Former CLG EU League of Legends team officially joins Evil Geniuses

Former Counter Logic Gaming European League of Legends team joining new organization, confirming report from earlier this month.

The international eSports organization Evil Geniuses has officially announced that the former Counter Logic Gaming European League of Legends team will be joining the organization. This confirms a GameSpot report on the situation from January 3. Both parties have come to an agreement on terms that will reportedly make them the highest paid League of Legends team in the world.

Alex Garfield, CEO of EG, and Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, Captain of EG’s new League of Legends team, have told GameSpot that the full five-man roster of Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, Peter “Yellowpete” Wüppen, Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels and Mike “Wickd” Petersen have signed a one-year contract with the team. The DreamHack Summer champions have been mulling over their future since August, having had serious discussions with Evil Geniuses and Curse, and also considered starting their own team. The finalization of the deal comes after many months of back-and-forth of meetings between Evil Geniuses Owner Alex Garfield and the team, with Ellis at the helm of the talks. It is said to be the longest contract negotiation Evil Geniuses have ever had with a player or team.

Both sides note financial support was not the focal point of the deal, as several other factors such as security, longevity, team stability, streaming platform and belief in each other were weighed along with the deal’s financials. Garfield met with Ellis and the team at least six separate times throughout the past half-year, with the initial meeting occurring shortly before Ellis and his team played in Korea’s OGN The Champions League this past summer.

Ellis and the team began thinking about and exploring their options for 2013 starting before their participation in The Champions last August, at which they narrowly lost to Azubu Frost in the finals. Their contract with CLG was ending December 31, and team knew of CLG’s plans to partner with Azubu for the future. While the partnership presented opportunities for the team, they saw it more as a hindrance that relied too much on potentially unstable funding sources, and a lot of moving parts. The players felt CLG was not at the same level professionally as other established organizations, and came to a decision that without a major change in that development, they would not extend their contracts into the new year.

Curse, with a European squad that has gone through a variety of roster changes lately, reportedly made a very strong offer to the former CLG team. The offer had the potential to yield more money through their own additional personal sponsorships, an opportunity not attainable through Evil Geniuses, which is known to have the most restrictive player contracts in the industry in terms of players’ independent sponsorship opportunities. Although Curse had on paper the better financial offer and a multiple large team houses to boot, Ellis felt there was too much of a reality TV atmosphere surrounding the team.

There were also said to be obligations from Curse of roughly double the number of hours they would have to stream compared to Evil Geniuses. Not only was this a large factor to the team for both fatigue and practice reasons, the team was said to have much preferred streaming on Twitch.tv rather than Own3d.tv, Evil Geniuses and Curse’s streaming partners, respectively. As of a report two days ago, Own3d.tv may be shutting down in less than a week. Talks with Curse slowed down after this.

Negotiations came down to either signing with Evil Geniuses, or pursuing the teams’ personal aspirations of building an empire themselves. Worldwide fan favorites CLG and Team SoloMid were born this way, and just less than two weeks ago, their European rivals Alexey "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin and company left Moscow 5 to start their own journey in Gambit Gaming. Ellis was not fond of traditional eSports organizations, going through a rough four-month stint himself with SK Gaming under Captain Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez at the end of 2011, seeing himself and Peterson leave for CLG Europe for the start of 2012.

Ellis had his own reservations about Evil Geniuses as well, with the team’s StarCraft II players Greg “IdrA” Fields and Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson having unkind things to say about League of Legends in the past, although both recently backtracked on their previous comments and mentioned their support of all eSports titles, including League of Legends. Last December, Garfield spoke to PCGamesN at the fifth IGN ProLeague event in Las Vegas, unsure of what the future may hold for EG in League of Legends. “Obviously, the numbers are impressive, and the passion of the community is impressive,” Garfield said. “I think the challenge for me is just to find the right brand representatives for EG. So I’ve been perfectly happy to wait and sit on the sidelines and let some of those guys grow up a little bit.”

