League of Legends LCS: Breaking Down 2020 Evil Geniuses

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Evil Geniuses return to North American League of Legends in 2020, but what can we expect from them in the LCS this year?

Competitive League of Legends sees the return of an old franchise in Evil Geniuses, however, instead of returning to Europe they bought a spot in the LCS to replace Echo Fox.  So what can we expect from this team in 2020? Let’s take a look.

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Echo Fox didn’t have the best 2019. During the Spring Split, they finished at 8-10 and in sixth place, making it to the first round of the playoffs before losing to TSM.

During the Summer Split, they struggled a ton. Echo Fox went from a playoff team to last place with a 4-14 record.

Yet I’m counting this as a fresh start not a continuation of Echo Fox. So let’s take a look at the LCS roster for Evil Geniuses.

In the top lane is Colin “Kumo” Zhao, in the jungle is Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, mid lane is Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro and the bottom lane features a duo of Bae “Bang”  Jun-sik and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam.

Kumo is an interesting player to watch. He hasn’t seen a ton of time starting in the LCS, playing just four games during the 2019 LCS Summer Split.  However, he did win three of the four and had an average KDA of 4.1 in those contests.

After two seasons in the Academy, Kumo is set to make the jump to a full-time starter for EG. While Kumo isn’t going to be Evil Geniuses’ star player he isn’t expected to be.

He was rated the eighth-best LCS top laner in 2020. So he has plenty of room to grow as he gets more on-stage experience but isn’t the worst player in the top lane either which is nice.

C9 Svenskeren. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The jungle should be good to go as well, thanks to Svenskeren. The reigning LCS MVP is coming into 2020 in top form. He was rated as the second-best jungler in North America only behind Broxah.  However, for the time being with Broxah out with visa issues, he should slide into the top spot in the jungle ratings.

Plus having played with Kumo and Zeyzal before there is a synergy that can be taken advantage of, which is a plus for Evil Geniuses.

Jiizuke is an interesting selection, I feel he is a buy low sell high kind of pick up. He is coming off of a poor year in 2019 even though Team Vitality still made the playoffs in both LEC Splits. However, his fall is only to a middle of the pack laner, not to the bottom.

The LEC is known as a breeding ground of mid lane talent even for those that make the trip over to the LCS. I think the change in region with a little weaker competition should help Jiizuke improve in 2020. He is my pick to have a bounce-back year and could really help EG climb the standings if he does.

He was rated as the number six mid laner in the LCS preseason rankings, but I feel like he could perform a couple of spots better than that.

Bang and Zeyzal is an intriguing duo. Bang didn’t quite play as well as 100 Thieves would have liked him too in 2019. Zeyzal was part of a bottom lane that was considered the weakest point of Cloud9 in 2019. So both enter 2020 with something to prove.

Bang was rated as the number four ADC on the list which is very reasonable. He is talented and maybe it will just take another change of teams to get him back into top form. 

Zeyzal is the fifth rated support in the LCS entering 2020. Which is solid if unspectacular. yet I think this is Zeyzal’s chance to show he wasn’t the weak spot in that Cloud9 roster it was the ADC.

The bot lane should be ok though, as it does seem to be one of the higher-rated ones in the LCS.

As far as expectations go I have some mixed feelings. I feel like if you judge this team lightly they shatter expectations. Yet if you rate them too high they will whiff completely.

In terms of the high-end of expectations I say this could be a top-three roster and go to Worlds. They do have that much talent on the roster to compete with the higher-ups if everything comes together. Yet I feel like this team on the low-end of expectations could miss the playoffs entirely.

I think Evil Geniuses’ position in the standings will also be dependent on how a couple of other teams perform. I could see 100 Thieves and Cloud9 being their closest competitors to get a spot at worlds, or Dignitas and FlyQuest nipping at their heels for the final playoff spot if they have better than expected seasons.

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I don’t think it would be unreasonable to call this team the gatekeeper. They should have enough talent to keep the lower teams at the bottom of the standings, while testing teams that aspire to win titles. I’m predicting a fifth-place finish in Spring Split 2020.