Evil Geniuses has booked its ticket to the 2022 League of Legends World Championship Group Stage. In a deciding best-of-five series against MAD Lions, the LCS’ third seed showed up with relentless dominance and swept their opponent 3-0. MAD Lions has been eliminated from Worlds 2022. It the second time in the organization’s history that they are kicked out in the Play-In Stage, the other time being in 2020.
Evil Geniuses dances around MAD Lions
Evil Geniuses and MAD Lions got in each other’s way in the first game’s draft phase. Evil Geniuses target-banned Javier “Elyoya” Prades and İrfan “Armut” Tükek by banning Bel’Veth and Gnar, while MAD Lions took away the Akali from Joseph “Jojopyun” Pyun. With adjusted compositions, both teams entered a slow early game. MAD Lions found the First Blood on Jojopyun but EG struck back immediately with a double kill on MAD’s overextended bot lane. The mid game was characterized by objective setups: MAD played the game smarter in that regard and secured the first two drakes, but EG stayed ahead in gold by farming across the map.
Although MAD coordinated their ganks with Elyoya on the Vi in the first part, EG started to figure them out. The LCS squad punished repeated overly aggressive teleports and flanks from mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer. While MAD Lions tried to rush a Baron Nashor, EG’s Kacper “Inspired” Słoma swooped in and stole the objective. With the buff under their belts, EG cleaned out MAD Lions and closed out the game.
The second game was much more dominant from Evil Geniuses. MAD Lions tried to force a fight in the bot lane early on, but Inspired read the play like a book. From then on, EG was in firm control of the game. They preyed on Nisqy in the mid lane once again and used their momentum to secure towers to snowball their lead. MAD Lions was desperate and uncoordinated. The plays the European squad tried to make universally fell flat. Evil Geniuses rolled them in 24 minutes and moved to series point.
JD Gaming, G2 Esports, and DWG KIA are next
MAD Lions shook things up in the draft phase in game 3, but Evil Geniuses answered in kind. They flexed Sejuani to the top lane and gave Inspired Lee Sin instead, which paired well with Jojopyun’s LeBlanc. Similar to the second game, EG was in firm control from early on. Inspired ran all across the map to gank MAD Lions, who had no answers to it. The uncoordinated gameplay from MAD kept giving Evil Geniuses opportunities to accumulate larger and larger gold leads. The Evil Geniuses players kept their head cool and with the same dominance they showed in game 2, they closed out the series.
With the victory, Evil Geniuses is the first North American team in League of Legends history to beat Europe in a best-of-five. Evil Geniuses now joins LCS first seed Cloud9 and second seed 100 Thieves in the Group Stage. Since Group A and C are automatically filled by Play-In qualifiers Fnatic and DRX respectively, and Group D already has a North American team in it with 100 Thieves, EG is automatically placed in Group B. They’ll play against LPL first seed JD Gaming, LEC second seed G2 Esports, and LCK third seed DWG KIA.
The Group Stage kicks off on Friday, Oct. 7, at 11 PM CEST. You can watch the series live on the official LoL Esports Channel.