It’s not a stretch to say that EG really let down LCS fans in Playoffs. EG came into the postseason with an upward trajectory that would even make Warren Buffet blush. They were by far the hottest team at one point being on an 11 game win streak. One easy BO5 versus Dignitas later, EG had to play 100T, the future LCS Champions. Of course, they lost this series in a Game 5 stomp. Nevertheless, they could beat C9 in losers for a chance to play for another spot at Worlds. That didn’t happen and it wasn’t even close. 3-0 C9. To quote Peter Dun, “We weren’t even playing League of Legends.”
So this leaves EG in a precarious situation for the offseason. They had aspirations of developing a roster all year this is true, but Worlds was 100 percent a goal they were also pushing for. To do so well and bomb out the way they did, it’s heartbreaking. Do EG continue with the same roster? Where do they look for upgrades? What about the Jungle situation? Time to break that down.
Jiizuke is a Free Agent:
Jiizuke is the single piece that will dictate the direction of EG for 2021. Before even getting into the contract expiring, it must be made clear that Jiizuke along with IgNar are the import slots for the Evil Geniuses. So if one is removed, it opens up slots for the other roles, assuming the replacement is from NA or is a Resident like Impact.
Jiizuke proved his worth to EG this year beyond any reasonable doubt. Even after the loss to 100T today, Jensen said the only Mid Laner that was next level was Jiizuke with the rest being near the same. The praise for his ability to create pressure is recognized by every LCS coach and player. Does this mean he is perfect? No. Fans have all seen Jiizuke int moments, but often when that happens he is doing it with the chance of a high reward. That playstyle is desirable.
Furthermore, look at the playoff series. The number of resources put into shutting Jiizuke down was astounding. 100T had Closer and Huhi mid almost the entire game. This isn’t even to mention Jiizuke’s outstanding laning stats. All of this is to say of course, that Jiizuke is a piece that EG may want to keep and other teams will certainly want. And not just NA teams. There is a real possibility of someone from EU picking him up.
EG also has one of the best prospects in Amateur and Academy in the form of Jojopyun. EG has his contract through 2023. So do they put this fresh 17-year-old prodigy in and hope it works like Danny? Or do they keep him another year and see if they can get Jiizuke to stay? Every GM in the LCS has their eyes on both Jojo and Jiizuke.
Most likely, EG will go with Jojo after seeing what a success Danny was. Now to be clear, Danny is the exception for rookie talent working, but Jojo is generally considered to be THAT good. Expect him to be in the LCS next year.
Well if EG are to go with Jojo, what do they do with the Import slot? Replace Impact? Highly unlikely considering his contract and it would be hard to find a better Top Laner. This isn’t even to mention his leadership skills. So Jungle is the obvious position in which you look to. But, there is a huge but. Contractz and Svenskeren are both signed through 2022. Contractz showed his worth and is also an NA resident. Peter Dun also confirmed that the reason for the Jungle swaps is that Contractz was performing vastly better in scrims. He felt though that Svenskeren deserved the chance to play in Playoffs. So what this says is that EG should sell Svenskeren if possible.
So do EG keep Contractz or go for an import Jungler? The reasonable answer is to look for free agents and sign them if possible. If not, EG have an amazing Jungler with NA residency. Contractz is beyond a perfectly fine fallback option. So which free agents are there? From EU, there are Jankos, Selfmade and Razork. On the more crazy end, there is both Canyon and Inspired. Inspired has a buyout, but if they sell Contractz and Svenskeren it’s certainly possible they can afford it. More than likely though, it’s one of the first three. Of the bunch, Razork is probably the best option. If EG can somehow get Canyon or Inspired, do it, but it most likely won’t happen.
Jankos and Selfmade are fine options, but why not stick with Contractz at that point. They both feel like settling rather than what feels like an upgrade. If EG is going to waste the money it needs to be something that most people can look at and agree with or at the very least understand. Jankos and Selfmade don’t feel that way.
Furthermore, importing a JG or keeping Contractz gives Tomio another year to develop in Academy after being thrown in late in the year due to Contractz rejoining the LCS.
EG fans should bet on Razork or Contractz most likely and Inspired or Canyon on the longest of longshots.
IgNar doesn’t deserve to lose his spot on EG, but he probably will. IgNar had a pretty underwhelming Spring, but brought it back in the Summer easily being in the Top 3 in the regular season for Support. He also helped foster Danny and even performed solid enough in the playoffs, but was outplayed by Huhi in the 100T series pretty hard.
So where do EG get a replacement who is objectively better? There are actually a lot of great supports with expiring contracts. Effort, Lehends, Kellin and BeryL are all free agents after this year. On the LEC side, Kaiser has an expiring contract and has worked with Peter Dun on Mad Lions. So the easiest guess is Kaiser to replace IgNar, but the dream scenario is Lehends. Lehends is currently the Support for Afreeca in the LCK. Ironically, in Spring he worked with former EG player Bang.
Furthermore, promoting from EGP or EGA for support seems like a bad move at the moment. Mystiques isn’t bad, but he will probably be let go after this year. This allows Skytec to be promoted to Academy and given a chance to show his abilities. Skytec seems like a good long term prospect, but he needs more time.
While all of the LCK options are fine, Lehends and Kaiser seem like the two best upgrades for EG. IgNar really got screwed over and fans should hope he gets to a solid LCS team.
JG: Contractz, Razork (Canyon, but not likely)
Mid: Jojopyun, Jiizuke
ADC: Danny (Unless a team offers a blank check)
Support: Lehends, Kaiser (IgNar if nothing works out)
Now keep in mind this is all speculation. None of this confirmed at all and is mostly for fun. While this is nowhere near the definitive list, these seem like the most logical picks. A run back would be really fun, but knowing EG, they are going to make some moves. Rest in Peace 2021 EG.
“From Our Haus to Yours“