After an impressive first year in the LCS, Evil Geniuses bot laner Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki will take home the 2021 LCS Rookie of the Year Award.
The award comes after a great summer split with EG, where Danny has taken the league by storm. At just 17 years old, Danny has been able to lift Evil Geniuses through its bot lane alongside veteran support Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, who joined the team last year. This has been an area of the map where EG has struggled ever since entering the LCS in 2020, but now it finally seems like the team has found the right bot laner and a possible franchise player.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) August 11, 2021
Danny and Evil Geniuses are entering the summer playoffs as third seed, after an incredible summer split. The team didn’t perform during the spring split but has caught up to the other top teams with an 18-9 record. This makes EG the most improved team in the LCS this split and Danny was a huge part of that.
The young bot laner had the most kills of anyone in the LCS this summer with a total of 111 kills across 27 games. Behind him was Edward “Tactical” Ra, who was LCS Rookie of the Year award in 2020. With Danny’s rise, the LCS actually has a very strong group of bot laners that could perform at an international level in the right meta.
Besides kills, Danny also made himself deserving of the award in other areas. Despite his young age, Danny ended up in fourth place among bot laners in damage per minute with 556. This was more than enough to be a reliable carry for Evil Geniuses. Danny also showcased a solid champion pool, adapting to new meta champions such as Samira and Ziggs. His most-placed champion has been Tristana, who he is particularly good with.
Danny will be looking to maintain this form in his first playoffs, where he has shown he is capable of playing a best-of-five format with tons of pressure. In his first playoffs appearance, Danny helped Evil Geniuses take a 3-1 victory over Dignitas. Evil Geniuses will next face 100 Thieves on Saturday, August 14.