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Release the Gracken: IdrA returns to Evil Geniuses for Heroes of the Storm

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Release the Gracken: IdrA returns to Evil Geniuses for Heroes of the Storm

Well here’s a surprise. It’s been awhile since we heard from Greg “IdrA" Fields, at one point one of the foremost American StarCraft pros. He was released from the Evil Geniuses eSports team in the wake of some extremely negative comments about the StarCraft community, and appeared to have dropped out of the competitive gaming entirely.

Now, however, he has returned home to EG... as a part of their newly-signed Heroes of the Storm squad.

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It's not all doom and gloom: EG.Fear returns to Dota 2

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It's not all doom and gloom: EG.Fear returns to Dota 2

The fallout from this year’s Dota 2 International has affected nearly every top tier team. Teams have reflected on their recent performance, and made drastic changes to their team rosters to try and strengthen their future prospects. Many professional Dota 2 players have left their teams as a result of this great roster shuffle: Na’Vi’s own leader ‘Puppey’ announced his departure only last week.

It’s not all bad news though. EG’s veteran player ‘Fear’ has returned to the squad in rather spectacular fashion.

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League of Legends patch 4.12 video discusses the changes with Evil Geniuses’ Snoopeh

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League of Legends patch 4.12 video discusses the changes with Evil Geniuses’ Snoopeh

League of Legends has been hit with a colossal patch that turns a vast amount of elements of the game on their heads. Jungle timers show a countdown on-screen until jungle creatures respawn, and a great handful of champions have been tweaked into notably different reflections of their former selves. 

Riot have put out an interesting video in which the game’s producers talk about the latest changes with LoL pro superstar Snoopeh of Evil Geniuses. Amusingly Snoopeh isn’t all that convinced by some of the changes, and it’s Team Riot’s job to change his perspective. 

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Evil Geniuses' League of Legends team splits, EG to North America, Alliance forms in EU

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Evil Geniuses' League of Legends team splits, EG to North America, Alliance forms in EU

One of the oldest rosters in professional League of Legends, the five-man Evil Geniuses squad of Snoopeh, Froggen, Krepo, Wickd, and Yellowpete, has finally broken up amidst some odd rebranding and an apparent restructuring of the way the Evil Geniuses business works.

The entire story is a little hard to parse, but the bottom line is that Evil Geniuses' European squad has effectively ceased to to exist. Instead, three of its members are heading to LCS North America to compete as the Evil Geniuses team while two remain in Europe under the EG-affiliated moniker, Alliance.

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Changing of the guard: Dota 2, Evil Geniuses and the next eSports upheaval

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Changing of the guard: Dota 2, Evil Geniuses and the next eSports upheaval

When I talked to Colin DeShong, Evil Geniuses’ chief operating officer, he was in the middle of a hectic week. They had just recently dismissed longtime team member and StarCraft 2 star Greg “Idra" Fields, and they were in the midst of a major promotion with the Papa John’s pizza chain. On top of all that, StarCraft 2 numbers haven’t been strong in a while, and Blizzard’s WCS has not yet proven to be the cure for what ails pro StarCraft.

So you might expect DeShong to be worried about what the future will bring. Instead, DeShong said he was actually feeling optimistic, maybe more than ever before. The reason surprised me: Dota 2 was about to release, and it might be the strongest foundation for an eSports team yet.

“Without a doubt, Dota 2 will be one of the most valuable games to EG in the coming year or two. There's just no way it won't be, and that's true for every team," he said. “There’s no reason why it won’t be a 10 year game. And if it’s a ten year game, that means it’s probably going to become one of the biggest focuses for EG."

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StarCraft 2 pro player Idra: “I am not going to continue as a competitive player”

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StarCraft 2 pro player Idra: “I am not going to continue as a competitive player”

Following his dismissal from the StarCraft 2 team Evil Geniuses Greg ‘IdrA’ Fields has decided to retire from competitive play.

Speaking with JP “itmeJP" McDaniel in a new episode of Real Talk, Greg Fields told the host that “I am not going to continue as a competitive player" because “it’s just got to the point where competition isn’t enjoyable for me anymore."

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Stephen "Snoopeh" Ellis on preparing the Evil Geniuses League of Legends team for LCS Season 3

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Stephen "Snoopeh" Ellis on preparing the Evil Geniuses League of Legends team for LCS Season 3The Evil Geniuses League of Legends squad is currently ranked second in the European division of the LCS, close behind Fnatic following their victory over EG last Saturday. They are easily one of the top teams in the LCS’ European or American divisions, and next week they’ll be tested against many of the world’s best at the IEM World Championship in Hanover. We recently had a chance to talk to EG’s team captain, Stephen “Snoopeh" Ellis about the team’s plans for improving this year, why it’s become so much stronger since the Season 2 playoffs, and the tension between being a successful competitive team and being a successful business.

