“We’re up to par with these guys,” Derrek on proving EG can hang with the rest of VCT Americas cover image

“We’re up to par with these guys,” Derrek on proving EG can hang with the rest of VCT Americas

Esports.gg spoke with Evil Geniuses’ Derrek after he and the team shocked Sentinels during VCT Americas 2024 Stage 1.

In an out-of-nowhere victory, Evil Geniuses defeated Sentinels during VCT Americas 2024 Stage 1. It was filled with incredible comebacks and a very tight final map that saw Derrek "Derrek" Ha clutch up for the win.

Following the must-win series for EG, we spoke with the winning playmaker himself. Derrek discussed the series, how the final play went down, and what beating SEN does for the team's confidence heading into their last Stage 1 match against NRG.

EG Derrek details the importance of the win against Sentinels

"We’ve got to talk about the series. First, the comeback by Sentinels on Lotus. Simply put, what happened?"

Derrek: "There were a few funny rounds in the mix. A lot of retakes from our side that didn't go our way. Not winning the pistol was kind of rough, because it was definitely in our hands and the trades didn't really happen. I definitely should have been ours, and we definitely should have closed out Lotus, for sure."

"As they got closer to tying the game, did you feel like momentum was on their side?"

Derrek: "Oh, for sure. Momentum was on their side. They all had like infinite money. They had 8-9k credits. Everyone was shooting their guns. I could see them yelling and stuff. At that point, once we finally got that 10th round, I felt like we could've closed it out there, but obviously it didn't go that way."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Okay, and you guys replicated that comeback on Bind. It wouldn’t be the first time this year we’ve seen EG put something like that together. How do you find the energy of this roster to be when down by so many rounds?"

Derrek: "First of all, I'd say today we played actually up to the standard of how we play in practice. Our comms were super good. We were energetic. Wwe didn't start off slow on Lotus, which kind of carried over into Bind.

"Obviously, the score was 10:2, but the ways in which we were losing rounds were much better than the ways we lost rounds against other teams that we played previously. Our trades and our spacing, and our overall energy was just way better.

"As far as the comeback aspect of it, I mean, it's literally just, 'Listen guys, it's 10:2, they did it to us 9:3.' Then you just have to take it round by round. And Jawgemo did say that if we won the bonus, he had us for that Bind game. So yeah, we had to close it out for him."

"In your words, what role did you play in the Bind comeback? In terms of the game itself, vibes, comms, anything."

Derrek: "Yeah, I'm not going to lie. Wait, can I curse?"

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)


Derrek: "Okay, I was getting sh*t on, on Bind. The amount of timings. Like, Sacy got timings on me in so many rounds. I was getting spammed, I was getting Oped. I hated it, but as soon as I died, I just went straight to comms.

"I called positions. I called numbers that they had, util that we had. And I mean, if you're getting unlucky or you're not trading back, you definitely have to upkeep on other things."

"Then we move onto Sunset. You were a part of some very crucial plays there, including the clutch to win it. Talk me through those final moments as you sat in B Main."

Derrek: "It was 3v3, right? So, we knew they had a lot of util from rotating all the way over from A and Mid. Jawgemo felt like he couldn't get out in time, so we told him to stay on site. Just play a kind of double line from back ticket booth in B Main, as default guy holding spawn.

"So, that's initially what we did. Unfortunately, Jawgemo died and then didn't get traded if I'm remembering correctly. And then up to that point it was me and NaturE, just jiggling and going for straight shots.

"Trying to get a lucky one tap as we can audibly hear them running to defuse the bomb. Once NaturE died, I was very comfortable in that spot, because it's very hard in that situation, especially with all the pressure in the game right now, to just hit a free one tap if I'm jiggling and just shooting two bullets.

"So, I killed the defuser. Then I got a lot of sh*t for this, but the Fade eye glitched. I promise you if the eye didn't catch the corner of the ticket booth, it's supposed to see the defuser.

"I've done it so many times, and then it's just unfortunate that it glitched out this time. But luckily it didn't affect me and I still won the round for us, thank god."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"And where would you rank that play and that victory, comparing it to other impactful moments in your career?"

Derrek: "This is probably in the top three, just because of the importance of winning it. If we didn't win, we have zero chance for playoffs. Winning it at least gives us some sort of chance.

"If we beat NRG, and the bracket works in a favorable way for us, we would get into playoffs. So, there are a lot of ifs, but at least we have a chance."

"As you’re probably well aware, it hasn’t been the best couple of years in the VCT for you and the teams you’ve found yourself on. Were you and the rest of Evil Geniuses ready to kind of accept that the first Stage was a bust heading into the match against Sentinels?"

Derrek: "I think it's in the back of everyone's mind, like we 0-3. We couldn't even beat the, I won't say some of the not lesser teams, but teams that aren't looked upon as highly as Sentinels and NRG.

"Yeah, it is in the back of your mind, but you can't let it affect you. Obviously, we just have to come to play. I think all of us came to play today and we had a good showing."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Moving forward then, what has this win done to your confidence with that series against NRG up next?"

Derrek: "I think getting that first one is just huge for us. Having three newer players to the Americas League, just getting that first win, and especially against a team like Sentinels. Just showing that, yeah, we do belong here.

"Sure we were 0-3, but we can shoot back guys. We're up to par with these guys, on a good day, when we play to our standard. So yeah, I'm looking forward to playing against NRG and I'm hoping we show that same standard in that series."

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