rookie who can back up what he puts down on social media.
He is currently the youngest player in the LCS, so whether he wins or loses, there will be a lot for him to learn.
landed in korea should I stream shitting on caps in soloq
— Jojopyun (@jojopyunlol) April 29, 2022
How Evil Geniuses can succeed at MSI 2022
Evil Geniuses have been placed in the same group as G2 Esports from the LEC and ORDER from the LCO. The most important component to Evil Geniuses’ success is whether they can catch up to the meta that Korean and Chinese players will be playing.
The team also has members who have been through Worlds and can mentor the young guns to victory. If Evil Geniuses can remain stable under the pressure, they could really make a splash at MSI 2022.