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Impact Discusses His Personal Playstyle, Playing with Jiizuke

Dan Smyth-Temple

Evil Geniuses took a win off 100 Thieves in the second round robin in a fitting fashion, falling behind early and winning late— the opposite of how they lost in the first head-to-head, although 100 Thieves’ lead wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Evil Geniuses’ the last time they clashed. This was a critical victory for Evil Geniuses, both teams being rated similarly and jostling for second place behind C9 as midseason playoffs draw ever closer


Impact knows and enjoys that Evil Geniuses is such a fun team to watch. (Photo via Riot Games.)

We spoke with Jeong “Impact” Eon-young after the game to discuss his playstyle, Evil Geniuses’ strengths, and playing with Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro. 

Hotspawn: Congrats on that win! It must feel good to beat 100 Thieves after the disappointing loss to them in the last round robin. How’re you feeling after that game? 

Impact: Yeah, it feels good to win. But I fucked up the early lane phase, cause I checked the bush— that’s why I gave a disadvantage to Svenskeren. We should’ve got top crab. But after that, we followed our win condition, cause we stacked drake. Their team, comp-wise, was hard to contest easily because to me Renekton should’ve gone tank, but he went offensive, [so] no one could check bushes really easily against Rell. That’s what happened— we were hard to fight. We won macro-wise, I think. It can be better, but I think we did well.

Hotspawn: What were some of your win conditions that game, more specifically? You mentioned stacking dragons. 

Impact: It was simple— just get vision first and fight objectives, and make sure Ekko can flank. That was our win condition because if Ekko needs to group to contest, Ekko is kind of a garbage champion. We needed to find Ekko flank [routes], so I needed to group. I wasn’t a split pusher [that game]. It was good, and Jiizuke played well too. He stole my solo kill but it’s fine [laughs]. 

Hotspawn: This is the second time you’ve gone head-to-head in the regular split against 100T, and people seem to rate the two teams similarly. How confident were you going into game? 

Impact: I was thinking if we just do our job—  but we played shit last week. This week we were talking about how we shouldn’t be taking every fight, and playing [smarter]. If there’s no reason to fight— if it’s not “if they get drake we’re gonna lose!” or something like that. If they take drake, what do we get, you know? Topside we can get something. I think we played the sidelanes better this game. I tried to group more with my teammates. I was kind of selfish, but I changed that, thinking I needed to help my teammates to get vision or [grouping] so I can look to engage more. I think we won with our team play. 

Hotspawn: It’s surprising to hear you describe your own play as selfish, because the perception of you is the opposite— most people think of you as a strong weakside toplaner. Do you agree with that? How would you describe your own playstyle? 

Impact: It’s up to the situation. I sometimes need to sacrifice, even for this game, I gave top turret. We [got] drake, but they chose herald. Just the situation, but I agree. Also, I think sometimes you need to be selfish more, [but] sometimes you need to help teammates more. It’s up to the champion and the situation, you know? My point is I should know the balance, I think, not “oh, I’m just a selfish player” or “oh, I’m a teamplay player,” not like that. I think I need to be more balanced. Sometimes I need to be more selfish to win games, and sometimes I need to be a team player to win games. 



Impact came to NA in 2015 after winning worlds on SKT in 2013 (Photo via Riot Games)

Hotspawn: What would you say sets you apart from the other best toplaners in the LCS? 

Impact: Alphari is good. He’s not a problem to me too much, I think he’s good generally. Ssumday is good laner normally, but I don’t know, he teamfights kinda bad now. I dunno. If I needed to say who is best, without me, I’d say Alphari. 

Hotspawn: Shifting gears away from you, I wanted to talk a little bit more about Evil Geniuses as a whole. I’ve been talking with different players about the concept of a team style, and how different teams are developing theirs. Do you have a sense of what Evil Geniuses’ might be at this point in the split?

Impact: I think it’s too early to say, but we have team color because we have Jiizuke. Jiizuke makes our team color one way— inting or doing well. We have team color. I think people like watching Jiizuke because he’s gonna int or he’s gonna do something more. Today, he kinda inted early game, but doing well later. People can see rank 10 midlaner or rank 1 midlaner in one game. 

Hotspawn: Apart from team style, what would you say are the strengths of Evil Geniuses that set you apart from the other top teams? 

Impact: To me, the sololaners can make plays more than other teams. I’m not [saying] Ignar or Deftly or Svenskeren don’t do anything, but my point is I think Jiizuke finds angles more than other players. Ignar is doing well too in teamfights, but I think that’s our strength. Sometimes it looks like suicide if they don’t follow, but you can’t make 100% winning plays. EG is still just fighting, you know? If we don’t give up—  but we need to be smart. Sometimes you need to give up. That’s how we need to improve. There’s still [a lot] to learn.

Hotspawn: It seems like you think EG is a little inconsistent, or coin-flippy at the moment. 

Impact: I’m not sure it’s coin flip, but everything can be coinflip, you know? Teamfight wise. If you’re good but you fuck up individually, you can still win. Just make sure you’re getting a high chance of getting your side of the coin. That’s better. That’s how we make the plan— what’s their teamfight win condition, what’s our win condition, they’re 5v5 but we like to split push, stuff like that. 

Hotspawn: I think that’s all I have time for. Do you have any parting words for the Evil Geniuses fans out there before I go?

Impact: I hope you guys are getting fun from our games. Our game today was kind of worrying, because there weren’t many fights— we just said “oh, give up guys.” You guys think we’re the even but if you look vision-wise, they’re losing. Anyways, I hope you guys are getting fun from our games. Thanks guys! 

Hotspawn: I’m definitely having fun watching you guys, so I’m sure everyone else is as well.

Impact: In game I like watching too, because my midlaner always does something. It’s fun! [Laughs].