NAF on why Evil Geniuses move fell through: “Some of the worst management I’ve talked to”

João Ferreira/PGL

Team Liquid CS:GO star Keith ‘NAF’ Markovich has revealed how he passed up the opportunity to join Evil Geniuses before the 2022 season.

The Canadian player engaged in talks with Evil Geniuses at the end of the 2021 season as he weighed up his options after a disappointing year with Team Liquid.

In the end, he re-signed with Team Liquid, but for a period of time, he entertained the possibility of a change of scenery. By then, he had been with Liquid for three years, and the team had hit a lull after the dominant run in 2019 that saw them complete the Intel Grand Slam run inside 63 days.

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Talking about his decision to stay with Liquid on the latest episode of ‘The Mauisnake Show’, NAF explained that the lineup he wanted to build for EG wasn’t possible because Ethan ‘Ethan’ Arnold had no desire to come back from Valorant due to CS:GO’s hectic tournament calendar.

At the same time, another reason why NAF decided against switching orgs was that he came away unimpressed from his discussions with Evil Geniuses’ management.

(Timestamp starts at 02:07:26 for mobile viewers)

“That was probably some of the worst management I think I have ever talked to in my life,” he said. “Not to be too blunt about it. EG surely knows that as well. They’re clearly not handling their team properly at all.

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“Me talking to them for about an hour changed my mind. I was like, ‘Liquid is light-years ahead of this organization and I’d be an idiot to go and join this team’. EG is a phenomenal org, they have plenty of history but I think the management and the way they run things are not the way [to do it].

“I talked to them for an hour and I was like, ‘I’m not joining this disaster’. I came back to Liquid and I was like, ‘I’m down to make things work, let’s talk about it, and let’s get things going.’”

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Evil Geniuses have come under intense scrutiny for their handling of the CS:GO team, which has been outside the top 20 in the world rankings since July 2021 (save for one week in November 2022). They have not won a trophy since ESL One Cologne 2020 North America, a tournament that was held online because of the global health crisis.

Last week, CS:GO analyst Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunović offered $1,000 to the team that eliminated Evil Geniuses from the RMR qualifier. LOS + oNe claimed the bounty after beating EG 2-0, meaning that the North American side will miss the upcoming IEM Rio Major.