Esports organization Evil Geniuses just had its most important day in years. The organization finalized its acquisition of the NRG Esports Counter-Strike: Global Offensiver roster, and is set to acquire the open franchise spot that previously belonged to Echo Fox.
The news marks a triumphant return for Evil Geniuses. The organization has been out of competitive CS:GO for seven years, and the last time the EG brand was present in League of Legends was in the 2014 NA LCS Summer Split. In returning to the LCS as a franchised partner for the 2020 season and securing a top competitive CS:GO roster, Evil Geniuses has put itself back in the conversation of top esports organizations in North America.
On August 14th, LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley announced that Echo Fox's LCS spot would be up for auction due to forced sale after the organization failed to comply with mandates made by Riot Games after the LCS' investigation into accusations of racial abuse from an Echo Fox shareholder.
A 30-day auction began on August 16th, and forty days later, Evil Geniuses looks to have won the bid. As stated in its official announcement, EG will look to build a roster from the ground up as opposed to building from the ashes of Echo Fox 2019. The team has some time to decide what is best for the construction of its new franchise, as the 2020 LCS Spring Split will not begin until near the end of January.
However, Evil Geniuses won't have to wait that long to see if its other recent acquisition in action. EG acquired the NRG Esports CS:GO roster just before the start of ESL One New York 2019. In its first ESL One match this afternoon, Evil Geniuses defeated FaZe Clan in a dominant 2-0 performance.
EG CEO Nicole Lapointe Jameson explained in the team's official statement that she had previously set her sights on the LCS as a premiere esports competition:
“Part of my experience with PEAK6 (and now, with EG) is knowing that in order to be considered the best, you have to compete where the best are. I could not imagine an EG without a push towards the LCS, and we’re happy to be able to put down roots as a franchise owner.
We’ve had nothing but a good experience working with Riot, and we’ll be expanding our operations to Los Angeles to accommodate the needs of the new roster. We’re looking forward to the new members of the EG cabal that will make all this possible.”
Esports is a volatile industry that is as passionate as it is unforgiving, but today, Evil Geniuses can stand proud.