After a year of struggles, the villains finally reign supreme.
After a wicked grand final showing, Evil Geniuses rose above the rest to take the 2023 Champions Los Angeles trophy. This is an absolute triumph for a team that was at one point viewed as the worst team in the Americas league.
EG has had a rocky start to their year after a poor performance in LOCK//IN São Paulo and narrowly making it into the playoffs of the VCT Americas League. However, the team didn’t let that get to them as they clearly got better as the year went on.
Putting their heads down and getting to work, the team drastically improved during the VCT Americas playoffs. Although EG ended the league in third place, that was enough to get them a ticket to Masters Tokyo. There they performed above and beyond expectations, making it all the way to grand finals, and eventually falling to Fnatic.
For 2023 Champions Los Angeles, EG pulled out all the stops as they came into the tournament with only one objective: to win. The squad went undefeated in the group stage, making short work of FunPlus Phoenix and FUT Esports. They also crushed the hopes of China and Korea as they took down EDward Gaming and DRX in the playoffs.
Their real challenge came in the form of Paper Rex, the VCT Pacific champions, at the upper bracket finals. EG previously defeated PRX 3-2 in the lower bracket finals of Masters Tokyo. The Pacific squad came back with a vengeance and knocked EG into the losers finals against defending Champions LOUD.
After a nail-biting 3-2 set, EG would have another shot at PRX and would seal the deal in the grand finals, taking it 3-1 and the lion’s share of the 2,250,000 USD prize pool.
While EG triumphs, it’s a tragedy for PRX. Beyond getting so close to lifting the Champions trophy, this would be the last year for star player Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie before he enters military service. Regardless, both teams played their hearts out and we can’t wait to see them evolve next year.
Banner photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.