After acquiring Echo Fox’s LCS slot, Evil Geniuses are one of three LCS teams coming into the Spring split with a completely new roster. Over half of the new roster are from Cloud9’s LCS and academy teams, and the remaining two players are imports from Europe and Korea. There are plenty of storylines and hype about the new roster, as it includes the ‘19 Summer split MVP jungler, 3rd-Team LCS All-Pro support, the Italian Stallion Jiizuke, and a former world champion bot laner.
2020 Starters (Evil Geniuses)
Top: Kumo – Former Cloud9 Academy
Jungle: Svenskeren – Former Cloud9
Mid: Jiizuke – Former Team Vitality
Bot: Bang – Former 100 Thieves
Support: Zeyzal – Former Cloud9
Fantasy Player/Team Projections
Ever since he began playing for Cloud9 Academy in ‘18, Kumo has been arguably the best top laner in the academy league. During the ‘19 Summer split, Kumo played 4 games each in the academy league and LCS and he was popping off all over the place. He averaged 4.6 kills and 8.8 assists per game in academy and was almost able to repeat the statline in the LCS, averaging 4.5 kills and 5.8 assists per game. In his small 4 game LCS sample size, he managed to become the second highest rated top laner of all LCS/LEC tops in terms of average fantasy points scored per game (24.5), just .3 points behind Bwipo. The success he had in his small sample size bodes well for his first season as a starter, so be sure to pick him early before his price catches up to his continued success.
After coming off of his first MVP split, everyone considers Svenskeren to be the best jungler currently playing in the LCS. While earning the MVP award is a tremendous feat, it doesn’t automatically make him the best jungler when it comes to fantasy. Similar to TSM’s Bjergsen, being an MVP on the rift is not about stats, rather completely revolving around winning, whether the impact comes up in the box score or not. Out of all LCS/LEC junglers last Summer split, Svenskeren ranked 4th in average fantasy points per game (20.8 ppg) (min 5 GP). Unlike his teammate Kumo, Svenskeren performed at this level for 15 games as opposed to just 4, so his consistency has been tested and proven to be solid. Svenskeren will have a high starting price when fantasy launches, and if the Evil Geniuses can live up to the hype, Svenskeren will be worth the price.
Jiizuke a.k.a “The Italian Stallion,” has been competing in Europe for the past 5 years, and now he’s decided to try and make his mark in NA. Last summer, Jiizuke and Team Vitality finished the LEC Summer split tied for 6th place (5th in Spring). As a result, Jiizuke ranked 15th among all LCS/LEC mid laners in average fantasy points per game (17.8 ppg) (min 5 GP). For how mediocre Vitality was as a team, Jiizuke ranking 15th makes sense. Over the entirety of the ‘19 LEC Summer split, Jiizuke had .21 more deaths than kills per game, which is a VERY bad sign for fantasy scoring. The bright side is that he accrued these stats while with a struggling Team Vitality, and Evil Geniuses are expected to perform better than Vitality did last Summer. If this holds true, Jiizuke will end up producing more points per game than his starting price would suggest. So, pick Jiizuke for an average costing mid with an elite player upside.
After winning world championships back to back in ‘15 and ‘16 with SKT, Bang has had a rough couple of years. Most recently, he and 100 Thieves finished the 2019 LCS summer regular split tied for 6th place. It’s quite a fall from grace, going from winning worlds to being on a 6th place NA team. With Evil Geniuses, Bang is looking to show the LCS why he was on the worlds finals stage two years in a row. Last summer, Bang ranked 15th out of all LCS/LEC bot laners in average fantasy points per game (19.7 ppg), which isn’t that bad considering the fact that ranks 10th to 15th are only separated by 1.1 points per game. He was able to salvage his rank by carrying his team more than any other bot laner, shown by having the lowest death percentage of any bot laner (12.8%), and the highest damage percentage of any bot laner (31.3%). Now that Bang is on a team where he isn’t the only player able to carry a game, he can drastically outscore his ‘19 Summer stats and approach top 5 at the position. Be sure to pick him to start the season while his cost is still low, and then build a roster of even stronger players with the remaining budget.
Multiple years with Cloud9 and back to back world championship appearances have transformed Zeyzal from a promising young talent into a seasoned veteran of the LCS. Along with his teammates Svenskeren and Kumo, Zeyzal left Cloud9 to have a chance at not only winning the LCS, but showing up at the world championship once again. Last Summer, Zeyzal ranked 4th out of all LCS/LEC supports in average fantasy points scored per game (16.4 ppg). With an average of 9.7 assists per game, it’s no surprise that Zeyzal is up there with big names like Mikyx and CoreJJ. Given his high ranking last summer, Zeyzal will cost a pretty penny to have on your roster at the beginning of the season. This, coupled with the lower expectations of EG compared to C9 last year, lead to Zeyzal not being a good pick early in the split while his price is still inflated.
Evil Geniuses acquired Echo Fox’s spot in the LCS and swapped out every player on the main roster, so past team results can’t be used to predict how they’ll perform this year. However, given that 3 of the 5 starting players on this roster played on Cloud9 in ‘19, translating their team stats to this team could be a good indicator. Last summer, Cloud9 ranked 5th out of all LCS/LEC teams in average fantasy points per game (19.1 ppg). Given this, plus the possibility of Bang showing his true potential and Jiizuke holding down the mid lane, it’s entirely possible that Evil Geniuses could meet or even surpass Cloud9’s average last summer. Add on the fact that both Jiizuke and Bang have performed well on successful teams in the past, (2 time world champs SKT for Bang, and 2018 worlds group stage Vitality for Jiizuke) and EG could very well be an above average team points scorer in 2020. However, I use the words “possible” and “could” for a reason. Nobody knows how these 5 players will perform as a team outside of Kumo, Svenskeren, and Zeyzal. The obscurity is the only thing holding me back from saying they will be able to hang with the top dogs like TL, C9, and TSM. If this EG roster was coming into Spring with only a few changes, and a history of success (like the teams previously mentioned), it would be much easier to peg them as a top 3 team. Even with this uncertainty, they are looking like an above .500 team, with the ability to be top 3 if they mesh well..