The 2022 LCS Lock-In preseason tournament continued Saturday with Group B's first showing as Evil Geniuses took early possession of first place with wins over the other two most promising teams in the group.
In a day that was more competitive than Group A on Friday, Evil Geniuses (2-0) made a bigsplash in their season debut against Team Liquid (1-1), who had looked strong in their earlier win against Dignitas (1-1).
Team Liquid's new-look, star-studded lineup featured mid lane legend Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg returning to play after coaching TSM in 2021 and European top lane icon Gabrieuml;l "Bwipo" Rau. Evil Geniuses was led by their new acquisitions, namely support Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme, EU LEC 2021 MVP jungler Kacper "Inspired" Sloma, and rookie mid laner Joseph "Jojopyun" Pyun.
Against Liquid, Inspired helped the Geniuses stay competitive while Liquid moved ahead through strong early skirmishes and objective control. By the 25-minute mark, Liquid had amassed a gold lead of 3,600, and looked to put the game away. However, they ran headfirst into Jojopyun's Corki, who dealt massive poke damage late game and all but brought the Geniuses back into contention. With Vulcan applying crowd control throughout teamfights as Rakan, Evil Geniuses survived Liquid's onslaught long enough to secure an Ocean Soul, eventually taking the win in 41 minutes on red.
Evil Geniuses would go on to take down Counter Logic Gaming (1-1) in 24 minutes on red to finish the day in atop Group B. CLG had looked impressive in their earlier 24-minute win on blue against Immortals (0-2), but ran into a veritable buzzsaw in Evil Geniuses. Vulcan's roaming as Nautilus in the early game gave Inspired's Jarvan IV all the room he needed to completely dominate the early game, ensuring that all of the Evil Genius' lanes would enjoy an early advantage against Counter Logic Gaming's late-game scaling composition.
Though CLG would eventually find decent looks in the later stages of the game, it was too little, too late as the Geniuses took the win.
Dignitas would finish the day with a 1-1 mark after taking down Immortals in a 38-minute win on red. This game was sloppy as both teams displayed symptoms of not being on the same page, but it was Dignitas that held onto the lead. Led by a powerful poke composition core of Zoe, Caitlyn and Lux, Dignitas took down Immortals to enter a three-way tie for second in Group B.
The Lock-In tournament has teams divided into two groups by the Summer 2021 finalists: 100 Thieves and Team Liquid. The top four teams from each group go to playoffs, which is an eight-team, single-elimination bracket. Quarterfinals are best-of-three, whereas the semifinals and Grand Finals are best-of-five.
The Lock In Tournament continues on Sunday with five matches from both Group A and Group B:
FlyQuest vs 100 Thieves (Group A)
Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming (Group B)
TSM vs Cloud9 (Group A)
Evil Geniuses vs Immortals (Group B)
Golden Guardians vs FlyQuest (Group A)
Lock In Tournament Standings:
100 Thieves, 2-0
Golden Guardians, 0-2
Evil Geniuses, 2-0
Team Liquid, 1-1
Counter Logic Gaming, 1-1
-- Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media