Evil Geniuses head coach Peter Dun assured there will be more pages in the playbook for the LCS regular season.
The assurance comes after a highly disappointing 0-3 loss to Team Liquid in the Lock in semifinals. A team comprising untamed talent and international standouts, EG was unexpectedly asked to leave during the tournament’s penultimate stage against Liquid.
This was notably unlike the hyper-competitive Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves series, which saw a -2 reverse sweep fall in C9’s favor. EG struggled to push the series past 80 minutes, marking a disappointing ending to their otherwise exciting Lock In.
At the end of the day, it won’t affect qualifications for Worlds, but if you’re going to lose, lose 3-2, you know?” Dun told Dexerto. Dun said he understands if EG fans felt let down. League is a game that involves taking some hits, however, you are expected to retaliate with a few of your own before someone’s Nexus goes down.
Much to EG’s chagrin, the hits kept coming to them throughout the series. “Let’s play to our strengths; let’s play aggression; let’s play things that will let us jump in and fight all the time,” Dun said.
“When teams weren’t expecting it, we were able to get some free, cheap wins. But Team Liquid has a very smart coaching staff, and Jatt is a very good drafting coach. He figured us out.” It was clearly not the end EG imagined, but one that could be expected.
Dun also opened up about how the remote coaching situation didn’t favor his ambition for this team. The day-to-day was being run by Assistant Coach Brandon ‘Mash’ Phan and Strategic Coach Connor ‘Artemis’ Doyle, downgrading the head coach to only 1-on-1 remote sessions and case studies with his players whenever there was an opportunity.
Impressed with the early results of the Lock In tournament, the former MAD Lions coach could already visualize how he wants to develop the team moving forward from the 0-3 TL series. He admittedly took a quick look at some LCS power rankings beforehand and noticed that his team was placed far away from the top.
“When I saw tier lists at the start of the season putting this EG team at 6th or 7th, or scrapping for a playoff place; I mean, I think it’s a bit disrespectful to the players that we got there,” he said. Jungler Dennis ‘Svenskeren’ Johnsen has been a part of international events seven of his 10 years as a pro.
EG #LCS fall 0-3 to Team Liquid.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) January 31, 2021
Lee ‘IgNar’ Dong-Geun played a vital role in pushing Faker and 2017 Worlds runner-ups SKT to a Game 5 in the quarterfinals. AD Carry Matthew ‘Deftly’ Chen and Mid Laner Daniele ‘Jiizuke’ di Mauro have proved that they are fit for their respective roles.
Dun, who is excited for the players that he has, sees this team garnering huge success in the postseason if they will it. He is understandably eager to take a flight to L.A. Come the middle of the season, come the end of the season when we’re playing for Worlds, we’re going to have more pages in our playbook,” the 33-year-old coach said.
“We had maybe one or two, in the Lock In tournament and not too much beyond that. That’s okay, it’s still early in the season, players are still learning to play with each other.” There’s an obvious path for where he wants to take the team, and there’s also an apparent reason why EG fans should expect a rough season.
“The kind of things we want to do this season as a team, are naturally sometimes going to look really really good,” he said. “And sometimes it’s going to look really really bad.”
You have to balance risk and reward,” he began, more teaching than explaining. “Some teams prefer to minimize risk and maximize reward. I would say we’re going to be a team that is not about minimizing risk, it’s about making sure we get more reward for every risk we take.
“I think that’s the philosophy you’ll see around EG this year.”
Team Liquid defeated the Worlds-aspiring underdogs., however, it is worth noting that EG has a head coach who can mold individuals into an exciting team. “Liquid found a good way to counter what we were doing in this tournament. It’s a good learning experience if we get to play another best-of-five against Team Liquid later this year,” he said.
“We’re going to have a lot of catastrophic clown-fiesta games, I’m sure. MAD Lions definitely had their fiestas last year. I can’t promise you EG will win all of our games, but I promise that every game we play will be entertaining to watch.”
Evil Geniuses will be opening the 2021 LCS season against 100 Thieves, on Feb. 5 at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST / 1 AM GMT (Feb 6). Watch this space for the latest esports news.