What you need to know about watching Evil Geniuses at MSI

by Brian Bencomo

If you’re a North American League of Legends fan, you’ll probably be rooting for Evil Geniuses at the Mid-Season Invitational. As North America’s representative at MSI, Evil Geniuses will carry the hopes and dreams of NA with them in Korea.

With MSI taking place in Busan, South Korea, that means starting game times that are not ideal for most fans based in North America. You might be wondering when and what time Evil Geniuses will be playing. Being in a group of three, EG will play each of the other two teams in their group four times, and they’ll be playing anywhere from one to four games per day during the group stage. It can get a little confusing, so we’ve got you covered with the schedule for Evil Geniuses’ eight scheduled group stage games at MSI plus some info on each of their two opponents and a breakdown of EG’s roster.

Read more: Five storylines at the 2022 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational

What time does Evil Geniuses play at MSI?

Tuesday, May 10 at 4 a.m. PT / 5 a.m. MT / 6 a.m. CT / 7 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. G2

Wednesday, May 11 at 1 a.m. PT / 2 a.m. MT / 3 a.m. CT / 4 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. G2

Wednesday, May 11 at 2 a.m. PT / 3 a.m. MT / 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. ORDER

Thursday, May 12 at 1 a.m. PT / 2 a.m. MT / 3 a.m. CT / 4 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. ORDER

Friday, May 13 at 11 p.m. PT / Saturday, May 14 at 12 a.m. MT / 1 a.m. CT / 2 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. G2

Saturday, May 14 at 12 a.m. PT / 1 a.m. MT / 2 a.m. CT / 3 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. ORDER

Saturday, May 14 at 2 a.m. PT / 3 a.m. MT / 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. G2

Saturday, May 14 at 3 a.m. PT / 4 a.m. MT / 5 a.m. CT / 6 a.m. ET

  • Evil Geniuses vs. ORDER

If Evil Geniuses make it out of the group stage, they’ll play in the rumble stage with a chance to make the bracket stage. Game times for those stages will be determined after the group stage.

Who are Evil Geniuses’ opponents at MSI?

G2

Of Evil Geniuses’ two opponents during the group stage at MSI, most fans will be interested in seeing how EG fares against G2. The North America vs. Europe rivalry always is a juicy subplot in any international esports competition. It helps that Evil Geniuses have some brash players, and G2 and their colorful owner Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez like to be cheeky.

Evil Geniuses rookie mid laner Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun already has started to fan the flames of the rivalry.

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And G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski answered him with the words of an international veteran.

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G2 were Europe’s champions this spring after an impressive lower bracket run in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) playoffs in which they went 4-0 and didn’t drop any maps (12-0). They have once again ascended to the top of European League of Legends after a down year in 2021. From 2019 to 2020, G2 were the best team in Europe and one of the best in the world, winning MSI 2019 and reaching the final of the League of Legends World Championship that year.

Jankos and mid laner Rasmus "caPs" Borregaard Winther remain from that 2019 roster, and they have been joined by veteran top laner Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik and LEC rookies Victor "Flakked" Lirola Tortosa in the bot lane and Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé at support.

ORDER

Like G2 and Evil Geniuses, ORDER qualified for MSI after a long lower bracket run in which they went 4-0 and 12-2 in maps to win the League of Legends Circuit Oceania this spring. The intrigue in Evil Geniuses’ matchups with ORDER will not be based in a regional rivalry but will likely stem from ORDER’s motivation to prove they’re not merely from a “minor” region. Oceanic teams and players made some noise in 2021 as former Oceania players like Cloud9’s Ibrahim "Fudge" Allami thrived in NA and Oceanic teams did surprisingly well on the international stage.

At MSI 2021, Oceania’s Pentanet.GG made it out of a three-team group even though most analysts thought they would be the one team eliminated after group play. During the Rumble stage of the tournament, they won one game -- against NA’s Cloud9 -- despite the perceived difference in regional strength between NA and OCE. At the League of Legends World Championship, Oceania’s PEACE nearly qualified out of the play-in stage.

All of this is to say that Oceanic team ORDER should not be underestimated and it shouldn’t be assumed that Evil Geniuses will roll over ORDER. The main ORDER player to keep an eye on is top laner Brandon "BioPanther" Alexander, who was on the Pentanet team at MSI last year.

Who are Evil Geniuses?

Evil Geniuses’ MSI roster consists of:

  • Jeong "Impact" Eon-young (top laner)
  • Kacper "Inspired" Słoma (jungler)
  • Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun (mid laner)
  • Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki (AD carry)
  • Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme (support)

Impact is the veteran on the roster. At 27, Impact has a decade of experience playing pro League of Legends including his first couple years playing in Korea, notably with SK Telecom T1. In 2013, the young top laner was teammates with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and on an SK Telecom T1 team that won their first world championship. Now, he returns to Korea as the veteran on a young team, with the possibility of facing three-time world champion Faker and T1 beyond the group stage.

Inspired is pretty much a veteran, even at only 20 years old, as he competed for four-and-a-half years in Europe before coming to North America and joining Evil Geniuses this year. This will be his first trip to MSI, but he was at Worlds with Rogue both in 2020 and 2021.

For the 23-year-old Vulcan, this is already his eighth year as a professional and his fourth trip to an international tournament. He went to Worlds in 2019 with Clutch Gaming and then qualified for MSI and Worlds last year with Cloud9. The King of Spring now has been on the LCS spring championship team in each of the past three years.

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Evil Geniuses have gotten the most attention over their two young players, Danny and jojopyun. Danny was the LCS Rookie of the Year in 2021 after leading the league in kills during the summer and has been known for his ability to turn the tide with massive plays like his Baron steal and pentakill at LCS finals weekend. Jojopyun has burst onto the scene this year as a rookie and has become known lately as much for his trash talk as his play on the Rift.

Read more: Evil Geniuses’ Jojopyun showing off bright future for NA talent in the LCS

Together they have become known for their aggressive playstyle, which coach Peter Dun told Nerd Street he has helped channel to get the most out of this roster.

North American teams haven’t been known to do very well intentionally, but perhaps the unexpected LCS spring champions will start to write a new story for NA.

Lead photo credit: Tina Jo / ESPAT via Riot Games

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