This is where things get a lot more interesting: Evil Geniuses taking on the former four-time LCS champions Team Liquid is undoubtedly one of the most exciting match-ups the 2022 LCS Lock-In tournament has to offer — and boy can we not wait for these two teams to spawn on the Rift and start trading blows!
Better yet, both line-ups have been assembled with a singular goal in mind: winning the LCS and leaving a mark internationally. Whether they’ll achieve such lofty goals still remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: they have the right players for the job.
Whereas Team Liquid went the “cliché” route (i.e. literally buying out the very best players they could find), Evil Geniuses opted for a more layered method: they’ve brought in two exceptional veterans and have promoted a young new mid laner who has never played on the LCS stage.
Sounds “ill-advised,” but it’s so crazy it might just work!
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) January 10, 2022
Evil Geniuses — Better Than Ever
One quick glance at EG’s line-up is all you need to understand why most folks have them pegged as a Top 3 team: Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong, Kacper “Inspired” Słoma, Joseph “Jojopyun” Pyun, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme are all staggeringly talented.
The only question mark, of course, is EG’s young and supposedly quite capable mid-laner Jojopyun. His stint in LCS Academy was definitely impressive, but he’ll now be tasked with competing against some of the very best players the West has ever produced. Will he be up to the task? That’s what we’re all so eager to find out. Generally speaking, we’re not fully convinced, but EG has one of the best coaching staffs in the business, so if they thought that Jojo has what it takes, who are we to disagree?
Across the Rift, though, they’ll face what can only be described as the most stacked line-up the LCS has ever seen.
Team Liquid — A Match Made in Heaven
On paper, Team Liquid have all the right tools to not only challenge 100 Thieves for the LCS throne but maybe even go the “whole nine yards.” They’re that good. Unfortunately, they’re not going to have the kind of start they were hoping for: Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in’s green card still hasn’t been approved which means that Team Liquid will have to choose between starting with him or with Steven “Hans Sama” Liv.
Quite unfortunate. Still, the rest of TL’s line-up has talent and experience for days so it’s not like they’ll lose much sleep over this unexpected (and wholly underwhelming) development. Plus, there’s really nothing on the line here so they can afford to mix and match players without enduring any consequences.
The fact that Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg also hasn’t played competitively for a year makes us quite hesitant to fully board the hype train. Team Liquid will dominate — there’s no doubt about it — but they’ll probably need a bit of time before they can get on the same page and execute as a five-man unit.
There are simply too many potential complications with Team Liquid this time around. Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau will also be swapping back to top and there’s no telling if he’ll hit the ground running or fumble his way through the Rift for the first few games of the season.
This game could really go either way. There’s no other way to say it. We’ll side with Evil Geniuses as they’ll have their full starting line-up, but by no means is this a safe bet.