Evil Geniuses return to Counter-Strike with signing of NRG roster
The signing comes just ahead of the team's opening matchup against FaZe at ESL One New York, with Evil Geniuses initially teasing the announcement via a countdown timer on a website. A report by Dexerto and subsequent leaked images of the NRG players in Evil Geniuses jerseys left little doubt as to which roster the organisation would be acquiring.
The Evil Geniuses name is noteworthy in Counter-Strike history, previously housing the likes of Griffin "shaGuar" Benger, Danny "fRoD" Montaner, Matt "Warden" Dickens, Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen, and Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert in various iterations of their CS 1.6 roster. The organisation has not had a roster in Counter-Strike since 2012, and now make their first entry into CS:GO with the signing of NRG.
A number of other North American organisations have also expressed interest in a return to Counter-Strike, with Dignitas, Misfits, 100 Thieves, and TSM all reportedly on the hunt for top players. Evil Geniuses were not named among those, although the organisation had previously attempted entry into CS:GO in 2014 when they looked to acquire the ex-iBUYPOWER roster. As a result of the infamous match-fixing scandal, the deal never came to fruition, but the organisation's re-entrance to the game has been rumoured on multiple occasions as they remained on the watch for a team.
"It is EG's 20th year as an esports organization, and a huge part of that legacy is our success in Counter-Strike. I’m elated to be able to guide EG back into victory in that space after some time away; the franchise has proved that it deserves its cemented legacy as a competitive, crowd-pleasing esport," Evil Geniuses CEO, Nicole Lapointe Jameson, said in a statement.
"CS is one of the spaces our fans have asked us to re-enter the most, and we’re happy to bring a touch of Evil back to the scene and its supporters — our roster is extremely enthusiastic to hit the ground running and uphold the EG brand, and we’re going to be putting our best foot forward this weekend."
NRG made strides to improve their team at the start of the year with the addition of Major champion Tarik "tarik" Celik, before later choosing to restructure their game by swapping out their in-game leader Damian "daps" Steele for Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz. The change saw the team immediately impress with a strong showing at the StarLadder Major, achieving their best showing at a Major to date as they managed to fight their way to a 3-4th place finish. The effort put the roster in a prime position for Evil Geniuses to enter the space, allowing the organisation to immediately sign a top five team in the world.
Evil Geniuses are:
Chet "ImAPet" Singh (Coach)