Evil Geniuses have had a tough break in the group stage at Worlds 2022, but Impact was still in good spirits as he shared his thoughts on what EG needs to improve on and what makes NA worse than other regions.
North America hasn’t had the best of things during Worlds 2022. Blaber didn’t paint a particularly optimistic picture for us when we talked to him, but Worlds isn’t over yet.
While EG had a strong performance against MAD Lions in the Play-Ins, they failed to translate that into victories against some of the world’s best teams.
That said, their matches against JDG and Damwon KIA were very competitive. These games are not unwinnable, a fact Impact was very certain of when we spoke to him.
He was so focused on what was going wrong for EG in the group so far that we had less of an interview and more of a conversation with a few questions in it. We are incredibly grateful that Impact was willing to share so much with us, especially when it came to his thoughts on the year.
If a player like Jeong ‘Impact’ Eon-young wants to spend 10 minutes talking about his thoughts on what’s going wrong with EG, it’s best to just let the guy talk.
And Impact had a lot to say.
Win the battle, lose the war
For Worlds 2022, players have to go through a lot before they can talk to us. Depending on the circumstances, it can take more than an hour to talk to players.
Even an hour after their match against Damwon, that was all Impact thought about. His mind raced through what he could have done better in that match.
We asked him one question about what it was like to play in a meta where top-focusing was more achievable for a jungler like Kacper ‘Inspired’ Słoma, and it was off to the races.
“The meta is different. Jungle can carry more than before, so I just helped Inspired carry that. That’s how this game worked. I saw Jayce, and I said I’d pick Sejuani, play whatever you want. He played Hecarim, thought it looked good. When I saw the enemy champion, Hecarim looked really good. Jayce shouldn’t be breathing into the track.”
And EG certainly didn’t let Jang ‘Nuguri’ Ha-gwon win easily. She punished his Jayce choice incredibly difficult.
“I also thought Damwon’s pick/ban was bad, but I understand. I think their weakness that game, Nuguri was picked too much. He would flank, he would try to do something, and he would die too much, right? I understand they play Jayce for a strong poke.”
We asked if he thought their composition countered Damwon’s well with engagement, and he agreed. EG tried their best to play to their strengths. “I still think they made a big mistake that game, but… Sucks. I hope they pick and ban the next game the same, then we win. (laughs) But I don’t think they will.”
Painting a bigger picture
Impact’s biggest talking point during our conversation is that EG shouldn’t be afraid to force battles and play according to their winning terms.
“We’re… I wouldn’t say lazy, but we get scared to make plays. I mean, I’m not afraid, I don’t care if I fight and get killed alone. But if we lose, I think we’re a little scared. Kacper (Inspired) said he also played badly because he got scared randomly. I think the next three games are important. Just don’t get scared and do what we want to do and we can win games.”
From here on, our conversation went well beyond EG’s run thus far. Instead, we looked ahead. While Impact was realistic about EG’s chances of escaping their group, he didn’t seems too discouraged by them.
“I mean… I don’t care about the other NA teams. I think it’s funny to hear the 0-18 right now. I want to break this tradition. We can win one or two games to break the tradition with my teammates, that’s my goal. I mean… Now that sucks, there’s a slim chance we can escape the group. That’s really bad. But we understand our situation, and we’re going to do what we can do better, you know? We can also learn for next year.”
While Cloud9 managed to take NA’s first win, it still isn’t looking great for North America. And according to Impact, EG wasn’t even that great in Spring.
Building a team takes time
Impact is the oldest when it comes to Evil Geniuses. Joseph ‘Jojopyun’ Pyun, Muhammed ‘Kaori’ Şentürk and Inspired are all fairly new competitors compared to Impact. And while Philippe ‘Vulcan’ Laflamme has been playing for a while, Impact is one of the most regular LoL players in the entire competitive scene.
That longevity may come from his focus on self-improvement.
“I always think about what I can do better. Not like, ‘oh, my schedule is like this, it could be better’, I don’t really care. I only care about me. What l can do with my teammates.”
That said, he has built relationships with his new team and he seemed happy with his level of communication between him and his teammates. Or at least thought they were on their way to the… right direction.
“I talk more about the game with Kacper, and Jojo – Jojo has matured a lot and understands the game more so I can talk more about the game.”
“But still… Not close to the top team. We have to continue until next year, I think. That’s my goal. If I can stay with EG, I want them to… I mean, Inspired is good, but I think Jojo and the other players have to be really good at that level too, you know? To understand. So we don’t have to talk so much about the team fights. People need to understand their tasks in team fights.”
Impact felt that the team still has a long way to go in this area, and has been throughout the year.
“In the spring I also thought we were bad. But the meta was different.”
Danny could do team fights, and this aspect of unspoken communication wasn’t an issue when Danny could do 1v5 team fights. The sole purpose of keeping Danny alive is much, much easier than trying to coordinate appointments and have each member of the team contribute equally and in different ways.
He elaborated on this concept when he talked about the gap between NA and the best teams from other regions.
The “really big gap” between NA and the best teams
Impact doesn’t think the LPL and LCK teams are untouchable, by no means. Hell, EG beat T1 at MSI. He still thinks EG has a chance to turn things around, and he’s determined to do what he can to win.
“I don’t think it’s too late, but I think we respect the enemy too much. People think that LCK and LPL play too well and that we can’t do much. If you respect them too much, you can’t make plays. You think too much and get confused and think, ‘Is this the right piece or the wrong game?’ And you’re wasting time, 2 seconds, 3 seconds. And they’re going to win, you know?’
“The enemy is going to make mistakes, the enemy is human. They are good, of course, but they will make mistakes. You have to keep looking for a corner, don’t hesitate. If you don’t hesitate, and you’re not afraid, and you just try, you win.”
Teamfighting was definitely the main thing Impact noticed about their game that he wanted to improve. He used their match against Damwon as an example of where the gap between most NA teams and the best LPL/LCK teams might lie.
“If we make the right choice, we can beat them through team fights. Even in that game we were like, ‘Oh, we can shoot Azir’, but we need to talk about what happens next, you know? If we shot Azir, what’s going to happen?’
Impact talked about having a certain “feel” to these things, that there should be a certain level of unspoken communication where the team just knows what to do to win with their squad composition. And that’s something NA lacks in his eyes.
“We don’t normally talk about that sort of thing in NA, you know? In terms of details, in terms of team fights. That’s what I think is the really big gap. Details.”
“Little details change the game.”