LCS Summer: EG’s Kyle ‘Danny’ Sakamaki out
The Summer Split of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series is entering the final leg of the race. The tournament is closing into seeding three top teams to qualify to compete in this year’s Worlds Championship. The action will resume this Saturday as Evil Geniuses will play 100 Thieves in the lower bracket for a ticket to take on Cloud9 in the grand final.
EG will compete without star AD carry Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki this weekend in Chicago. EG CEO Nicole LaPointe confirmed in a statement earlier this week that Danny would be away “in order to focus on mental health.”
As one of the best-performing marksman users in League, Danny, who prides the moniker “King of Pentakills,” has been a crucial part of the team’s success since last year.
“With much respect and an open heart I share with you today that our beloved Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki will not be competing at this weekend’s LCS Summer Split Finals in Chicago,” LaPointe wrote.
“It takes a great deal of courage and self-awareness to recognize when the right time is to step away from something you’ve worked so hard at achieving, especially when you care so deeply for this organization and your teammates, in order to focus on mental health.”
EG wrapped up the group stage after taking over the standing No. 1 position from 100 Thieves and Team Liquid, finishing with a 15-3 record. EG was only defeated by Counter Logic Gaming in Week 2, 100 Thieves in Week 5, and Team Liquid in Week 7.
Despite a strong finish in the group stage, EG was defeated by C9 in the upper bracket semifinals. The North American team then managed to win its lower bracket matchups against Team SoloMid and Team Liquid.
This weekend’s game will earn the winner a rematch against C9. Regardless of which team comes out as the victor, EG and 100 thieves have secured their spots in Worlds.
However, defeating 100 Thieves without Danny might be a difficult thing to do. Danny became the best marksman user this Summer after leading the competition with 88 kills and a 7.5 KDA, as per LoL stats website Oracle’s Elixir. Trailing behind Danny is 100 Thieves bot-laner Ian “FBI” Victor Huang at 85 kills and a 6.9 KDA.
On a slightly different note, C9 has said the team is confident about winning the Summer competition despite a slight hiccup in the group stage. Mid-laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen just returned to playing with the team after a six-month hiatus.
Jensen admitted that the team was not quite synergized towards the end of the regular split.
“I think towards the end of the regular split, we kind of figured out how we wanted to play as a team and found our identity a bit more,” he said.
Regardless, it is no longer a concern after the win over 100 Thieves. He said What mattered for him now was winning the circuit.
“I am looking forward to taking my first trophy with C9 for once,” he said.