With ESL One New York 2019 right around the corner, Evil Geniuses (previously NRG) have been on a tear recently and looking poised to become the top team in North America, a title currently posessed by Team Liquid. The North American team has been on a steady upward trajectory after adding Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz and looks to challenge Team Liquid for best in the West.
Evil Geniuses have yet to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet (since adding stanislaw), but the team has progressed in a lot of areas. Evil Geniuses will be making their second appearance in New York and will be looking to advance on their top 4th appearance at 2018.
Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte (1.21)
Brehze has been the underrated star that does not get the right amount of hype. Featuring a 1.21 HLTV rating, Brehze has been a high impact fragger that the team has needed to perform as CeRq and Ethan have regressed.
Cvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov (1.10)
The breakout AWPer has started to cool off in recent months. Still, a fun player to watch, CeRq needs to reinvent himself if he wants to find the same element that made him so dangerous in early 2019.
Ethan "Ethan" Arnold (1.10)
Ethan was the breakout star that would take over NA, but he has yet to develop into a consistent threat. He showed promise in the group stages with some top performances, but fell apart in front of the bright lights. Hopefully, the young star will find his stroke in front of the home crowd.
Tarik "tarik" Celik (1.06)
The boy that was born in Brooklyn finally gets to return to play in front of his home crowd. Last year, Tarik pushed for Cloud9 to play in BLAST Istanbul instead of ESL One New York, but now he gets to play at home for Evil Geniuses. Tarik has been a big moment player since his Cloud9 days and his recent performance at the major has instilled a lot of confidence in his ability to play with the best of the best. Tarik being a consistent presence is important for Evil Geniuses long term success in front of the bright lights.
Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz (1.06)
Stanislaw has been around a lot of teams, but his fragging has yet to take a hit. One of the best performing IGLs available at ESL One: NYC, stanislaw brings a lot of positives to the table which has paid in dividends for Evil Geniuses.
ECS Season 8: NA 2-0 Sharks (1st)
StarLadder Berlin Major (3rd - 4th)
ESL One: Cologne (5th-6th)
EPL S9 Finals (3rd-4th)
ECS Season 7 Finals (3rd-4th)
Evil Geniuses have consistently performed well at the tier 1 events they have attended and their recent first-place finish in ECS Season 8 (online) gives good vibes going into New York. Online results are hard to put too much stock into, but for a team that built its early success online, it is a good indicator that things are still holding up.
Evil Geniuses placement at the major was a big success for the lineup and that should give a lot of confidence for those expecting big things from the team.
Potential for success
Evil Geniuses is coming into NYC red hot with home-field advantage and a lot of momentum at their backs. Evil Geniuses has a favorable first matchup against a brand new FaZe Clan and a winnable potential winners matchup against Astralis.
I expect Evil Geniuses to top their group and go into the grand final against Team Liquid. Evil Geniuses should place second and lose to Team Liquid in a full best of five, but I would not be against a really fun upset.