Danny speaks about Evil Geniuses’ match against Dignitas ,his individual performance and opponents he wants to face at this year’s Worlds.

Evil Geniuses are at the top of the 2022 LCS Summer Split and are the closest to making it to the playoffs. Esports.gg’s Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge spoke to EG’s Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki after their win over Team Dignitas in Week 4 of the LCS.

Piratechnics: Congratulations on your win. It was a very slow game but you styled on the map in the end. Were you ever considering [that] the game was up in the air? – Impact got shutdown a lot early, and Shyvana was very difficult to kill.

EG Danny: I think the game definitely could have been won in their favor, multiple times. They had multiple chances to just take the game from us but they always got shut down by us. They never got a chance to push the game forward in the direction that they wanted to. Being able to eventually get those four items on Jinx which is really important because [they are] debatably the best items on her. (Laughs). So yeah, we held out really well.

Pira: Speaking of your Jinx, you actually made a very interesting adaptation to the Zeri – you picked Ghost. Was that a dueling adaptation or just a form of confidence?

EG Danny: It’s definitely a form of confidence. I think the Ghost is not the best thing I could have taken this game. Heal was definitely a lot better, Cleanse as well – those kinds of things. But Ghost is a really nice summoner spell because their team really needed to catch me in order to win the game. So if I just got out of their range and kept moving fast, I had Jinx passive, I had Ghost so they couldn’t catch me. I was able to free hit forever. 

Pira: We kind of saw why Jinx is the signature Champion for you as well. You are now three splits into the LCS –Very young player and still already with a title under your belt. I think a lot of people say Danny is the best homegrown North American talent people have seen in a long time. Is that something that is especially important to you in a region that is full of imports?

EG Danny: I think there’s some importance in having that kind of title – the best domestic talent. It does really mean a lot to me because I want to be recognized. When I first came in here I think I wanted to make a big splash and to just be the best. I think I am still working there. There are some people that are still better than me and I am trying to get to their level and even above. 

Pira: Is there anyone in the League, whether in the bot lane or elsewhere as someone you look up to, to take inspiration from?

EG Danny: I definitely look up to Hans Sama and CoreJJ the most. They are debatably the best bot lane in the entire league. But they definitely have a lot of experience and potential. So yeah, I look up to them.

Pira: You’re going to be playing them tomorrow actually. How confident are you after that big win that you are going to be able to take it to Team Liquid?

Danny: I think this game served as a wake-up call. We kind of played a little sloppy and we let the game drive into their control. We eventually brought it back so we definitely will try to keep our guard up against Team Liquid of course considering they are a better team than Dignitas. 

Image Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games via ESPAT

Pira: I know you had a week off. People went on vacation, were able to take some time, maybe just play solo [queue]. Do you think some of that sloppy play was just a result of having been off for a week, or is that a more systemic issue that you guys have been working on as a squad?

EG Danny: For me it was definitely feeling a bit sluggish. We didn’t really have that same focus after the break. So I think we’re just trying to get back into it. 

Pira: Back at MSI, you were fairly critical of your own performance. But you have had a couple of months away now and you are back on the LCS stage. How do you feel about your performance since then, and what was the biggest takeaway now that you are able to see it from a distance?

EG Danny: I was definitely critical of that performance because it was my first international tournament. I wanted it to be special in a sense. I was definitely rating it very highly. Now that I’ve taken a couple of months to look back at it, it wasn’t just all that bad. 

It was just the best bot lanes in the world versus me. So it’s kind of nice to know that I didn’t get completely stomped. Now that I’ve been in MSI it’s just a matter of translating what I’ve learned of being beaten by them to using it in my own gameplay and beating these teams in domestic. They play the map really well, they play with their team really well. I think that’s the biggest thing – I want to play with my team really well.

I’m kind of the lone wolf player. I like to be really selfish. I like to carry the game on my own which kind of resembled this game but not really cause Inspired was really smurfing. I really like playing with my team – they are so much fun to play with. I definitely think we could mirror that.

Image Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games via ESPAT

Pira: And It helps to have friends around you when there’s a giant Dragon trying to kill you! In terms of internationals, you have one under your belt. But now Worlds is on the horizon. Currently EG are on the top of the table in the LCS. If trends hold, you can make another Championship and should be able to get there. Is there anybody you are looking forward to facing should you make Worlds, potentially some rematches from some of those bot lanes that beat you at MSI?

EG Danny: As for rematches I really want to play T1 again. Playing against [them] was one of the best experiences I’ve had. Just their whole team, not just their bot lane. They were all cracked.  From here, I think our only contenders are Team Liquid and maybe 100 Thieves. So we’ll definitely get there. I mean, we’re doing well in regular season, which is surprising because it’s a best of one. We are a best-of-five team so we’ll definitely be doing a lot better.

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piratechnics - LoL Commentator

piratechnics

LoL Commentator | Twitter: @PiraTechnics

Devin "PiraTechnics" Younge is a League of Legends PBP caster who rose to prominence during his time on the EU LCS from 2015 to 2017. Since then he has also branched out into other esports titles. He is currently a caster for Riot Games' PCS 2022 Spring Split.