Evil Geniuses are beginning to ramp up in the 2021 LCS Summer Split. So we spoke to their Strategic Coach Artemis to discuss it all.
After starting the split 0-3, Evil Geniuses are beginning to rebound in the second week of 2021 LCS Summer Split. Now currently sitting at 12-11, the Evil Geniuses are now back over .500 and looking to move up in the standings.
In this interview, we had the opportunity to speak to Evil Geniuses’ Strategic Coach Artemis, to talk about their recent game against Team Liquid and what it is like coaching Jiizuke.
That game was insane and congratulations on your victory. From a coaches perspective, talk to me about what that whole experience was like watching from backstage?
EG Artemis: It is absolutely exhausting. It drains all your mental and emotional energy. The hardest thing about coaching is that whenever you start the game, you relinquish total control to all of your players. As coaches, we like to delude ourselves into thinking we have actual control over the game. Yet, once you get backstage, listen to comms and hear them play you realize that it really is all up to them. We were a nervous wreck backstage the entire game, but I am sure that for our fans, this game against Team Liquid was super fun to watch. For us, it was mostly just stress.
I want to talk about the fans specifically. How much do you miss the fans and what is it like being back in the LCS studio?
EG Artemis: During Covid when we were at our offices, you really didn’t feel as invested into the game. I think for a lot of us, our passion for the game is a passion for the competition. The sound, stage, fans and casters all elevate that experience of competition.
Being back here in the LCS Studio is just a blessing. It feels really good to be back on stage because it makes this whole experience memorable. I am really sad that we cannot bring people in the studios yet. This game was an absolute banger and it would’ve been crazier with a live audience. Hopefully, they got that enjoyment from home. We are hopeful the fans will be back soon.
Talk to me about the Akali pick onto Jiizuke, we saw that as a heavy priority for you guys. What is your stance on Akali?
EG Artemis: Akali has become a more popular pick globally this weekend. We saw it in LEC and some sprinkles within the asian regions. Akali is definitely a champion with well-defined strengths in this meta. Akali utilizes gold extremely well. If she gets an early influx of gold, she completely takes over the game and a monster in mid-game fights. A lot of champions in the meta are not good against Akali which is why I feel like a lot of people are playing her. Different teams are going to do different things. For today, we felt like Akali would be a great pick for Jiizuke today, so we decided to let him have some fun.
Jiizuke is often viewed as the face of Evil Geniuses and gets labeled for a very inconsistent playstyle. Talk to me about Jiizuke and what it is like working alongside him?
EG Artemis: I think Jiizuke’s best quality is that he is such an amazing teammate. He is a really good person and is somebody you love to have in a practice environment. He is always making sure his teammates are in good spirits and making everyone smile. He is always doing his best to make sure his teammates are giving it their all in practice as well. He is an extremely productive member of our team in terms of the environment and is also a dangerous player.
My favorite part of Jiizuke in-game is how much presence he provides on the rift. It will be hard to see how much presence he provides unless you play him in-game or watch his proview. He is constantly pushing his lane limits so he can pressure the map.
His playstyle makes Evil Geniuses really hard to play against. Through Jiizuke, we are not afraid to press forward during moments when we need to play more aggressively.
As far as how I feel about it, Jiizuke definitely has his moments, but you never want to take away what makes a player great. With Jiizuke, I am really grateful to have him on this team. He is a big part of what makes this team so dangerous and what makes this team strongly connected. He is extremely kind, very talented and I am glad to have him as a part of our team.
After the 0-3, how do you get Evil Geniuses back in the right mindset? What was the preparation like?
EG Artemis: It was really frustrating to start the season 0-3. It is not the results we wanted, but analytically, there were a lot of positives from that weekend. We had a lot of winning positions in those games, maybe even in all of them. On one hand, you are really glad you can build those advantages early on to be in a winning position. However, there is more to a game than just the first half.
There is a saying in chess that the hardest part about playing in a winning position is actually winning. That is what we were struggling to do last week. However, the issues were very apparent to the players and coaching staff. We just constantly worked hard this past weekend to correct what was going on without damaging the aspects of what make us really good. I am really pleased with the work our coaching staff did and am really pleased with our players. I think this week, we are starting to piece together our strengths. I am really happy with the progress we are making in this team.
I wanted to give you the floor to talk to the Evil Geniuses fanbase and LCS viewers in general. Any final words?
EG Artemis: To our fans, first of all, thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to have your support behind us. We try our best to make the game fun for you and win the game. I am glad we could get some wins for you guys this week.
To the LCS fans in general, whether you love to hate us or appreciate us, we love you all the same. I think that part of what makes EG very cool to have in the League is how polarizing we are as a team. People will feel very strongly about us.
People will either view us as a coinflip or a contender. Right now, the majority view us as a coinflip. No matter where you lie on the spectrum as an LCS viewer, that is what it means to be an Evil Genius. We are not one to always conform nor are we the most stable team.
However, we will be the most fun team to watch, that is for sure. Thank you for your support. It has been a really fun split so far and I am happy we can make this split exciting for you guys.