Evil Geniuses Reportedly Considering LCS & Counter-Strike Exit Amidst Layoffs
Troubles seem to continue for North American esports organization Evil Geniuses (EG). Last week, on 2nd November, the organization engaged in a spree of layoffs, letting go of multiple employees, and it also disbanded its Dota 2 roster. According to a report by esports journalist Richard Lewis, Evil Geniuses is looking to cut down on its operations further.
Richard Lewis reported that Evil Geniuses is planning to part ways with Counter-Strike teams, both men’s and women’s, and is also working out a deal to sell its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) slot.
Report: Evil Geniuses Negotiating LCS Slot Sale, Looking to Disband CS rosters
Richard Lewis wrote in his report, "There is the ongoing matter of the sale of their League of Legends partnered slot, which has been shopped around behind the scenes for some time. It’s not exactly a secret that it is for sale.."
He pointed out how former CEO Nicole LaPointe stated in her interview with DigiDay upon stepping down that "everything's for sale for the right price."
According to Lewis' sources, the potential buy is most likely Enthusiast Gaming, the parent company behind Luminosity Gaming. However, he clearly noted that the deal is not done yet but according the source, "it’s quite far along in the process and Enthusiast is currently the preferred buyer.”
However, according to others source quoted in Lewis' report, the organization is planning to "just stay in Riot titles." It added that the organization will keep the men's Counter-Strike team until December 2023 and "will likely cut the women's team before that."
As a result, if the sources are correct, we can see Evil Geniuses participate in Valorant and League of Legends esports. However, with the organization actively negotiating deals for the LCS slot, it could be the case that it moves its LoL esports operations to another region, akin to Team SoloMid (TSM).
What's Happening at Evil Geniuses?
From being a top performer in the LCS to winning Valorant Champions 2023, EG's lineups across esports titles were seemingly doing well. However, in the last year, the organization has been under public scrutiny.
First, Evil Geniuses was accused of mistreatment of its League of Legends player and prodigy Kyle "Danny" Sakamaki. While former CEO Nicole LaPointe denied the allegations and strongly stated that this was not the reason why she stepped down, the organization has been in troubled waters since.
Currently, its Valorant roster is facing a "contract jail" situation with the players' buyouts being too high. The entire roster that won Valorant Champions 2023 was asked to explore other options or face pay cuts.
The organization also faced community backlash for letting go its Rocket League streamer Elyse "Herculyse" Herrera, noting that her series had no sponsors. However, EG continued the series without the streamer anyway.
In a separate incident, Dota 2 star Syed "SumaiL" Hassan is also suing Evil Geniuses for “breach of contract” and “fraud and deceit.”
Lastly, Evil Geniuses terminated the contracts of multiple staff members on 1st November as part of the downsizing measure. During this day, it was also revealed that it completely disbanded its Dota 2 esports roster.