Evil Geniuses' start to the 2022 LCS season has been quite the rollercoaster. The EG squad went undefeated in the LCS Lock In before being swept out of the finals at the hands of Team Liquid, and their struggles in the LCS Spring Split resulted in a 2-4 record in the first three weeks. In the superweek of week 4, EG picked it up, winning back-to-back games against FlyQuest and Golden Guardians before a narrow loss to Counter Logic Gaming.
After the conclusion of week 4 of the 2022 LCS Spring Split, Evil Geniuses jungler Kacper "Inspired" Słoma sat down with Inven Global to discuss the team's struggles, his own level of play, and which jungler in the LCS stood out from the rest of the competition.
Did this close loss to Counter Logic Gaming just come down to Impact not using his Trynadmere ultimate in that last fight?
In the end, I don't think the Tryndamere ult mattered at all. The game was already over by then. We could have done better in previous teamfights. Around 20 minutes before their Zeri got really OP, we could have played our teamfights way cleaner.
I could have kicked Zeri once or twice more than I did, and if we landed some more hooks from Nautilus, the game could have been over in a much easier fashion for us. We missed those opportunities and the Zeri/Yuumi combo scaled very hard. At that point, the game was still low-key winnable, but it was pretty hard. We had to hope for them to make a mistake, which they did once, but never again, so it was pretty hard for us to get onto Zeri.
I don't think we played too badly, but our execution in teamfights should have been way better.
Still, I have to say two wins and a close loss are better than your 2-4 start to the Spring Split. What has your team been improving on recently?
I think jojopyun is getting more comfortable playing on stage. In the first few weeks on stage, he wasn't really himself compared to what he can do in scrims.
Also, our draft approach was a bit different this superweek. We went for more early game focus in our mid lane and jungle picks so we could make more plays early instead of just scaling. I think it's fine to play like that because then it's on you to make plays because you know you are on a certain timer and eventually, the game will be very hard to win at a certain point.
In the early weeks of the Spring Split, we were playing more of the stuff looking to outscale the opponent, but when we got to the point where the game should be easier for us because of that, we didn't execute well. We decided that we wanted to have more agency in the early game because of that. I think we did fine this week, but there is still a lot we can work on.
As someone who has played on stage before this year in the LEC, have you been able to help jojopyun acclimate at all?
For me, it was easier with time. It was pretty weird for me to play on stage in the LEC at first. I think you just need to play some games to get used to it. There's no easy way to skip over that process. I think jojopyun is already doing way better than he was at the beginning of the Spring Split, so he's getting there.
This week, EG had some out-of-game factors that seemed less than ideal — you were here Friday and ended up not playing at all due to technical difficulties, and as a result, had to play two games on Saturday. What was that like?
For me, it was more chill. We played two games in one day and I'm a much bigger fan of best-of-3s or best-of-5s compared to the best-of-1 format. Best-of-1 is a very boring format. You can't even experiment much because if you lose one game you lose the whole match, so I like playing more games on the day.
This wasn't a true best-of-3 or best-of-5, it was just two best-of-1s on the same day, but I felt we were way more focused during our second game because we had already played a game that day. That's how it works for me, at least. That's why I'm way more comfortable playing best-of-5s — if you lose a game, you can treat it as a warmup and play better in the next game, so how things unfolded was even better for me than normal, to be honest.
Before you even put on an EG jersey, people were already touting you as the best jungler in the LCS after a phenomenal 2021 season with Rogue. How do you feel like you've been playing individually?
I think we're drafting in a way where I can't really show much in most cases. Today, I think I played kind of badly, and I'm not happy with that. However, I think in our previous games, I'm pretty happy with how I played.
I think I got the team to the point where we were either scaling to a point where we should be stronger than our opponents and in our early game calls, I was doing well shotcalling and getting us a lead. I think I could have played better today, though, so that's the one game in which I'm unhappy with my performance.
You've now played against every LCS team. Which junglers have impressed you the most?
I don't know — Blaber, I guess? He was the only jungler in the LCS who did things I didn't expect. Every other game, including the games we lost, I didn't feel like the enemy team was playing that well, so I'm not really scared of any team. I think that if we play well during the second round-robin of the Spring Split, we can beat any team.
Thank you for the interview Inspired, is there anything you want to say to the EG fans?
Even though we're 4-5 right now and it doesn't look that hot, I will make everything happen to ensure we perform well in the Spring Playoffs.