Dennis ‘Svenskeren’ Johnsen can see his “crazy” new Evil Geniuses roster coming out on top in one of the most stacked LCS title races in recent years, and it’s all thanks to two huge signings that are “flying under the radar.”
In an offseason that saw Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković and Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris hop the pond to North America, and Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg and Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng hang up their keyboards, it was easy to miss two other huge moves — Jeong ‘Impact’ Eon-young and Lee ‘IgNar’ Dong-geun to Evil Geniuses.
Both stars had represented the LCS in 2020, on Liquid and FlyQuest respectively, collecting 3–3 group records. IgNar also starred in both domestic finals.
Yet, when they both joined EG, a top team already boasting world-class jungler Svenskeren, and wildcard mid laner Daniele ‘Jiizuke’ di Mauro, no one blinked.
Now, the roster has announced themselves in style. They clocked up a perfect 3–0 first round to start their Lock In run, and swept through the Golden Guardians with ease in the quarterfinals. They’ve forced themselves into the conversation, and Svenskeren thinks they can deliver on their early promise throughout the year.
And it’s all, he tells Dexerto, because of their offseason pickups.
“It’s pretty crazy we were able to get IgNar and Impact. Those two signings are huge,” the Dane said. “I’m really happy to get to play with these guys. I’ve wanted to play with them for a long time. We’re really confident going into the season.”
Svenskeren, who is certainly no stranger to winning League of Legends silverware in North America, knows it’s going to be a tough road to the top. All-star rosters like Team Liquid, Cloud9, and even 100 Thieves have upgraded heavily ahead of the season, and pose major threats to any title hopefuls.
The trick, the jungler says, will be to “ignore” what they’re doing.
He knows those lineups are going to be major forces throughout 2021. All he — and the new “stacked” Evil Geniuses roster — can do, is play their own game.
“We’re going to play to win, and do our best to take out the title.”
“Obviously I’ve thought about it [too], and Team Liquid is really strong. So is C9, once they gel, but we just have to focus on ourselves, how we want to play the game, and not really focus on the other teams,” Svenskeren continued.
Then there’s the personal battles Svenskeren will face: “I’m looking forward to playing against Blaber, and Santorin. Those two are probably the best junglers in the league and I want to beat those two so I can make myself the best jungler.”
That train of thought also leads the Dane to another ingredient he knows is needed if this stacked Evil Geniuses roster wants to win the LCS: himself.
Svenskeren has long been one of the clear best junglers in North America. He’s relatively humble about his success, even downplaying his Summer 2019 MVP title and suggesting he only won it because “the team was playing around [him],” but if he’s on-song, any team he’s leading tends to thrive.
So, even as he downplays his own crucial playmaker role, he admits he knows he has to “keep his sharpness” and give everything for the squad.
“I want, and need, to be the best that I can be. I don’t want to lose focus on my mechanical skills, even though I focus a lot on team play. I’m going to be grinding as much solo queue as possible, and keep tabs on the meta. I want to make sure I can play everything,” he said.
“Back then [his MVP season in 2019] what it took to win was me being selfish. If the team needs to play around someone else, then that’s what I’ll do [now]. Obviously, it would be nice to win MVP again! But I’m not focused on it.”
Putting all the thoughts of title challenges out of his mind, though, Svenskeren is just happy that pro League of Legends is back. He’s been having “a lot of fun” with the new Mythic items and is especially loving “just how strong the jungle is” right now. “I’m really enjoying it.”
“The only thing I’m not so sure about is the Moonstone, that item,” he chuckled. “It’s pretty dumb that junglers build this item, you just become a support, I don’t really like that playstyle. If it gets us the win though, I’m happy to do it.”
- Read More: Why is everyone building Moonstone Renewer?
He will have his eyes on League patch 11.3 though. “Maybe Riot hit it hard with nerfs then?” Dexerto offered in the interview. He laughed. “I hope so.”