For the second season in a row, League of Legends side Evil Geniuses has finished in seventh in the League Championship Series. It’s another disappointing result for the storied squad. But over the final weekend, the team ended their mediocre season in the best way possible, emphatically letting the rest of the league know that they’ll be back—and that they might just be a force to be reckoned with.
On July 10, the team added South Korean Shin “Helios” Dong-jin. And while he wasn’t enough single-handedly to help them reach the playoffs, he’s clearly starting to gel with the rest of them, as this week proved. And in the bot lane, fresh-faced Johnny “Altec” Ru was forming a stronger bond with support veteran Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels.
Before the final four-game week started, it was clear Evil Geniuses had little chance to battle their way to sixth place and a berth in playoffs. The team would have to win all of their games in addition to other factors out of their control going their way. Fans and players alike soon created a mantra: “4-0 the dream.”
Evil Geniuses were on a mission to have their first ever perfect superweek.
In their first game, they faced LCS powerhouse Cloud9. Despite consistently proving to be a top North American team, Cloud9 has been defeated by Evil Geniuses in every game this split.
After leading the game by a significant margin in the first 40 minutes, Evil Geniuses confronted Cloud9 as they attempted Baron. With a 10 thousand gold lead, they forced their way into the Baron pit allowing Johnny ”Altec” Ru to pick up a triple kill and swing the game even further into their advantage. EIght minutes later, Evil Geniueses secured victory, largely in part to Ru’s impeccable 7/0/6 KDA.
Their next match, versus a ragtag team of substitutes playing for Counter Logic Gaming, was much easier. CLG ran a “Protect the Kog Maw” composition, something that is often used by professional teams, but requires an immense amount of experience in order for it to work correctly. The composition requires extensive training and strong communication skills, something CLG’s roster of substitutes was ill-equipped to handle. So Evil Geniuses waited to fight until they could bait out Morgana’s “Black Shield,” allowing them to quickly take out the biggest threat at the the 36 minute mark. They picked three kills and quickly ending the game.
The following day, Evil Geniuses took on seventh place Complexity. For a moment, it looked as if their streak may come to a premature end. Complexity was in control of the game with a significant gold lead throughout. Even when they looked down for the count, Evil Geniuses managed to trade kills 5-1 at 40 minutes, storming up the mid lane to clinch victory.
The 4-0 dream was alive. They had something to prove, to show they could come back and make an impact next split. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, the team faced off against Chinese superstars LMQ, a team they hadn’t beaten all split.
It was a bloodbath.
At 20 minutes, Eugene “Pobelter” Park and Johnny “Altec” Ru both had flawless KDA’s, 3/0/4 and 4/1/0 respectively. Nobody could take a gold lead, but Evil Geniuses was quickly working down LMQ’s turrets, leading 5-2. As they did against Cloud9, Evil Geniuses caught LMQ at Baron, where Altec snagged two kills to push the lead even further. Evil Geniuses continued to push their advantage, forcing their way down each lane and securing even more turrets. With an insurmountable gold lead, Evil Geniuses aced the Chinese team, ending the game in just 28 minutes. Ru had an outstanding performance, closing out superweek with a 10/1/3 KDA on Tristana.
In a little more than a month from now, Evil Geniuses will attempt to re-qualify for the LCS. If they played anything like they did this week, they should be able to take down any challenger team that may stand in their way.
As the reconstructed roster gains more experience playing together, they may find something special. It’s clear after this week that Johnny “Altec” Ru, Shin “Helios” Dong-jin and Eugene “Pobelter” Park have a depth of talent yet to be explored and could easily become the all stars of the next LCS season.
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube