Jawgemo let esports.gg know his thoughts on having a brand new team for VCT Americas just one season removed from becoming a world champion.
There's a lot to be excited about with VCT Americas 2024 starting. Several teams have new rosters, which is especially true for Evil Geniuses. In a rather shocking, yet not-so-shocking turn of events, only one member of the world championship team remains, Alexander "Jawgemo" Mor.
All teams participating in the upcoming season took part in a set of media days. During those, we had a chance to speak with Jawgemo. He gave insight into his teammates departing, what to expect from the new-look Evil Geniuses, and more.
Jawgemo speaks about the major changes at Evil Geniuses heading to VCT Americas 2024
"Firstly, a question I’m sure is on everybody’s mind. What are your honest thoughts about going into the year without your world championship teammates from 2023?"
Jawgemo: "It's kind of like a fairy tale, you know. All of us getting split to four different teams. Definitely nice to just see my other teammates succeed on their side. But obviously this season, I'm coming back with my own grudges, to play against my old teammates, do well against them. So, it's going to be a great season I think."
"Is there anything you can say about their departures? Or even what convinced you to stay while the rest of them moved on?"
Jawgemo: "I kind of knew about the departures previously. Before everything, even when we won [Champions], I kind already knew what was going to happen. I had myself at some other spots as well. I'm not going to say where, but you've probably seen it.
"I definitely had my opportunity to get out, as well. But I just stuck with the process and just wanted to see the underdogs again. Even though we do have, I guess the champion pass. The bye, all that good stuff. I definitely still think it's, four new people coming to the team, that have something to prove that then that the world never seen yet."
"Well, you're still there, Potter is still with EG as the coach. How much of a beacon of hope is that for this new-look roster?"
Jawgemo: "Definitely coming in as the spearhead of the team now, I would say, I'm voicing out the stuff that I didn't get to do last year. So, it's nice to see the process that Potter got to put together with this new team. I kind of lead the pack and kind of show out for the season."
"Alright, things are clearly different, but you’re a championship caliber player. What kind of role are you taking in ensuring this team reaches that standard in 2024?"
Jawgemo: "Like I said, definitely the vocals. Last year, I was a little bit quiet as a person, so this year on the roles that I'm going to be on, it's going to be maybe 80% more impactful. The team will be able to figure it out themselves, but I'm just putting my foot forward and just telling people how everything should go. Catch 'em up on the stuff that we saw last year."
"Do you feel like there will be massive regression compared to last year’s results?"
Jawgemo: "I definitely think that we could still live up to the standards that are the table for now. There are still growing pains and things that we have to achieve. That's for any team. Most of the players recently just got signed to all their teams.
"Even the old Champions team, barely getting signed to their stuff and so everybody's basically starting fresh. It feels very new, and there are a couple teams that have a little upper hand advantage, having been around for a while. So, we get to see what makes or breaks a team now."
"And the last bit about the new guys. Just tell me what you think of each of the new players and what they bring to the table for Evil Geniuses."
Jawgemo: "For NaturE, he is our new IGL, and I think like he's gonna be very skillful.I know he trialed for 100 Thieves the off season, but I don't think he got to show his true potential as an IGL.
Apoth, for the role that he's playing, I think that he's very confident. He's just going show out and people are never going see what's coming from him. It's going be something that's way different for him.
"Then Supamen, of course, one of the best Controllers. I remember him. maybe back in 2022. He dropped like 30 or 40 on us in overtime. So, I just know that he's going to be a killer on the stage. When it matters, I know that he'll be there as well.
"And Derrek, he had a lot of hate coming last season. I definitely think now, going to this team, he won't have any of that negative attitude or negative energy coming for him. I think he's going to excel the way that he excelled whenever they had that, Berlin run I think it was, and the LCQ run.
"I think you'll see the best out of him, and that's what people have been wanting to see for a long time. I'm glad that he got to join us and do that for himself, for sure."
"Okay, well, it’s probably hard to improve upon the best year you possibly could’ve had, winning Champions and all. But I’d like to know, what can we expect from you in the upcoming season? What have you worked on personally?"
Jawgemo: "It's basically like the vocalizing myself, where I want to be and what I want to do. And what I can read. I can read a lot of situations pretty quick and adapt very fast. I'm pretty good in any chaos situation.
"As long as I get out there for my team, after that it's just talking for them. Sometimes some of the teammates just need to focus on themselves and I can just lead the round like that. So, that's definitely a new part.
"Especially Operating, using the Op as well, there's going to be a lot of different and aggressive stuff that I usually do and even passive stuff. There's a lot to come up. Just waiting for the season to start, you know."
"With it being a new year, a lot of teams with new faces, it’s tough to make predictions. You have an immediate bye to the second round of your group, though. What’s your take on Group C specifically, and then the format overall?"
Jawgemo: "It's a little funky, but it does make sense for this year. Only this year. I guess maybe in the next two years, it'll happen again, but just having that bye does make sense. I'm not sure how it would work if it was just Potter, but I'm pretty sure that she would still get the spot.
"I guess that's something for Riot to figure out. I think the bye is good and the group is fine. I definitely understand the point of having the new Ascension team rise up from Challengers, and getting put in the lowest bracket or the last bracket.
"And the team that had the worst season throughout the year, even though they made LCQ. I definitely think there should be more like games played, but you know, that comes with time and a couple more years of experience in the franchise league. So, I think time will tell whether it gets better or not."
"Lastly, it’s not long now until the VCT Americas Kickoff tournament. If there’s one thing you think the team needs to work on, the final piece of the puzzle between now and then, what is it?"
Jawgemo: "That's a good one. I would say just, the confidence is there, so it'd probably be just more of the decision making. I think it's coming with time. I don't think the situations that some of the guys got put in recently, they're not used to it. So, just catching them up on that. I think they'll excel as fast as they can and as they have been."