Melany M. January 9, 2020
Evil Geniuses Academy has completed its starting roster with the addition of Lebanese mid laner Ahmad "Korean kid" Charif.
Evil Geniuses Academy went all the way to the Middle East to find a new mid laner. Korean Kid recently took part in Nexus Arabia 2019, the first League of Legends event of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The mid laner was part of EGZ eSports, which won one of the tournaments that took place at the event.
Korean Kid is the final piece of a Cloud9 Academy roster that also includes European jungler Kadircan "Kadir" Mumcuoğlu, top laner Brandon "Brandini" Chen, and bottom lane duo Matthew "Deftly" Chen and Matthew "Matt" Elento.
Kadir is no stranger to the LCS, as the jungler was part of the OpTic Gaming Academy roster in 2018. His stay in North America only lasted three months.
The jungler went back to Europe where he competed in different leagues including the Summoner's Inn League, Germany’s national league.
Brandini was released early from Team SoloMid Academy. The top laner was subbed out in the summer season, with the team citing “behavioral issues” as the reason behind the decision. The organization did not release further details, but he is being given another chance by Evil Geniuses and will start in the spring.
Finally, Matt and Deftly are reuniting after previously playing together for Golden Guardians.
Deftly has been a journeyman of late. After splitting from Golden Guardians, Deftly moved to Cloud9, and was eventually traded to Evil Geniuses. As far as bottom laners go, Deftly is one of the best in the LCS. Throughout the 2019 LCS Spring, Deftly was a solid carry for Golden Guardians before being demoted from the team.
NA Academy League in the spotlight
In 2020, Riot Games is putting more emphasis on the Academy league and giving the players more stage time. Starting in spring, there will be Academy games Friday through Monday. The goal is to give the Academy teams more exposure.
Evil Geniuses Academy will play its first game of the season on January 24 when the team is facing Dignitas Academy. This will be a tough match for Evil Geniuses, with Dignitas' farm team boasting five veteran players.
Dignitas’ roster includes top laner Samson "Lourlo" Jackson, jungler Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham, mid laner Tanner "Damonte" Damonte is, and bottom lane duo Kim "Fenix" Jae-hun and Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung. Fenix was a veteran mid laner that decided to swap roles this season.
The 2020 NA Academy League Spring Season starts on January 24.