After an underwhelming first year in NA, Bae "Bang" Jun-sik left 100 Thieves and joined Evil Geniuses after it bought the Echo Fox slot in the League of Legends Championship Series. He was greeted by a myriad of former Cloud9 members, including the Summer 2019 Honda MVP, Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen, and his bot duo, Tristan "Zeyzal" Stidam.
The team hit the ground running, finalizing their roster in early December and heading immediately to Korea for a long winter bootcamp before scrims began stateside. After a 1-1 opening weekend for the team, Bang spoke with Inven Global about his transition on the team and expectations moving forward in the season.
I’m here with Bang after Evil Geniuses’ first LCS win. How do you feel about your play today
It’s cool that we got our first win. This is a new team for all of our players, so we’ve been pretty excited even before the start of the season. I’m happy that we got our first win today.
Yesterday, EG played its first game of the season against DIG and lost. Did you guys make any adjustments before today’s match?
We were feeling okay yesterday, but we made some small mistakes, and the game was pretty hard to win after that. However, the mistakes were pretty simple and due to nerves and factors like that, so we didn’t care too much about the mistakes themselves. It was the first match, after all, and we still have a lot more games to play in the regular split. We didn’t let it get to us too much before the match today.
You beat 100 Thieves today, which is your former organization from last season. Was your familiarity with players like Support William "Stunt" Chen and Top Laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho from last year helpful today?
It’s a totally different season, so that wasn’t much of a helpful factor for me today.
What’s different for you on Evil Geniuses compared to 100 Thieves last year?
The biggest difference is the roster. I played for 100 Thieves last season, and I didn’t know too much about LCS before joining the team. After I played in LCS for two splits, I thought Cloud9's support Zeyzal was a pretty good player, and Svenskeren had a great 2019 in the Jungle with C9, too. This roster is a big difference for me.
How would you describe your team’s style?
I think we’re aiming to properly solidify our fundamentals, and after we set those in place, we can play a pretty solid, methodical style. Still, we are always working on finding the best way for us to win.
This meta features three strong Bot Lane carries in Aphelios, Miss Fortune, and Senna, the latter of whom you won with today. What do you think of the current AD Carry meta?
In a team game, AD Carry seems pretty strong, but that’s also because we have Tahm Kench, Braum, or some type of other slow support champion in this meta. The meta is about team-fighting and our team-based goals, which for us, are usually centered around objectives like Dragon Soul or Rift Herald. AD Carry may seem strong in this meta, but every role on the team is important for making that happen.
How long has Evil Geniuses been practicing?
Usually, professional players just play Solo Queue in the off-season, but we’ve been practicing together since mid-December. We had a bootcamp in South Korea, which allowed me to focus on my game, so I think that was a good thing for us. It was also really fun; I definitely want to bootcamp in Korea again.
Did you guys play against any other teams bootcamping in Korea at the same time as yourselves?
We played once against Counter Logic Gaming. Cloud9 also bootcamped in Korea, but we only played against CLG.
When you entered the off-season after your full first season in the LCS, was there anything specific you were looking for in 2020?
I had a few options, but the EG roster was most ideal to me.
Your mid laner, Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro played LeBlanc today in his trademark aggressive style. You’ve played with a good LeBlanc or two in the past, so I’m interested in hearing your opinions on Jiizuke’s play.
*Laughs* I haven’t had a ton of time playing with EU mid laners, but I’m pretty sure he’s playing pretty well. We have to be together, though, you know? Sometimes he goes crazy in a good way...and sometimes, in a bad way *laughs* we are still working on adjustments.
Are there any specific goals you’re setting for the 2020 season?
Obviously just win as much as I can. I want to go to Worlds and the Mid-Season Invitational so I can play internationally again.
Thank you for the interview, Bang. Is there anything you want to say to your fans or the EG fans?
Thank you for supporting us, I really appreciate it.