Garfield said this, and at the same time knew this five-nation squad of five was the brand he was looking for. Garfield was said to have looked for almost two years for the right players to represent his brand in League of Legends, but was unsatisfied with his available options in his search until now. Even with Riot’s Season 3 of the League Championship Series on deck with multi-million dollar prize pools and worldwide exposure was not reason enough to sign a team before the season starts. It was this team or no team for Evil Geniuses.

After initially meeting in Korea in August, and keeping talks going from that point, Garfield again met with the entire team at the MLG Winter Championships in Dallas, bringing a customized PowerPoint presentation with him that outlined the benefits of the team choosing EG over its other options. This is said to have been a major turning point in the negotiating process, as up until that point the team still considered both Curse and starting its own team as better options than signing with EG. Before Garfield’s PowerPoint presentation, the team’s other options were seen as more attractive and more likely, but after the presentation, the team began to consider the prospect of joining EG as equally viable and attractive to its other options.

Things went well in Dallas, and while EG was no longer behind in its pursuit of Ellis’ team, it appeared to have caught up with the team’s other options. However, both sides were still skeptical. Ellis and the team still had a strong desire to try things out on their own, and Garfield was having last-minute reservations regarding Riot’s plans for Season 3 and how they might affect the way participating teams could run their businesses.

The two met for the final time at IPL5 in Las Vegas, with both parties coming out of talks with their concerns addressed. Looking two, three years ahead was very important to Ellis and the team, despite the fact that their initial EG deal would only be one year in duration. The meeting helped Ellis realize it would be more beneficial to the team to join with a strong organization like EG, rather than taking on the potentially difficult challenge of running things themselves.

Ellis was specifically concerned that, if the team tried to make things work on their own, he himself would have to take less of a player role and more of a management role--something he was not necessarily opposed to but felt was not truly in his best interests at this point in his career. The team agreed after IPL5 that it would be better to fulfill their goals with EG as an organization supporting them.

Ellis and Garfield continued discussions in the two weeks following after IPL5, with a verbal agreement being reached in mid-December. At that point, with Garfield still having some last-minute concerns, Riot eSports personnel personally reached out to him to help alleviate some of his concerns about Season 3 and the future of League of Legends. Ellis and the team take a significant amount of pride in being Evil Geniuses’ first League of Legends team, which they saw as an overall plus given that Garfield is known for being incredibly picky with his player recruitment and he had noted as much previously in his PCGamesN interview. Ellis and the team feel that partnering with EG could help bridge the gap between League of Legends and the other professional gaming communities.

The new Evil Geniuses League of Legends roster will play their first games under EG blue at the start of the Season 3 League Championships in Europe.

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Discussion

201 comments
aermeus
aermeus

I love when "pro" gamers take these photos with the look on their face like "i am lion...hear me roar"...with a subtle menacing pose...it makes me giggle inside!

andrescapo_
andrescapo_

These comments...

Why is it so hard to understand that some people make money from playing videogames, just like a basketball player earns money by playing basketball.

We can all play basketball, but only the best get paid. Same deal here.

And since is videogames related, it can be on any front page of any videogame related website. You know why? Because its videogames related! OMG!!!!

Fursnake
Fursnake

He seems to be overplaying the attempt at looking dark and tough...keyword is "attempt"

Sampawende
Sampawende

(security + longevity + team stability + streaming platform + belief in each other) / paycheck

.....Actually yes, financial support matters, in fact it even has the potentials to leverage all the hassle, even for those that don't know it yet.

NS_Sonic204
NS_Sonic204

I would much rather see these types of articles than all the "Dumb Politician says 'vidja gaemz r violent lole' " articles. Those just depress the hell outta me. At least these people are proving video games are a lot more than just "games". Right?

shock_88
shock_88

I decided to look back at all the front page articles from the last 7 days because of all the complaining about "durrrr gamespot covers too much e-sports"...and I had nothing better to do with my time. 

