Coming into the season, Evil Geniuses were called out by other teams in the League Championship Series as a scary roster. They signed Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, pairing them with their own young prodigies and World Champion top laner to create a volatile team with a ton of potential.
They immediately went 9-0 in their first games before losing 0-3 to Team Liquid in LCS Lock In 2022. Then, in the first round-robin of the LCS spring split, they went 4-5, cementing themselves as a team who has what it takes to go far in the LCS.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 5, 2022
“I’m very confident, even though we are 5-5,” Inspired said during Week 5 of the LCS. All he truly cares about right now, he said, is improving each week and securing playoffs.
“Regular season is a bit useless,” Inspired said. “You just need to make sure you get playoffs and then prepare well for the patch that playoffs are being played on. Those games will matter.”
Inspired predicted that Evil Geniuses would secure playoffs this split alongside Team Liquid, Cloud9, 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians and Dignitas QNTMPAY, but he said he didn’t care at all about the end-of-split standings.
He knows the importance of being ready for playoffs and how little regular season placement really matters. “With Rogue, I never won the LEC [playoffs], but I was first in the regular season a lot,” he said. “MAD Lions won two times, but they finished fourth and fifth [in the regular season].”
But, this offseason, Inspired left Europe behind and joined the LCS, which is often referred to as a place where European players come to make money and retire.
“I don’t really treat it as a retirement home,” Inspired said. “I think the region might be even more competitive than the one in the EU now because, I think in EU, every team is kind of bad except Rogue … I don’t see Fnatic as a strong team when I watch their games.”
This may sound strange, given his own team’s standings, but Inspired’s confidence in Evil Geniuses comes from the improvement he has seen in his team through their weeks of practice, especially in his relationship with Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun and the growth he’s had over the split.
“I think in the beginning we needed some experience because Jojo was just starting to play on stage,” Inspired said, noting their rough 2-4 start to the spring split. “I could see in his gameplay that it was not the same guy that was playing in scrims. But now he’s getting better and better at that.”
“Today, he seemed very confident,” Inspired said. “It’s for sure a good sign. I’m feeling confident with the upcoming matches.”
Jojopyun’s growth not only makes Evil Geniuses a stronger team, but it’s also one of the reasons Inspired was excited to join Evil Geniuses in the first place.
“I expected to enjoy playing with someone like jojopyun,” Inspired said of his rookie mid laner. “[He] is a fresh player that you can teach everything, rather than playing with some mediocre veteran player that has his way of play and will not really change it.”
Inspired said he knew he must work with this roster to get them to a more comfortable and capable place and that he was excited to help make it happen.
We're back with another episode of The EG Files!
Watch to find out more about @jojopyunlol, how Vulcan ACTUALLY broke his ankle, and our players' thoughts on our performance in the last two weeks!
Watch now: https://t.co/ggdastjHxh
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) March 4, 2022
Before Evil Geniuses, Inspired’s only major region team was Rogue. And, though he found a lot of success with them, he was ready for a new challenge.
“I just wanted to change my team after playing with Rogue for such a long time,” Inspired said about his decision to leave Europe last offseason. “I just felt like EG were a good choice. I thought the roster was very promising.”
In addition to jojopyun’s rapid growth and the team’s ever-developing synergy, Evil Geniuses assistant coach, Han “Rigby” Earl finally arrived in Los Angeles to be with the team mid-split after experiencing visa delays. He has taken over drafting for the team on stage, which gives them one more tool to improve and win on the day.
“He probably just plays a lot of champs,” Inspired said of Rigby’s expansive knowledge. “He knows how the matchup should be played out and knows win conditions well. He can put himself in the game and knows what we need to pick to win. It feels very clear with him.”
Luckily, for Inspired and the team, there are a few more weeks of the regular season to continue gathering experience for their younger players. Then, if they secure playoffs, they’ll put their practice to the test in the games that truly matter. After all, a ticket to the Mid-Season Invitational is on the line.