Evil Geniuses 2021 LCS Roster Finalized with Deftly and Impact
Evil Geniuses will enter the 2021 LCS season with quite a fascinating roster. Heck, maybe that’s even an understatement. There’s a lot to like, but it’s impossible not to wonder: is this enough? Now, first of all, no one’s questioning their thought-process or the amount of talent that’s undeniably present within this five-man lineup. On paper, this is quite a stacked team, especially for LCS standards. But it does somehow pale in comparison to Cloud9, Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, and even Team SoloMid (depending on how high you’re valuing the boys in black and white).
Simply put, no one’s quite sure what to expect from this peculiar mix. There’s a lot of potential, but also a number of ways in which things could go awry. Take Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, for example. Stats-wise, he’s a bottom three performer in his role (2020 Summer) — a far cry from the dominant playmaker we all know him as. He just wasn’t playing good League of Legends, and that’s sort of been the case ever since he left Cloud9. He has great moments and flashes of brilliance, but they’re too few and far between to actually warrant any actual praise and commendation.
The same can be said for Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro. His move over to North America simply didn’t pan out. He wasn’t any better or worse than your average LCS mid laner, and that’s a problem. Taking up an import slot and not delivering is, in the eyes of many fans across the world, an unforgivable offense. Obviously, things are never black and white, but he had two splits to put his best foot forward and, despite what we can only assume was his best effort, failed to leave a mark.
Still, they’re both known quantities and have had incredible pop-off performances and streaks of immense success, both in their own respective regions as well as internationally. That’s the positive part. The negative, however, is that they’re also two individuals who are severely underperforming. Svenskeren failed to adapt to the most vogue style of jungling and was overtaken by his less experienced peers, whereas Jiizuke simply fell off a cliff performance-wise.
If they don’t step up — and quite soon, too — then Evil Geniuses won’t stand much of a chance. The problem with Sven and Jiizuke is that they’re volatile; “coin-flip” is the preferred nomenclature here. If they’re performing well then they’re busting heads and taking names like there’s no tomorrow. If they’re not, then they’re absolute non-factors. There’s nothing in between. This makes for quite an exciting viewing experience, but it’s not all that great in the long run.
So, to summarize, a lot will hinge around these two players. Surrounding them with the right support is obviously paramount, but they’ll need to deliver on their end too. With that out of the way, let’s go over the 2021 Evil Geniuses starting LCS line-up!
Evil Geniuses 2021 LCS Line-up
Top: Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong (formerly of Team Liquid)
Jungle: Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
Mid: Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro
ADC: Matthew “Deftly” Chen (promoted from the Evil Geniuses Academy team)
Support: Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun (formerly of FlyQuest)
First of all, signing Impact after his incredibly successful stint with Team Liquid is definitely a fantastic move on EG’s end. The former World Champion is still an absolute beast at the game and can compete at the highest of levels — plus he’s one of the best weak side top laners in the history of the game. That’s worth a pretty penny! He’ll be joined by one of the most aggressive and respected junglers the West ever produced: Svenskeren, former LCS champion and MVP award recipient. Whether we’ll see the MVP-caliber Svenskeren or the “brother Sven” variant still remains to be seen. Either way, there’s ample potential.
Predicting any kind of success for Evil Geniuses would heavily rely on (somewhat baseless) assumptions. And that’s never a good thing, frankly speaking. If we assume that Svenskeren and Jiizuke will both play out of their minds come 2021, then EG will have quite a formidable trio — one that’ll easily trade blows with the likes of Team Liquid and Cloud9.
But then we have their bottom lane — the weakest part of the team and obviously the most exploitable pressure point. IgNar is a spectacular support, especially in today’s meta; Deftly, however, simply isn’t on his level. Maybe that’s even an understatement. He’s perhaps too good for Academy (although that’s debatable) but just not good enough to warrant a starting spot in the LCS. What a hard position to be in — a limbo of sorts. He’s like the Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer of NA marksmen, and that’s not a prestigious title, mind you. He’s not bad per se, but he’s just not the caliber of marksmen you actually want to pair with IgNar.
Still, we know for a fact that Evil Geniuses planned on getting either Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen from Dignitas or Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui from TSM Academy. Unfortunately, neither signing came through. Regardless, at least we know their head was at the right place — a promising sign for the future. If Deftly doesn’t perform well enough, EG will undoubtedly replace him at a moment’s notice. Heck, they should’ve just went for Cody “Cody Sun” Sun, but giving Deftly another shot at LCS play isn’t an egregious decision either (although it is somewhat vexing).
That’s kind of the leitmotif of this entire roster. A lot to like, with some confusing bits and pieces (and a metric ton of question marks) thrown in for good measure. If things pan out, EG could potentially challenge the upper echelon of the LCS. But that’s a big “if” and there’s a number of ways in which things could go awry going forward. Regardless, they’ve locked down a very respectable core and will no doubt grow and improve as time goes on. On paper, Evil Geniuses will have all the right tools to compete at a very high level in the LCS and could, at best, surprise a lot of people come 2021.