Evil Geniuses has signed Kazakhstani in-game leader Sanjar “neaLaN” İshakov to replace Jake “Stewie2K” Yip on its main CS:GO team and brought on former Copenhagen Flames head coach and esports director Daniel Vorborg to be in charge of that lineup.
The arrivals of neaLaN and vorborg had already been reported prior to the official announcement. Vitality rifler Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier was also expected to join EG’s main lineup to replace William “RUSH” Wierzba, but according to HLTV, the deal fell through at the last minute because the organization wanted to retain a North American core of three players to keep competing in NA’s Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event, rather than playing in the European one, which is much more competitive nowadays.
With misutaaa out of the picture, EG promoted Jadan “HexT” Postma to play with Timothy “autimatic” Ta and the rest of the crew. The Canadian rifler has been playing under the EG banner since June when the organization picked up the orgless Carpe Diem roster and the Party Astronauts roster to form an ambitious project called Blueprint, in which EG aims to form a “fluid” 15-man roster for 2023.
With the additions of neaLaN and HexT to its main CS:GO squad, EG has locked in the lineup that will attend the BLAST Premier Fall Groups in August, one of the first important tournaments after the summer player break is over. It’s unclear whether HexT, who is unproven at the high echelons of Counter-Strike, will keep playing with the main lineup for the remainder of the season.
All of these EG roster changes come after Stewie2K, RUSH, autimatic, Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte, and Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov had a terrible first half of the season, missing out on qualifying for the PGL Antwerp Major and finishing in last place in almost every tournament they attended.
Head coach Damien “maLeK” Marcel and his assistant Paolo “EVY” Berbudeau were the first to leave in May after the team did not qualify for the Major. Shortly after, Stewie2K faced backlash from the community due to EVY publicly accusing him of unprofessional behavior and having an inadequate attitude toward maLeK.
Those aforementioned issues, in addition to the bad results, made EG rethink its strategy in CS:GO and promote its former head of data science Soham “valens” Chowdhury to director of athletics for Counter-Strike, a job title that resembles a general manager of some sort.
The Blueprint project is heavily inspired by what EG did with its League of Legends division. The organization relied on data and analytics to build the League squad and its practice routine, while also betting on young talents like Jojopyun and Danny.
NeaLaN, HexT, and vorborg will debut under the EG banner at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, which will run from Aug. 19 to 28.