EG reportedly set to drop CS teams
Earlier this week, Evil Geniuses started a massive round of layoffs, cutting staff across the board. What remained was, per a former employee, an even further depleted staff that was already operating akin to a "skeleton crew" for most of 2023. The workplace was likened to a "jail with snacks", with overworked employees and overpromised deliverables.
On November 1st, Evil Geniuses dropped their DOTA 2 lineup. Now, according to a report by Richard Lewis, the organization is looking to do the same in Valve's other flagship title, Counter-Strike 2. One of Lewis' sources says;
They’ll plan to just stay in Riot titles” they explained, “so that means they’ll keep the men’s Counter-Strike team until December and will likely cut the women’s teams before that.
Evil Geniuses held up to four rosters in Counter-Strike earlier this year, with EG Black and EG White part of the ambitious Blueprint project underlining the main Evil Geniuses team and the EG Gold women's team. EG White was dissolved in April, and most of EG Black were promoted to the main lineup, with most of the main lineup released to free agency.
One of Evil Geniuses' main partners, the betting company Thunderpick, held grievances with the dissolution of those rosters. A source for Richard Lewis describes,
When they partnered up it was with the belief that [the org] had four CS teams” a source familiar with the deal explained, “but they dropped that down to two. They then added the Dota 2 team as a makeweight and now they are gone.
With the release of the DOTA 2 team and impeding departure from Counter-Strike, increasingly likely sale of their LCS slot, and discussions with Riot Games regarding their VALORANT Partnership, Evil Geniuses may be set to leave esports entirely.
Evil Geniuses joined the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community by acquiring NRG's roster after a promising semifinal finish at the Starladder Berlin Major. Soon after, the world was thrown into disarray with the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing all competition online. During this online period, Evil Geniuses had a series of successful results, culminating in the #1 spot on HLTV's ranking in mid-2020. However, once competition returned to LAN, these results were not replicable, and Evil Geniuses gradually tumbled down the leaderboard.
Early in 2022, EG brought together the Major-winning core of Jake "Stewie2k" Yip, Timothy "autimatic" Ta, and William "RUSH" Wierzba, however that roster too could not make an impression internationally. Later in 2022, Evil Geniuses embarked on the Blueprint project, consisting of two sister teams, EG Black and White, from ex-RBG and Party Astronauts, to cultivate talent for the main team. The project did allow players like Jadan "HexT" Postma and Jerric "wiz" Jiang to promote to the main lineup and obtain international T1 LAN experience, but the results never followed.
Evil Geniuses White was dropped earlier this year. Following a failure to obtain a European team in the off-season, all but autimatic were dropped from the main lineup, with the majority of EG Black promoted to replace. Evil Geniuses leave behind a legacy of a single successful roster but, ultimately, a repeated failure to live up to expectations.
Dust2.us has reached out to Evil Geniuses for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.