Earlier this week, Evil Geniuses announced a flurry of team changes. Brett “Naded” Leonard and coach Ryan “Towey” Towey both retired. The Greatest of All Time, Tom “OGRE 2″ Ryan became the new coach. However, EG still needed a player to replace Naded. They turned to Josbe “Tapping Buttons” Valadez.
Evil Geniuses’ Revamp
Many questioned EG’s decision to take Tapping Buttons over other, more well-known NA free agents. However, the young,
Mexican phenom has already made some large strides and big impressions. OGRE 2 has often personally praised Tapping Buttons and even teamed with him during the 2017 Halo World Championships. He has become notorious in the Latin American scene for having near-perfect accuracy, with some players and fans poking fun at it and suggesting that he uses a keyboard instead of a controller. Josbe has also proven that he deserves the praise he receives as well.
Tapping reached the international stage during the 2017 HWC season. His squad attended the Gfinity Mexico City event without participating in the preceding online qualifiers. Once there, Josbe’s squad, Shock the World, upset all of the top seeded teams at the event despite forming soon before. In the Grand Finals, Shock the World defeated Synergy Gaming 4-2 to secure their place at the HWC 2017 Finals, despite being the 18th seed. Unfortunately, due to visa issues, Tapping Buttons was unable to attend and was replaced by Gilbert “MuNoZ” Muñoz for the end of the season.
It’s no secret that EG has been struggling since Tony “LethuL” Campbell left to join the OpTic Gaming roster. The twins Jason “Lunchbox” and Justin “Roy” Brown have been through several team iterations in an attempt to regain their spot at the top of the HCS, but to no success. Michael “Falcated” Garcia, despite having a bad event at Daytona has shown potential on this squad. However, with the loss of Naded, EG has lost both slaying power as well as some objective aggression.
Tapping Buttons has shown that he is more than capable of making up for the lost slaying power, perhaps even surpassing Naded’s contribution in this field. However, more pressure will be put on Lunchbox for objective modes and another player may have to step up in order to make up for this.
Despite being just a coach, Towey carried a large impact for the Brown twins, being their coach consistently since 2010. This built-up chemistry is not easily replaced. Despite this, OGRE 2 may be the perfect alternative, as he teamed with the twins previously and has a good relationship with them.
Their difference in coaching styles may serve to benefit EG even more. Towey was often very active as a coach, making frequent play calls and call-outs for the team. While this worked in slower games like Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, Halo 5’s faster pace caused problems. Towey’s enthusiasm and activity crowded up the communications, leading to disarray. OGRE 2 takes a different approach. He only calls out spawn timers and critical game calls. This leads to communication being less crowded, with OGRE 2 often driving his team to make smart, crucial game decisions as in where to push and when. Through the last few nights of scrims, the team also seems to react much better to Tom’s coaching then Towey’s.
Speaking of scrims, EG has done surprisingly well since picking up Tapping Buttons. Their first scrim was against
Luminosity Gaming, and it ended with an 8-5 LG victory. Despite this, several of EG’s losses were close while some of their wins were dominant. Their second scrim was against the Daytona Champions, Team EnVyUs. The scrim ended with an 11-2 nV victory.
Despite the ending score, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Five of EG’s losses are what is referred to as “coin-toss” situations. These are instances in which the outcome of an encounter is 50/50. It just so happens that many of these situations fell in the favor of nV. As OGRE 2 stated at the end of the scrim, EG also choked a couple of games. This squad has can perform and if they put in the time, they can improve to likely hovering just outside of the top four.
What do you think of EG’s new squad? Will they be able to keep their spot, improve or will they be relegated at DreamHack Atlanta? Let me know!
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I’d like to personally thank both Naded and Towey and wish them the best. Naded is a community legend and very obviously is still an able competitor. Towey was a huge part of the reason I began competing myself, as the Instinct squad he coached were what finally pushed me to attend an event. I hope you both accomplish any and all goals you have outside of Halo!
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