In its first split as a franchise in the League of Legends Championship Series, Evil Geniuses followed up a 2nd place finish in the 2020 LCS Spring Split with a 3rd place finish in the 2020 LCS Spring Playoffs. The team is not satisfied with top 3 status, however, and recently, EG acquired Top Laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon from Dignitas.
Assistant Coach Connor 'Artemis' Doyle told Hotspawn's Nick Ray that the team planned on playing with a 7-man roster with Matthew "Deftly" Chen and Bae "Bang" Jun-sik sharing the AD Carry role. Deftly will have to start in place of Bang if Huni is in the starting lineup because of the LCS' two-import rule.
A few days before the start of the 2020 LCS Summer Split, Evil Geniuses Jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen spoke to Inven Global's Nick Geracie about the Spring Split, the addition of Huni, and the affects of COVID-19 on the LCS.
Thanks for speaking with me, Svenskeren. How has the break between spring and summer been going?
It's been mostly alright; really chill. I haven't really been doing anything at all, but it's been alright.
The Summer Split starts in a few days. How are you feeling about getting back into the swing of competing online due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
I was kind of hoping the Summer Split wouldn't be online, but there's not much to do about it. We started scrimming about a week ago and we're obviously trying our hardest to get ready for the start of the Summer Split.
In hindsight, do you think that having to adjust to online play in the middle of the Spring Split affected your team?
Yeah, I think it definitely affected us. I think it's probably fair to say it affected every team. Playing online games is not as motivating as playing on stage with fans there in real life. I think we could have been a lot better if we were playing on stage.
I think you learn a lot more from the games when you're there with your teammates in person. For example, in playoffs, the ability to improve game-to-game is diminished. Obviously, we can still improve game-to-game online, but being there in person is a whole different experience. I'm looking forward to hopefully going back to that in summer, but if not, then we are just going to have to deal with it.
Mid-series conversations in person are far more engaging and beneficial, but Evil Geniuses still managed to follow up a top 2 Spring Split finish with a top 3 finish in the post-season. What has the team been working on to improve since your last match in spring?
I think we're just trying to be a lot more strict this time around. When we make mistakes, we no longer just laugh it off and say it's not going to happen again. We have to actually be accountable and more strict overall.
I know our coaching staff is really trying their hardest to motivate us. Even though the games are online, the players still have to be motivated to perform well. Last split we were playing in our apartments. I think this split we will all play from the same place, so I think that's going to help us a lot more in those situations.
Huni was recently acquired by Evil Geniuses. What do you think Huni will bring to the roster and how will the team handle three import players?
Obviously it's the coaching staff's decision, so I can't go too much into detail. I just know that we have too many imports to play them all at the same time, so we've been doing some tryouts.
I can't really tell you who's going to be starting. I know for sure that Huni will add a lot of value to our team. He's really experienced, and even if he's not starting and Kumo is starting, Kumo will still learn a lot from having Huni on the team. I think that's something we lacked last split...I don't really know how to say it, but Kumo definitely needs some guidance.
Last split was the first time you've had sole possession of your starting Jungler position for quite some time. Was that a change in dynamic for you in any way?
I don't think it's changed anything at all. I think I'm still preparing the same way I did on Cloud9 as I am as the sole starter on EG. I'm putting in the same amount of time, so I don't think it's really changed too much.
EG solidified itself as a top 3 team in spring. Does the team have any specific goals for summer?
I think going into this split we obviously just want to win the whole thing. *laughs* I think that's everyone's goal. We want to win the split, and we're going to be working our hardest to make that a reality and qualify for the World Championship.
Is there anything you want to say to the Evil Geniuses fans?
Thanks for supporting us, you guys. We're going to be trying our hardest the rest of this year, and hopefully, we will make it to Worlds so you guys can watch more games from us.
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