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VCT LOCK/IN Day 3: Evil Geniuses vanquish Team Heretics

North America’s Evil Geniuses started VCT LOCK/IN Day 3 with a victory over Team Heretics, one of the most formidable competitors from EMEA.

EG crushed Heretics 2-0, silencing the naysayers that they could not win over the Spanish team while demonstrating their creative side with a unique Yoru choice on Pearl.

The NA team went against the grain of the typical five-person squad by signing nine new members in the offseason.

Veteran pickups Ethan “Ethan” Arnold and Brendan “BcJ” Jensen, a former member of XSET and the team’s in-game leader, are two of the few off-season additions to the core EG players.

EG outperformed the star-studded Team Heretics’ roster that has veteran Spanish pro player Óscar “mixwell” Colocho and other high-caliber players, including the 2015 VCT champion Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt.

Day 3 triumph

Regarding their triumph, former CS:GO pro and VALORANT analyst Christine “potter” Chi, EG’s head coach, said in the post-match press conference that BcJ and Ethan had added the necessary ego, experience and confidence to the team.

She explained that the change was noticeable right away. The two new additions to the team have been a tremendous boost to EG, and they are growing in confidence and trust in one another.

According to BcJ, EG is exceptionally motivated and dedicated to winning. He said his team did nothing but play this game, even outside of practice. In regards to the team’s mentality, the 22-year-old said, “I don’t care about any media. You can’t take that away from these guys.”

He also said that they fought hard to be here, that people have only seen a sliver of that spark on Day 3 and that they will see more of it during the tournament.

Team EG was an underdog heading into the competition. Before being selected by Riot Games as a partner for VCT international tournaments, EG had never even qualified for a major international competition.

EG’s victory recap

EG’s Day 3 began on Pearl, with Ethan staking claim to Agent Yoru.

As unlucky as it may be for EG, the first half of Pearl was dominated by Wassim “keloqz” Cista, who was extraordinarily mobile and effective on Jett, even when playing defense. In terms of KDA, he finished the first half with a 20/6 record.

It was a close game despite Heretics’ apparent advantage in the lobby. Despite having a more offensively oriented roster, EG held their own defensively, and the score remained tied at 6-6 until a side switch.

Team Heretics’ plan remained to revolve around keloqz. However, things went south when they made Jett their “sacrificial lamb.”

The plan failed, and keloqz wasn’t as successful as the team had intended. Despite the solid first half, Ethan ultimately defeated keloqz in a top frag, leading to EG’s turning point over Heretics on Pearl by scoring 13 to 8.

When Team Heretics switched to Ascent, there was a significant change in their team composition. M1xwell, who typically plays supportive roles, decided to use KAY/O, while Zeek, known for being a forerunner on that agent from his 2021 play, selected Killjoy.

At first glance, Team Heretics’ attempt to cast KAY/O in a supporting position seemed out of character. As the match progressed, it became evident that this was, in fact, their intended tactic.

However, EG refused to budge. Team Heretics had difficulty gaining traction beyond the first four rounds, especially on the defensive end.

After a few breaks, EG dominated the second half of Ascent. EG’s Alexander “jawgemo” Mor finished the game with a Stinger to kill two members of Heretics despite being pinned down by the Rafters on A-Site of Ascent.

Without a hitch, EG defeated Team Heretics in Ascent by the same 13-8 score. The win advanced them to the quarterfinals while sending Heretics home. EG will play their next game on February 18 at 2 p.m. CT.