Former EG assistant coach EVY: "All the warning lights were on, nobody listened to us"
Heading into 2022, Evil Geniuses went through a massive roster shake-up by announcing the signings of Major winners Timothy "autimatic" Ta, William "RUSH" Wierzba, and Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, which gave the team a completely new face and gave the fans something to be excited about. What was a promising new chapter for the team quickly turned sour after consecutive poor performances started adding up, though, and it became clear that things have taken a turn for the worse.
A month after being let go from the organization amidst an overhaul of the team's coaching staff, which also included the departure of Damien "maLeK" Marcel from his post as the head coach, Evil Geniuses' former assistant coach EVY sat down for an interview with 1pv.fr conducted in French, which has since been posted in English on their website. In it, he shared his views on what was going wrong while he was still a part of the roster and several stories from behind the scenes that paint a terrible picture of the North American squad.
Berbudeau made a stark comparison between his experiences during his time working with Kenny "kennyS" Schrub under G2, and eventually Evil Geniuses. "When I was at G2, at first I had to work with kennyS. The first night he came to me privately on TeamSpeak and said 'I know we're going to work together, here's my number, call me anytime and we'll do what you want.'"
"So to compare it to EG, when I arrived, I expected the same mindset. We met the first night at a restaurant and I heard some things like 'my [autimatic's] vision of a coach is a guy who doesn't have the reins and just assists.' The American mentality is that the coach is a yes-man, he gets paid $X thousands to say: 'Yes! Nice guys.' From the first night, I said to myself 'watch out, red flag.'"
"EG had made it clear though that Damien would have the reins, carte blanche to change players, establish his system, etc. But the first day of practice, Damien and I look at each other and we are shocked. To make it simple, in terms of attitude, it looked like a FACEIT game. And we didn't understand why Stewie didn't give his deathcam, he didn't communicate all of the time, he was in fun mode, he raged a bit. [...] The very next morning, we had this discussion explaining that what we had seen was not right. And from there, it was already over."
"Stewie wouldn't say hello to Damien when we walked into the room from the fifth or sixth day. When Damien spoke, he [Stewie] turned back to his pc, he wasn't listening to him. Sometimes Stewie would listen to Damien and then turn around and not respond. One of the worst things I ever saw was [Stewie] denying tactical breaks. Damien would call tactical breaks and Stewie would say no. This is something I've never seen, and [it happened] from the first official game. Damien and I looked at each other and we didn't understand."
Things eventually came full circle at the end of ESL Pro League, where Evil Geniuses went out in last place. "At the end of Pro League, the players came to me, it had been 3 months, and 3 months in EG is a very, very long time. The players told me 'Paolo, Stewie's attitude is not okay.' Bro, we've been telling you that since day two," EVY mentioned. "All the warning lights were on, nobody listened to us, the plane crashed, see ya."
Eventually, things took a toll on the coaching staff, especially maLeK, who explained the issues the team had to the organization, yet to no avail due to both parties focusing on different things. "A lot of things were wrong and Damien lost it, and simply said 'stop, you are doing shit, now do what I asked you to do, this is not normal, etc.' He had been right for six months and when he stood up and demanded that they stop bullshitting him, it was over."
Wrapping up the segment, EVY expressed that the choice was ultimately between maLeK and Stewie2K, which evidently went the way of the latter, as the Major champion and former Liquid player still remains on the roster while the coach was moved off the team.
Since then, there have been few updates about the squad around Stewie2K, but Evil Geniuses decided to go in an innovative direction with the division in general, launching 'Blueprint' — a project that now features three different lineups following EG's signing of the former Party Astronauts and Carpe Diem rosters and that will eventually evolve into a fluid 15-man roster, according to management's vision.
The organization has also moved former Head of Data Science Soham "valens" Chowdhury into a key role behind the division as its Director of Athletics, who shared with HLTV.org that discussions are being held with the Stewie2K-led roster as well as the former coaching staff regarding its future.