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Evil League of Evil Geniuses: How Alex Garfield and Stephen Ellis brought EG into League of Legends

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Evil League of Evil Geniuses: How Alex Garfield and Stephen Ellis brought EG into League of Legends

Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield wasn’t posturing when he talked about his disinterest in taking the Evil Geniuses eSports team into League of Legends. He was so unengaged with League that when he received an email from Stephen “Snoopeh" Ellis last summer, he didn’t really know who Ellis was, or why Evil Geniuses should be interested in his League of Legends team.

A few minutes with Google not only told Garfield that Ellis was the squad captain for one of the best and most prominent western League of Legends teams, but that suddenly he had a “very attractive opportunity" to bring EG into League on terms he could be happy with.

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Evil Geniuses-Team Liquid play KT Rolster tonight in StarCraft 2 Proleague round 2

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Evil Geniuses-Team Liquid play KT Rolster tonight in StarCraft 2 Proleague round 2Tonight, the second round of the SK Planet Proleague Season 1 continues with the combined Evil Geniuses-Team Liquid Proleague team trying its luck for a second time against KT Rolster, a Korean eSports Association progaming team with deep roots in Brood War. The last time these two teams met in round 1, EG-Liquid were beaten badly 4-0. You can watch them play again tonight at 3 AM GMT / 10 PM Eastern on Twitch, starting with a game between Revival and Flash.

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Evil Geniuses rumored to be getting into League of Legends, recruiting former CLG.EU team

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Evil Geniuses rumored to be getting into League of Legends, recruiting former CLG.EU teamThe Evil Geniuses eSports team has been conspicuously absent from the League of Legends competitive scene, and CEO Alex Garfield told us in December about some of the reasons he has hesitated to move his team in LoL. Now it sounds like Evil Geniuses may be preparing to make its move into pro League of Legends by recruiting the former CLG.EU team, according to a report from GameSpot.

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Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield on managing and marketing a fledgling eSports dynasty

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Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield on managing and marketing a fledgling eSports dynasty

Evil Geniuses are sometimes described as the New York Yankees of eSports, a backhanded sort of compliment that both grants that EG consistently field one of the strongest, most star-studded lineups around, but also that they owe their reputation to their deep pockets. It also suggests that the team’s results are not quite in line with its roster, the old sports morality tale of money being able to buy talent, but not success.

Team CEO Alex Garfield is hardly the kind of owner-tycoon you’d expect to find managing a team of star players and eSports celebrities. He’s reserved and softspoken, seemingly better suited to a graduate seminar room than the dubstep-blasted arenas that eSports call home. He doesn’t aggressively chase media, and he doesn't brag about results or publicly push EG players about their performance. While Forbes recently named the 27-year-old to their “30 under 30" list for “Games and Apps", he’s generally content to work in the background, quietly building the sponsor relationships with companies like Intel and Monster (among many others) that allow Evil Geniuses to pay top dollar for top-shelf talent.

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - the final: how No Tidehunter became the most exciting Dota 2 team on the planet

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Dota 2 at Dreamhack - the final: how No Tidehunter became the most exciting Dota 2 team on the planet

What a final. The Dreamhack Winter Dota 2 final was easily comparable to The International and Dreamhacks Summer counterpart. Three days of five on five glorious action came down to those last three matches. Both EG and No Tidehunter gave it their all, but only one managed to make the crowd roar with ecstasy. It was a stunning match.

No Tidehunter is my new favorite Dota 2 team. Here’s how they won Dreamhack Winter 2012.

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Dignitas manager on rumours of Riot demanding exclusivity for teams taking part in Season Three: "Riot said to me that if I want to pick a DOTA 2 team, I can."

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Dignitas manager on rumours of Riot demanding exclusivity for teams taking part in Season Three: "Riot said to me that if I want to pick a DOTA 2 team, I can." Overnight, prominent members of the eSports community accused Riot games of pushing to make teams pick between League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Dota 2.

SirScoot, manager of Evil Geniuses explained on the Live On Three that it was lobbying by the major teams that convinced Riot to back down, and allow organisations that host competing MOBA teams to enter the forthcoming Season Three tournament.

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The Dota International Quarter Finals: iG vs EG

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The Dota International Quarter Finals: iG vs EGSecond only to LGD in terms of the sheer strength of their lineup and their performance so far, Invictus Gaming came out of Group B with a single loss to their name, and thirteen lovely wins. Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, weren’t quite so indomitable, instead emerging out of Group A with a respectable eight wins to six losses. 

But they came up against one another in the third quarter final of the International. You can watch it here, or dive below the jump for our very own words. 

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Starcraft 2 progamer Stephano declines Millennium contract; likely signing with Evil Geniuses

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Starcraft 2 progamer Stephano declines Millennium contract; likely signing with Evil GeniusesStarcraft 2 progamer team Millennium have announced that Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri, North American Star League Season 3 Champion, has declined to renew his contract come September. Rumours, sources, whispers, and tapped phone calls suggest he is to sign with the Evil Geniuses, who are said to have outbid Millennium's renewal offer.

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