Evil Geniuses is getting back into the Counter-Strike business.
According to a report by Dexerto’s Jarek Lewis, the roster of NRG Esports is set to depart the organization. They will remain together, but will begin competing under the Evil Geniuses umbrella. This could come into effect as soon as ESL One New York, which begins on September 26.
If true, the news comes as a major surprise.
NRG Esports has established itself as one of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s best teams over recent years, and likely the second-best North American squad behind Team Liquid. The team is coming off a strong performance at the StarLadder Berlin Major that saw them blaze their way through both group stages to earn a spot in the Champions Stage playoffs. From there, they defeated Natus Vincere, but fell in the semifinals to Astralis for a 3-4th place finish.
While one would expect that this would encourage NRG Esports to take extra measures to retain such a successful team, that may not be the case.
NRG is going through some major changes of its own at the moment. It was recently announced that the organization purchased the Chicago-based franchise for the upcoming Call of Duty League. This was followed by the addition of Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez as the organization’s co-CEO following his departure from OpTic Gaming. Lewis did not specify whether these changes were a factor.
Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses was acquired by investment firm PEAK6 in May. Though EG has long been primarily known for its successful Dota 2 team, the event has seemingly been trying to expand in the months since. The greatest example of this come from reports that Evil Geniuses was looking to return to League of Legends by purchasing the franchise of Echo Fox.
Evil Geniuses has never had a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, but has a history in the series that dates back to 2002 with the original Counter-Strike. It ceased its operations in 2012 but reportedly looked to return to the game in 2014 by signing the former iBUYPOWER roster. This was scuttled following reports of match-fixing by the team.
Neither NRG Esports nor Evil Geniuses have issued a statement on the matter.