2021 Was not a good year for Evil Geniuses’ CS:GO side. Spending the bulk of the year locked out of the top tier of competitive play in Europe thanks to the pandemic, when the team were able to travel to Europe, their lack of practice against the world’s best painfully shone through.
To their credit, however, Evil Geniuses (EG) have remained committed to the game and their relegation outside the top thirty in the world standings has prompted a dramatic and exciting overhaul. With the rumors over their new arrivals all but confirmed online, Gamelevate takes you through the changes the org has made, and why you should be supporting the side as NA’s next chief representatives this year.
Out With The Old
Following the departures of Ethan “Ethan” Arnold and Tarik “tarik” Celik in February and April 2021 respectively, Evil Geniuses saw out the remainder of the year with the experimental lineup consisting of veterans Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte, Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov, Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz and the additions of Polish entry fragger Michał “MICHU” Müller and former-Complexity prodigy Owen “oBo” Schlatter.
Damian “daps” Steele also returned to CS:GO following a stint in VALORANT as head coach, though the side was never able to ever look especially settled over the remainder of the year. In-game leader stanislaw took a short break from competitive play in the autumn, and the complications of travel, boot camping, and getting up to the match-sharpness of the predominantly European teams at the top of the competitive ladder all just seemed to pile on top of the lineup.
EG fell at the first hurdle at the likes of the IEM Cologne Play-In, ESL Pro League Season 14, BLAST Fall Groups and the BLAST Fall Showdown, and the PGL Stockholm Major, all of which resulted in the org deciding to close the year with a dramatic reset.
In With The New
If CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson’s admittedly hilarious Tweet is to be believed, Evil Geniuses are set to arrive into 2022 with the following lineup:
- Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte
- Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov
- William “RUSH” Wierzba
- Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip
- Timothy “autimatic” Ta
Undoubtedly the biggest storyline with this lineup is the reunion of the famous Cloud9 trio that stole the 2018 ELEAGUE Boston Major, NA’s only Major triumph and still one of the biggest shocks Esports has ever seen. Whilst RUSH and Stewie2k are openly available following their spells with Complexity and Team Liquid respectively, EG luring autimatic out of the VALORANT scene after just a year or so is a seriously interesting coup that we would be hyped to see play out.
How Good Would This Team Be?
It looks for all the world that this is set to be the lineup Evil Geniuses arrive at the upcoming BLAST Spring Groups 2022 tournament on January 28th, so the question remains: how good would this team be?
The first thing to say is that, whilst some were speculating that their places in the lineup might have been under scrutiny, EG’s retention of Brehze and Cerq should ensure the org can still count on two of the most consistent fraggers in the NA scene on their day.
RUSH is perhaps one of the most selfless and underrated players in the entire CS:GO space, capable of anchoring on any site in the pool and with a remarkable depth of knowledge when it comes to utility usage. Stewie2k is one of the most talismanic characters the game has ever produced, whilst autimatic was comfortably a top 10 AWPer during his time in the game on his day.
Also shouldn’t be forgotten that the latter three are all Major winners as well, which comes with its own class of pedigree and experience.
All in all, for the good of CS:GO as a global Esport, North America needs a flamboyant and talismanic team that can strut their stuff against the established faces in Europe. And, with this new lineup, EG looks ready to bring some of the biggest characters the scene has produced together again. It looks set to be an exciting chapter for the game’s competitive scene, and we can’t wait to watch it unfold!