There are about 90-100 articles on the front page from the last 7 days......only 4 are esports related articles as far as I could see (maybe i missed a few). Gamespot community over-reacting much? Nothing new I suppose.

X-Eli-X
X-Eli-X

lol You guys mad? They make good money doing what they love. Don't hate.

StrongBlackVine
StrongBlackVine

Yeah this story and "esports" are garbage. Playing a videogame is not a talent. I don't care what anyone says. I don't care if some people like it, it should not be front page news!

jeremy-
jeremy-

Id prefer to read an interview/story like this over just breaking/stealing eg's news anyday. Nice read.

roguebot
roguebot

In the video, they said "We give everything to the game. Our blood, etc."

How do you do that while playing a video game? They must be clumsy as frick.

SaviorXavi3r
SaviorXavi3r

All these comments saying these guys take gaming to seriously.... Apparently they did something right... they make good money doing it and they get to play the game for a living. Call it what you will I would be cashing in on it too..

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

This has to be the longest article I've read on gamespot for something that is so pointless!!!!! A couple of paragraphs would have sufficed!!!!!


jesus_knight
jesus_knight

Gamespot I have loved your site for years, but I have to say that I am seriously considering stop entering your site anymore becuse of this STUPID NEWS.....

PLEASE STOP IT

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

With all the worthless articles like this that we have been getting, I'm seriously considering switching to a different gaming website for my news.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

NTenseify
NTenseify

@shock_88 People are funny when it comes to things they can't understand. Instead of thinking "Oh I didn't know people are gaining fame and fortune from playing video games, good for them" they would rather chuck a hissy fit -_-

andrescapo_
andrescapo_

@StrongBlackVine Playing a videogame is not a talent. Being really good ay playing videogames (or really good at a specific game) is a talent.

Your statement is like if I said playing football (real football, not american football) is not a talent. I can play football, i'm kinda bad at it, but there's people like Lionel Messi that are extremelly good at it, so he has a talent to play football, just as these guys have a talent to playing League of Legends.

So, try to think before writing something, or you will end up looking like a jackass all your life.

NTenseify
NTenseify

@StrongBlackVine I'm trying to understand the psychology as to why people are so aggressively against this relatively old concept of competitive gaming. Can't figure out if it's just jealousy or social conditioning. I mean as gamers we should be all for anything that gives gaming more exposure. Nobody is asking you to support e-sports but protesting against it is madness

YYankee
YYankee

@roguebot They just said that to support their point of how serious they take e-sports and how they won't accept anything but being the best. Don't take it so literally.

YYankee
YYankee

@sammoth Millions of e-sport fans across the world care. Your attitude is ignorant.

YYankee
YYankee

@jesus_knight Gamespot is not going to stop producing e-sport articles. I read in an article a while ago that MLG and a division of CBS (which owns Gamespot) have partnered up. I'm sure there are benefits for both parties. Clearly e-sport news is something that CBS recognizes as popular news for the video game industry. I see no reason for Gamespot to stop producing these articles over a minority complaining about something they could ignore. It's not even like these articles are close to the majority of ones produced on this site. There is a TON of non e-sport articles/news/videos on here.

Tribesmaster
Tribesmaster

@jesus_knight The news on Gamespot has been brutal lately. Thankfully there are other gaming websites that actually talk about things that matter. Gamespot have definitely been posting way too many articles on "esports"  I would honestly rather read about PS4 or 720 rumors than this crap.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@jesus_knight If you don't like the news then don't read them. Now stop complaining because it's pointless , just like the length of this article.

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

@jesus_knight Would you prefer they make up news?  Maybe post another PS4 rumor article or start doing tabloid shit like Kotaku.

You can't report on news that doesn't exist.  It's the middle on January when the games industry has all but shut down.

Also no one forced you to read the article.  And if you go to twitch.tv right now there are over 150,000 people watching a LoL game, and probably even more by the time the finals are on.

