Before every event that Evil Geniuses play in, they are one of the fan favourites to win, with this being no exception. The roster claimed North America’s first and only Pro League and Major titles back in Year 1 and since have made it to two Major grand finals -- the Six Invitational 2018 and Paris Major 2018 -- a Minor grand final at DreamHack Austin and the Season 9 Pro League grand final in Milan last month. Behind G2 Esports, they have been the most consistently top roster in the game, currently sitting in second place in the SiegeGG Rankings despite not winning a LAN competition in more than two years.
The Evil Geniuses roster has remained the same for nearly a year, with their overall statistics also keeping steady as the majority of the lineup has seen a change of less than 0.1 in their rating from the second half of Season 8, across Season 9, and the first half of Season 10. The lone exception to this is geoo, who started off on a very hot streak when joining the lineup, achieving a 2.03 K/D and 1.33 Rating across seven games, which has most recently fallen down to a 1.54 and 1.20, respectively. These are still the fourth-best in the North American region this season (dismissing Gotcha who played less than half of all games), however, it is a notable fall compared to previous seasons.
At LAN, however, this hasn’t exactly kept true with geoo failing to lead his team to victory at the Six Invitational 2019 as he had done online as he dropped down to third on the team with no one able to take his place as the main fragger they needed, leading to a relatively early exit for the lineup during the quarter-finals. During the Season 9 Finals, meanwhile, we once again saw Geo at the top of the team but saw a statistical fall off from Canadian as he achieved a 0.81 Rating at the Finals and a 0.78 Rating against Team Empire in the grand final.
Since leaving Millenium at the end of Season 8, this French/German/Belgian-mixed team have been improving consistently on LAN environments. First, they attended DreamHack Winter, where they went out early against the Polish Challenger League team PACT off-stream before they were first rounded at the Six Invitational 2019, falling to Evil Geniuses and PENTA. They later ended Pro League Season 9 in second place in Europe, only to lose 2-0 to FaZe Clan in the Pro League quarter finals in their very last game with UUNO on the team.
Replacing the G2-bound UUNO was Korey, who’s seemingly kickstarted the team. Just a week after Korey joined the roster, LeStream Esport finished the Allied Esports Vegas Minor in second place, defeating DarkZero Esports, Rogue, and Chaos in the process and beating Natus Vincere, Team SoloMid, and FaZe Clan to finish second at the DreamHack Valencia 2019 Minor a month later. Throughout this time, the Giants have remained in the top two in the region’s Pro League, losing just a single game against G2 in the process which has gained them a third-place standing worldwide in the SiegeGG Rankings.
Throughout this time, the one constant has been AceeZ, who has been the best performing player on the team since he was picked up with the top rating in Season 10 in Europe, fourth-best rating at the Vegas Minor, and the best in Europe during Season 9. Throughout the rest of the roster, the biggest change has been Alphama, who went from one of the top players in the team at the beginning of the year to bottom of the team so far this year; however, this is likely more to do with the rest of the team improving than him falling off in any way.
While SSG failed to attend the Paris Major or any Pro League finals, they have really impressed in the last six months and shown that they can compete internationally, despite falling down the table domestically. Their first big showing was during last years DreamHack Winter event where the only North American team in attendance were a map away from taking home an invite to the upcoming Invitational. They followed this up a few weeks later where they narrowly lost in the US Nationals semi-finals against the soon-to-be champions, Rogue, before surprising many by defeating Rogue and Immortals and taking a map off of G2 at the 2019 Six Invitational.
Since then they have made a number of changes by replacing Redeemer with Bryan and then Bryan with Fultz, however with these five on the lineup they defeated Chaos, Vitality and LSE at the Vegas Minor, before finishing joint fifth after losing to Team Liquid in what was a remarkable first outing for the team. They later followed this up with a remarkable lower bracket run which saw them defeat Reciprocity and Luminosity in the Six Major open qualifiers before being granted the host invite. While they haven’t had one standout result, this series of consistent performances have pushed them up to seventh place in the SiegeGG rankings just behind Team liquid who won’t be attending the upcoming Major.
Throughout this time, the roster has had some of the most inconsistent players of any major team. While Bosco was the only player above a 1 rating on his team at the Invitational at 1.26, he then completely fell off online as Rampy took that accolade during Season 9 of the Pro League as he hit a 1.2 rating compared to Bosco’s 0.96. So far in Season 10, the top player has been ThinkingNade at a 1.19 rating despite him maintaining a 0.86 rating during Season 9 and 0.83 rating during the Vegas Minor. To put it simply in every event they do well in, there’s always one player playing extremely well while the rest hold some very negative statistics.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Finally, we have Ninjas in Pyjamas who have had a number of middling performances since they joined the roster at the beginning of Season 8. They finished joint fifth at every international event they have attended -- the DreamHack Valencia 2018 Minor, the Paris Major and the Vegas Minor -- with the lone exception of the 2019 Invitational where they lost against FaZe Clan and Reciprocity to be the very first team to leave the event.
During 2018, JULIO, Psycho, and Kamikaze were pretty consistently the top three on the roster, however, since the beginning of this year things have started to change as the new additions of Muzi and Pino have been making a show themselves. During Season 9, Pino finished second on his team with a 1.17 rating while Kamikaze dropped down to last with a 0.96 rating. This then continued at the Allied Minor and BR6 season stats as Kamikaze maintained a 0.93 and 0.97 ratings, once again the lowest on his team at both events behind the newcomers of Muzi and Pino.
Season 10 of the Pro League, however, has seen a remarkably different NiP than we’ve got used to over the last year. Kamikaze is seemingly back to form while JULIO and Muzi have between them been achieving some of the highest ratings in the region at 1.28 and 1.22 -- the third and fifth-best in Latin America. This performance means that they now sit at the top of the Pro League table with an undefeated record and managed to qualify for this Major after winning the open qualifier ahead of Team Liquid, Team oNe and Black Dragons.
The only matchup we have yet to see out of these four teams is Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Spacestation Gaming, with the remaining five meetings all occurring in the last year. Evil Geniuses defeated Vodafone Giants 2-0 twice -- in the group stages of both the Six Major Paris and the Six Invitational 2019 -- and took down NiP 2-1 during the Paris Major quarter-finals. Giants vs NiP, meanwhile, was played at the Vegas Minor and ended 7-5 to the Brazilians.
Spacestation, meanwhile, has met the Giants on two separate occasions, the Vegas Minor once again where SSG won 7-3 and during DreamHack Winter where SSG also won, 2-1. Finally, we have Spacestation Gaming vs Evil Geniuses which, as they hail from the same region, is the most common of all matchups. The teams have met four times in the last year -- the second half of Season 8, twice in Season 9, and once in Season 10 -- with EG winning three of four meetings with results of 6-2, 7-3, 5-7, and 7-2.