Old-school Evil Geniuses (EG) fans are getting a New Year’s present: the return of “Demon.” Except it’s not the Demon they’re used to.
Sumail “D3M0N” Syed announced on Facebook today that he will join the squad at the HyperX D2L playoffs in Las Vegas later this month. The North American carry, who currently sits atop the North American Elite League leader board, will bring his best highlight-reel material with him when the team touches down in Vegas.
Syed is not the first “Demon” to play under the EG banner. Devotees of the squad will remember one Jimmy “Demon” Ho, a support player who developed a reputation for bold if ill-conceived play. Ho’s fans coined the phrase “classic Jimmy,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to his foolhardy tendencies. Since appearing at the International 4 with Team Liquid, Ho has earned a reputation for acting as a substitute for all comers, never quite finding the consistency needed to earn a steady gig with any team in particular.
Syed, on the other hand, is something of an unknown in the North American Dota world. He competes in the NEL, a classic in-house-style league that pits approved players with at least 500 games played and a 5100 rating in Dota‘s ranked system against one another in pick-up squads. Members of successful sides then earn points toward their individual ladder ranking. While largely informal, the NEL has seen frequent appearances from the likes of Saahil “Universe” Arora, Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam, and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev.
The honor is tepid by international standards, to be sure. But Syed is no slouch with Storm Spirit, as demonstrated when the newcomer stood in for lower-tier side Root Gaming:
With Babaev set to leave the team soon, it is unclear whether Syed’s position is a tryout for EG or a stopgap for the upcoming competition. Either way, the young player will likely relish the opportunity to prove himself to a top side on the stages of Las Vegas in January.
Illustration by Max Fleishman