“I had a lot of faith this past split, I wanted to show everyone that I am one of the best, but sadly, we lost as a team, and we stop here. I don’t think anyone is satisfied with what we got.” Jiizuke
The 2021 spring season wasn’t the hottest for League of Legends team Evil Geniuses: coin-flipping, overextension, communication issues, and poor macro play plagued its performance throughout the split. Despite having a roster filled with talent, the team failed to find its identity, ultimately losing to TSM in the Mid-Season Showdown. One of those talented players, mid-laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, spoke to Syft about the playoff series as well as the season as a whole.
Coming out of the 2020 offseason, the overall outlook was positive for Evil Geniuses. The team had put together a talented roster of aggressive, like-minded players, as well as a coaching staff known for its aggressive rosters. It was looking as though the team was perfectly set-up to succeed in 2021.
But the product on the Rift in spring was nowhere near the expectation. Instead of using its aggression as a tool, players coin-flipped seemingly every objective, failing to play the macro game effectively. While the team was able to secure a playoff spot in the Mid-Season Showdown, Jiizuke admits its performance against TSM wasn’t exactly a cause for elation.
Mistakes have been a common theme throughout the season for Evil Geniuses: overextending, discoordination and macro mistakes haunted the team and its fans. In its playoff matchup against TSM, it was the same old story.
“Most games were in our hands, we just threw,” Jiizuke explained. The mid laner said that “one big mistake” cost them their losses, leading to TSM’s victory in the series.
“I think the enemy made more mistakes than us, but still, we made the mistakes on the timers where they would get everything, and that was the game… Maybe we even played better than them. But we made the mistakes at the timings that just lost the game.”
There is no denying the talent of the Evil Geniuses roster. Jiizuke is a renowned player worldwide, much like his teammates Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen. The talent isn’t the issue: constant mistakes suppressed the team’s talent, leading to its middling season.
“Of course I’m not satisfied, I wanted to play more and show what I was capable of, but sadly, our journey ends here, right, so we have to wait until summer to prove ourselves again.”
Although many were rightfully predicting Team Liquid and Cloud9 to succeed in spring, the signings of Impact and IgNar and the hiring of head coach Peter Dun made Evil Geniuses a dark horse for some. However, the team just failed to find an identity, coin-flipping its season away.
Jiizuke admitted the team is nowhere near satisfied with its performance in spring, but the best they can do now is plan for the future. “There’s a long break, so just try to reset your mind, and regroup for summer.”
Evil Geniuses will have about two months until the beginning of summer, and Jiizuke said he is interested in traveling, “If I can, I will go to Korea.” However, he did acknowledge that it’s likely he won’t be able to.
Although spring was disappointing for Evil Geniuses and its fans, summer represents a new opportunity to form and find an identity. The talent on the roster is still there with a skilled coaching staff backing them up. If Evil Geniuses can clean up their play and utilize their aggression as a weapon, the team very well may find success in 2021.