Evil Geniuses ended the weekend with yet another 2-1 record. This seems to be the EG Special. Overall, EG are looking quite good. They are currently tied for fourth with a 7-5 record. Right now, EG might be able to secure the last spot in the upper bracket of the Mid-Season Showdown. This is huge because if they lose a best of five, they are not out of the tournament. This isn’t to say EG has this secured. Frankly, EG have some of the hardest teams still to play. So this brings EG to an inflection point. What do they need to do to secure these last six wins?
Impact Needs to Counter-pick
One thing that fans have generally accepted is that Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, despite what he is playing against, will not counter-pick. Probably the biggest one thus far has been Shen into Camille. While this is a winning matchup and certainly one Impact feels comfortable with, fans have yet to see him on his SKT T1 Jax. This refusal to do so has led to teams just blind picking champs without any fear of repercussion. A great example of this is how Cloud9 chose Malphite this past weekend. Who did Impact choose? Sion. A tank into tank. Again, this isn’t to say Sion is a bad choice, it just exemplifies how Impact plays into these matchups.
Fans shouldn’t expect to see Impact pulling out Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon style champs like Rumble or Jayce. But what they should expect is something like Jax. Even with these losing or even matchups, Impact has been winning the Top Lane. He is third in the LCS with GD@10, leads the league in KP% and is second in kills. Impact is playing great on these picks. The fear is that in a best of five-like playoffs, this could be abused and it already has been. To be fair, the Sion was a new pick for Impact. Viewers just need to see more stuff like this to diversify his lane.
The Games are Too Close
EG had three fiesta games this weekend. Quite impressive, frankly. In their first game against FlyQuest, the game was 45 minutes and dragged on way more than it should have considering EG had an Ocean Soul. To be fair, this was mostly due to how unbelievably tanky FlyQuest was with Licorice on Sion and Diamond on Tahm Kench. EG’s draft also lacked a consistent source of damage that an ADC usually fulfills. Matthew “Deftly” Chen was on Lethality Varus. This isn’t a knock on him, he played quite well doing 35% of his team’s damage.
While the C9 game was close, it was at least against a good team. The Golden Guardians game was just bad. One knows a team is playing awful when they hear the bewilderment in the Flowers and Azael on the commentary. This was another 40+ minute game and helps highlight how poorly played this weekend was at points. This wasn’t a weird draft. Impact on Renekton, Deftly on Kai’sa, Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun on Rell, Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro on Azir and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen on Olaf. There was just poor decision-making. A great example was a 4 v 5 fight at Rift that turned into a 2 for 0 for GG plus Rift Herald.
While it is commendable how they came back, they came back versus Golden Guardians, a team that is a developmental roster. This isn’t to trash on the players or the coaches on GGs, it is just that EG shouldn’t be close with them in games, especially in the way that it happened. If this was a C9, a Dignitas or a Team Liquid, the game would be over before it even began.
Evil Geniuses are currently third in the league for Average Game Time after this weekend at 36.7 minutes. This is not sustainable and while winning a bunch of these like the GG game, eventually a better team with better macro will win. EG need to work on ending these games sooner and pushing the advantages they have early.
Deftly and IgNar
While everything else has not been too positive, it is worth noting how well IgNar and Deftly have been playing. Even in the disastrous games this weekend like GG, bot lane wasn’t inting. This may seem like a backhanded compliment, but it is not. Deftly and IgNar have been some of the damage control. Sure, they might be behind, but they are not increasing the deficit.
There is a reason Defly is tied for first with a KDA of 5.9 and has the lowest deaths in the Bot Lane at 19. IgNar in particular has had some very clutch plays catching out people on his Alistar and Rell. Once again, looking at KDA and Death stats IgNar is in the upper half of the LCS. Another interesting stat with IgNar is that he leads the league in DPM on Support at 166. While damage isn’t exactly the number one thing teams want out of a Support, any extra damage helps.
While the Neeko from IgNar left a bit to be desired and Deftly has also had bad games, this bot lane has been a source of consistency along with Impact. Svenskeren and Jiizuke are the more wild parts of the team and it is a really good thing to have a Bot Lane like this to balance it out.
EG are not looking like the best team in the LCS. They have clear problems, but honestly, every team does. EG have the foundations to be really good. They have a great roster with tons of potential and when they are firing on all cylinders, they can beat anyone. But when they misfire, oh do they misfire. EG can look awful and amazing at the same time. Fans should keep their heads up. This is a roster that can beat Cloud9 in a best of five. They just need a bit more consistency and fans should hope to see that over the next few weeks.
“From Our Haus to Yours”