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

@jesus_knight Did you watch the video attached to the article?  I watched it just for fun and I think my brain melted...

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@Darth_Tyrranus  I can recommend you:

 http://www.allgamesbeta.com/


Arguably the best gaming news site i've seen. It's incredibly fast (Our dear journalist here, Eddie, takes alot of his information from there, check out the dark Souls concept art articles).


I also love the fact they post gamng news, and NOTHING but that. No stupid commentary, no pompous "atricles" about feminism or violence or whatever it is gaming is supposedly "plagued with" right now. JUST THE GAME NEWS.


It posts every update first. I see an update there, only a day later it's here.

So there you have it.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

@Darth_Tyrranus I say go to IGN. They have good articles and also articles about movies and tv. Most importantly though they have NAOMI KYLE!!!! :D

YYankee
YYankee

@NTenseify I have been trying to understand it as well. I can only come to two conclusions for their hatred, jealousy and/or ignorance.

roguebot
roguebot

@YYankee I was just commenting on the self-seriousness of these guys. It was a joke. 

I don't have anything against professional gaming, but let's face it: To the average person, that video would look like a satire. Unfortunately, it isn't. 

If they'd chill out a bit and realize they aren't piloting a space shuttle, people would (ironically, perhaps) take them MORE seriously.

sammoth
sammoth

@shock_88 It's worthless to make fun of you because it will take you the rest of the day to figure it out.

sammoth
sammoth

@YYankee @sammoth No idiot more More gamers ourt there than esport fans and most of them don;t care. Your the minority here bud. BTW : It's not a sport no matter how you put it. Why don't you ask Derek Jeter if he thinks Video Games are a sport ? I got my money your not even a true Yankee fan either.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

@Tribesmaster @jesus_knight I think what put the nail in the coffin for me was the complete absence of coverage of the release of Pandora's Tower.  It was enraging not because that game is particularly noteworthy, but because it proved that Operation Rainfall, a gamer initiated campaign, worked.  This should have been monumental news to the gaming community, and Gamespot didn't say a word about it.  I only found out this game was even being released in NA on accident.  But apparently Gamespot's new philosphy is that "e-sports" > real news.

madkings2
madkings2

@jesus_knight @Darth_Tyrranus You should go to IGN! oh btw they have IPL (IGN pro league). These same comments are posted there and ign editors have gone replyed saying the traffic they see during their IPL championship events are at the same levels as E3. But hey maybe they'll stop just for you guys

SciFiRPGfan
SciFiRPGfan

@jesus_knight @Darth_Tyrranus IGN have been having their own tournaments - IGN Proleague (even this article mentions it) for almost 2 years now. In terms of e-sports, they are actually far more into it than Gamespot.

If that's not your thing, you probably should avoid them even more.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

@jesus_knight @Darth_Tyrranus I've tried IGN before, but I have found their website to be a little more difficult to navigate than Gamespot's.  That was a while ago, though, and things may have changed.

x2infinity
x2infinity

@stratfender89 @roguebot @YYankee They make the exact same videos in tennis, golf, and other less than athletic sports. You're nitpicking something that is used for effect and not meant to be taking literally simply because the context is gaming. If someone said the exact same thing about a game like golf you would have no problem with it despite the fact that golf is hardly an athletic sport.

YYankee
YYankee

@stratfender89 @roguebot That's fine if you don't want to take them seriously because of the cliches and gladiator lines. 

There are plenty of reasons too take them seriously though. The amount of championships these guys have won in major e-sport tournaments combined with prize earnings is dominant. I think we can all agree money talks and these guys talk a lot. I personally don't know too much about EG but they are called "the Yankees of e-sports" for a reason. 

stratfender89
stratfender89

@roguebot @YYankee  

I have to agree with roguebot. I can't take this seriously. The video is saying a string of vague melodramatic lines and it comes off as cliche. I don't think the piano music and fire help at all with lines like, "my sweat and the hopes that our efforts will be rewarded." I think that's pretty much every person trying to do something and doesn't make their team stand out. 


