The team formerly known as Evil Geniuses has adopted Winterfox as their new brand, swapping the old logo for a sleek white fox head. It also finalized its 2015 League Championship Series lineup today in anticipation of the upcoming Spring split.
The team has added two Korean players and a Korean coach, a logical conclusion after their month-long training session in Korea.
Shin “Avalon” Donghyeon will man the top lane, with Jang “Imagine” Hyeonsu slated for the support position. Due to “last-minute complications,” Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad, who left Team Fusion today, will man support for the time being.
The two Shins on the team are in fact brothers. While Helios carved out a successful pro gaming career in Korea, his brother Avalon, has struggled to do the same, failing to make it in the highly competitive Korean scene. This could be his break, but the apparent nepotism and lack of a track record has left many questioning the move—especially considering his current standing as a Diamond player on the Korean solo queue ladder.
Helios – “hey bro wanna come make mad stacks in NA LCS?” Avalon – “I’m only D1, probably not good enough bro :(” Helios “lol its NA bruh”
— Josh Raven (@JRavenEsports) January 7, 2015
Jang also comes with little résumé. But there are reasons to believe Winterfox’s no-name Koreans might work out better than other Western team’s imports.
For one, Korean, and not English, will be the first language of most of the roster once Jang returns to the lineup. Mid laner Park is also fluent in Korean. The team has also spent the past month bootcamping in Korea, meaning they should have first-hand experience playing with their roster selections in a close environment.
The biggest reason is their new head coach, Choi “Paragon” Hyun-il. A former marksman for Incredible Miracle, Choi brings a wealth of experience from the Korean professional scene and a reputation as a teacher capable of molding that rough gem into a shining diamond.
Winterfox has also secured backups at each of the positions manned by Korean nationals, a wise move considering how common visa issues or even underperformance was for imported players in 2014. Top laner Cuong “Flaresz” Ta or Enemy eSports, jungler Ryan “ShorterACE” Nget, and support player Kenneth “ExecutionerKen” Tang are all in Winterfox’s stable.
The team was forced to adopt a new brand after the institution of Riot Games’ Sale of Sponsorship rule, which prevents an organization that sells sponsorships from owning multiple teams in the league. The GoodGame agency, recently bought by Twitch, owned the Evil Geniuses and Alliance brands, meaning both teams have to rebrand heading into the season.
The new brand Winterfox “combines our team’s youthful energy and familial nature with the cunning we hope to display on Summoner’s Rift,” Brian “guitar” Cordry, the team’s owner, says.
Overall it’s a major set of changes for the Evil Geniuses organization, one that came under fire from Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels for a lackadaisical attitude and managerial issues after the veteran support left the team this offseason. With a new coach and updated support staff, Winterfox seems well positioned to build off the potential of young stars Park and Ru and shed the mediocrity associated with Evil Geniuses League of Legends of the past year.