Best Cinderella Story of Valorant Esports in 2023

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Best Cinderella Story of Valorant Esports in 2023

This is the story of Evil Geniuses – the team who wrote the best Cinderella story of VCT 2023 through their incredible run 

The 2023 VCT season was full of exciting stories, and we undoubtedly had the best Cinderella runs this year, immortalized in Valorant Esports. From EDward Gaming making China a strong region in tier 1 Valorant to Evil Geniuses winning the biggest event of the year, these incredible tales are what make Esports great. 

In this article, we will look at the unbelievable journey of EG that shocked the world. Let's get started –

Evil Geniuses’ Cinderella Story – From Worst in NA to Global Best

The news of Evil Geniuses making it to franchising for the 2023 VCT season shocked many, as this team had barely any significant achievements in the past, and the organization didn't even announce their roster. 

Finally, the roster announcement came through in November 2022 with two new additions to the team alongside in-game leader Kelden “Boostio” Pupello, Corbin “C0M” Lee and Alexander “jawgemo” Mor. 

The latest members were former XSET player Brendan “BcJ” Jensen and ex-CSGO pro Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, who had a short journey with 100 Thieves – both with a lot more experience in big stages than the rest of the squad. Alongside these five names, a sixth player was signed for the team’s Americas League journey, who would soon become the best player of Valorant in 2023. 

One of the former players for the team, Christine “potter” Chi, was revealed as the head coach, and EG had a complete roster to start their VCT Americas journey. 

Evil Geniuses’ VCT Americas Journey

Right from the beginning, EG were considered to be one of the weakest teams from North America in the VCT League, staying under the shadow of prominent squads like Cloud9, NRG and 100 Thieves. In their first few games of the Regular Season, EG faced disappointing losses and even got 13-0’ed by LOUD.

During this underwhelming run, the decision to replace BcJ with their sixth player, Max “Demon1” Mazanov, on the starting roster came through. 

After facing the devastating 13-0 loss, Evil Geniuses became the worst North American team in the eyes of most, and some even questioned potter’s abilities as a tier 1 coach. However, things started to look much better for EG after Week 4 of the Regular Season, and they went on a three-match win streak, even defeating Sentinels in the process. 

During these matches, Demon1 was slowly proving why his arrival was a blessing to the team, and his insane Jett plays quickly got noticed by the fans. 

EG’s Regular Season run ended with a 4-5 record, much better than anyone expected them to have. However, EG getting a Playoffs spot depended on the 100 Thieves vs MIBR match, where MIBR winning would allow Boostio’s squad to reach the next part of the League and compete for Masters and Champions – and it seemed very unlikely to happen as 100T were highly favored to win the encounter versus MIBR who had their assistant coach André “Txozin” Saidel playing instead of Olavo “heat” Marcelo

The impossible happened – MIBR managed to win the series against 100 Thieves in an outstanding upset, allowing EG to get their Playoffs spot. This was a miracle for the roster, and it was just the start of their Cinderella story. 

Fast forward – we are in the VCT Americas Playoffs, and Evil Geniuses will have to face NRG in their opening encounter. After Cloud9, NRG were the second-best North American team in the Regular Season, and on top of that, they defeated EG in a 2-0 series in their previous encounter. Considering all of that, the match was looking like an easy victory for NRG, and they started the series with a map win.

In a shocking turn of events, EG closed out the Bo3 with a 2-1 victory, with Demon1 dominating the maps, and all they needed was one more win to secure their first-ever Masters and Champions slot. 

EG’s second Playoffs game was set against Cloud9, the second-best team from the Regular Season and the North American favorites. Again, this was another game where Cloud9 were supposed to dominate EG, and it ended up being the opposite, with Evil Geniuses securing their Masters and Champions tickets. 

Even if EG’s story ended right there, it would have been a great Cinderella run on its own. However, Boostio and his squad were getting ready to create a dynasty. 

Securing Masters Tokyo Grand Final

They barely made it to the Americas League’s Playoffs and somehow managed to bring two huge upsets to get their spot at Masters Tokyo, but now this squad was in the big leagues, and as their first-ever Masters Appearance, Evil Geniuses were one of the underdogs of the event. 

After defeating DRX in the Group Stage, the North Americans barely had any trouble securing the Playoffs of the Masters, slowly transitioning from the underdogs to the favorites. However, their first Playoffs match was set against LOUD, the Brazilian powerhouse of a team that humiliated them with a 13-0 map in the Americas League. In a match of revenge, EG secured an overpowering 2-0 victory against the VCT Americas winners, even beating them on Ascent, which was LOUD’s strongest map.

After this win, EG’s successful run so far was no longer a miracle, and it was obvious that this team, under potter and Boostio’s leadership, was one of the best rosters in the world. The North Americans went on winning more against Team Liquid and Paper Rex, reaching the Grand Final, where Fnatic were able to put a stop to their greatness in Tokyo. 

Even though they couldn’t win the Masters, EG did a lot more than what most North American fans expected, and with Champions 2023 on the horizon, they became one of the favorites to win the biggest Valorant event.

Winning Champions 2023

Evil Geniuses Champions 2023 Winner - Biggest Valorant Cinderella Story

Credit: Riot Games

From being an underdog group at the Masters, Evil Geniuses were now one of the best teams of Champions 2023, expected to win or at least do well at the event, even though it was their first appearance at a Champions. This was the biggest Valorant tournament of the year, and it was the perfect stage to prove their worth and put their incredible tale of the year to a close. As an icing on the cake, the event was taking place in Los Angeles, their home ground.

During the event, EG were looking even better than their Masters Tokyo run, and thanks to this impeccable form and excellent performances from players like Demon1, C0M and jawgemo, they became the first North American squad to secure a Champions trophy

Closing Words

This was the year of Evil Geniuses who left their mark on history with their incredible story of redemption. When you analyze their journey so far, it almost seems unbelievable, and a lot of this success is dedicated to potter, who, even under harsh criticism, helped the team be better through her wise decisions. Moreover, Demon1 is also deserving of praise as he shook the world as a rookie player for the team. 

We had a lot of Cinderella stories in Valorant Esports in these few years, but nothing that was so mind-blowing and long-lasting. The tale of Evil Geniuses has certainly been the highlight of 2023, and it wasn’t the only rise of the underdog this year, as we have seen plenty from teams like EDward Gaming, Paper Rex and more. 

Best Cinderella Story of Valorant Esports in 2023
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