In terms of competitive gaming, I think it's interesting.  There's a good documentary called Frag. It's a little old, but it shows how hard pro-gamers work, and it covers the less popular gamers and how some barely manage to squeak by tournament after tournament. It doesn't mention "blood, sweat and tears" either.

YYankee
YYankee

@jlefebre6001  

Since I  know what thought process went in my head when I read his comment let me illustrate to you what actually occurred using your elementary insult style.

*reads comment*

-.-  <--------my facial expression 

But in all seriousness given the amount of ridiculous, immature, and hateful comments I think it's safe to assume someone could be that dumb.


sammoth
sammoth

@YYankee

That’s a really pathetic attempt on your part to imply about grammar on a game forum. Grammar Police much? I did not realize I was writing a term paper or responding to an idiot on a game forum trying to convince others that Esports it’s a sport. Do you feel the need to boost your pathetic self esteem level a bit because you have no constructive statement to return to the comment section of this article? So what people don’t care for this type of news? So what people have a difference of opinions? I love to see the logic by what you deemed my comment as FLAWED. How is it Flawed Mr. All Knowing? Most gamers do not give a @$!# about Pro- Gamming. For the Millions that watch it there are 10's of Millions that don't. That is why the publicized on sites this one to draw a fan base (Sheep) like you. Maybe call it an event but, not a sport. Yankee fan all your life since when the 90’s kid? Accept it as an opinion whether you agree of disagree I don’t care. Next time if you're going to be a smartass, first you have to be smart. Otherwise you're just an ass.

YYankee
YYankee

@sammoth@YYankee Too bad your entire argument is flawed because I have been a Yankee fan my whole life and you're putting e-sport fans and gamers into separate categories. While there are some e-sport fans that only spectate the overwhelming majority of them are in fact GAMERS.

If Derek Jeter actually took the time to learn what e-sports is all about and saw how much passion, heart, and practice it requires to be the best in a game that has millions of fans supporting and competing in it I bet he would think it's a variation of a sport (e-sport). 

Also, don't call me bud when you can't even implement you're and your correctly. I would never be buds with someone who hates something out of pure jealousy and/or ignorance. 

Care to try again? Three strikes and you're out.


sammoth
sammoth

@YYankee @sammoth @jesus_knight

LMAO, jealous of what? I have a great career unlike you. I don't hate esports. Then again reading is not your strong point is it. Where did I say or imply that I hate it? Come now I am sure you got better come back than that? That is a really pathetic attempt on your part. You have delusions of adequacy.

YYankee
YYankee

@sammoth @YYankee @jesus_knight Too bad I never said nor implied it was new news so your entire argument is flawed. 

Your hatred is blinding you. I advise you to take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself why you hate e-sports. People like this make money from their favorite hobby and now have it as a job (and in some cases a full time job). How does that make you feel? J-e-a-l-o-u-s-y can be a bitch eh?

shock_88
shock_88

@sammoth @YYankee @jesus_knight Fail reading skills. His point was that MLG has joined with CBS, therefore CBS promotes e-sports with their videogame website, Gamespot. 

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

@alphardxyz @Darth_Tyrranus @thequickshooter Look, I've been coming to Gamespot a lot longer than you have, as evidenced by your user level, and to be honest, there has been a pretty bad decline in the quality of reporting over the past decade.  A lot of other people have also voiced their dissatisfaction with Gamespot, so I don't see why it's unreasonable to ask what other websites they recommend.  If you don't have any intention of answering my question, don't bother writing again.  Thank you.

alphardxyz
alphardxyz

@Darth_Tyrranus @alphardxyz @thequickshooter So, when you don't like a site, you go THERE and ask what is better? Come on, you're just whining because the site isn't made exactly as you want, and you hope that when they read your complaint they change everything just for you. But you're not the only person in the world.