Evil Geniuses is reportedly signing former Team Vitality mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro after failing to acquire the team’s initial choice, former Griffin mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. According to a report by Tyler “FionnOnFire” Erzberger and Jacob Wolf from ESPN, Chovy has decided to stay in South Korea and compete for League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) team DragonX instead.
Evil Geniuses sign Jiizuke
After being acquired by investment firm PEAK6, Evil Geniuses came onto the scene with a large budget and a desire to sign top talent. The organization purchased the former NRG Esports Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster along with Echo Fox’s League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) slot for $33 million. Chovy also received a multimillion-dollar offer from Evil Geniuses, but he preferred to remain in South Korea instead. With this avenue shot down, Jiizuke will be the replacement instead.
The Evil Geniuses roster will consist of former Cloud9 players in jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, support Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam, and top laner Colin “Kumo” Zhao. Former 100 Thieves AD carry Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Jiizuke will finish off the lineup.
Many in the community seem confused by Evil Geniuses’ choice, with Jiizuke underperforming during the 2019 League of Legends European Championship (LEC) season. Chovy saw first-place finishes with Griffin in the LCK, one of the hardest regions. On the other hand, Jiizuke and Team Vitality placed bottom half bracket in the LEC, along with not reaching Worlds.
Chovy to DragonX instead
Chovy departed Griffin after the organization was embroiled in an investigation into the team’s parent company, STILL8. This came after Griffin director Cho Gyu-nam and head coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho were both banned by Riot Games Korea. Other news also came to light surrounding physical and mental abuse of players by cvMax in the middle of Griffin’s path to the 2019 World Championships. While cvMax’s ban has been undone, Riot Games will still have a third party investigate the situation, which could lead to a future suspension.
Along with teammate Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon, Chovy will reunite with former head coach cvMax on DragonX. Unfortunately, Evil Geniuses will have to make do with the mid laner they have. It is reported that the team also considered using North American talent like Tanner “Damonte” Damonte or Eugene “Pobelter” Park, but they ultimately decided otherwise.
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