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Danny Talks Offseason, Playing Alongside Vulcan And More

Danny Talks Offseason, Playing Alongside Vulcan And More
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

8th Feb 2022 22:46

Prior to kicking off the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), Evil Geniuses looked like one of the teams to beat during the Lock-In tournament after an uptick in form saw them net some unexpected victories.

Unfortunately for them, after being eliminated from the tournament early on by eventual Lock-In winners, Team Liquid, they couldn’t quite bounce back going into the Spring Split. But once the Summer Split rolled around, things changed. The players were clicking and were poised to make some waves during the playoffs. But again, they were cut short, this time by Cloud9 in the lower bracket. 

Although the team was dejected following a season that yearned for more, they switched things up going into 2022 by creating one of the most exciting rosters in the league. With three additions, namely jungler Kacper “Inspired” Sloma, mid-laner  Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun, and support Philipe “Vulcan” Laflamme, the two remaining players from the 2021 season, top laner Jeong “Impact” Yon-young and ADC Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki were in for a great season.

We got a chance to speak to Danny following his team’s victory in the first match of the season.

Congrats on the win today Danny, how’d it feel to not only get a win to start the season but also have it be on stage with a penta to boot?

It definitely feels really nice to start off with a strong opening with the split, but the way I played I think it was very slow and very controlled. I'm pretty happy with that.

You guys did really well during the Lock-In tournament but were unfortunately swept by Team Liquid. What was it like to be able to bounce from that as well?

I think it was just reevaluating ourselves, seeing what we did wrong and then we can like always fix our mistakes from that loss. It definitely felt pretty bad to get stuff like that but yeah, I feel like we're bouncing back really nicely.

You’ve been able to start off the year red hot with great play that has even led to two pentas. Is there anything you can credit that helped you start the season off on your A-game?

I like to give her a lot of credit to Vulcan. He's a very good player and he's helped me a lot when we first joined together in LA, and then there's also my positional coach for bot lane. His name is "Draxyr". He's very good at teaching me. So yeah, that's basically it.

Speaking of Vulcan, he was one of the highly touted supports during the offseason. So what’s it like to team with him? Were you guys able to click right away or was it a slower approach?

At first, it kind of felt like a pretty slow approach. We were just getting to know each other. And then after a few days, it pretty much clicked instantly. I think me and Vulcan are very—we fairly know each other very well now, and I'm really happy that I get to play with him.

Obviously, last year was your first year playing in the LCS meaning that this past off-season was your first off-season as an LCS player. How did you approach it? Did you do anything specific to practice and get prepared for the 2022 season or was it similar to back when you were in the amateur scene?

It was pretty similar to the Amateur. After we were in the offseason, I basically took a very long break. And I didn't really do much. I was just chilling, just preparing myself for the start of Lock-In. And about like a month prior to Lock In we were going really hard at it and I was really prepared for getting back in it.

Evil Geniuses’ moves during this offseason were seen as one of, if not the most exciting in all of the season. Can you give a bit of perspective on it as one of the only two members to remain from last year’s roster?

The roster-building was really interesting to me because there was a lot of options that we had. And I'm really glad that we landed on Inspired, for sure. Inspired has been a great asset to our team and very thankful for having him here.

Vulcan was another option and I'm pretty glad that we landed on him as well—he's been amazing. I couldn't ask for anything better. For mid though it was like the most controversial topic that we had. And I think with how we've done it with me last year, I think they've gotten the confidence to add in another rookie and it's jojopyun so I think it's been going great.

Colin Young-Wolff / ESPAT
Colin Young-Wolff / ESPAT

Touching on the offseason still. During the off-season, other teams’ bot lanes, including yours, swapped a lot. Is there any duo in particular that you look forward to playing against this season?

I'm really excited to see Han Sama and CoreJJ back together. I know that in Lock-In it was either one or the other with Bwipo in the equation.

I'm really excited to play versus them. And then another one is obviously Berserker and Winsome. I'm really excited to see them as well. I can't wait to play with them.

Last season was your breakout season in which you earned yourself Rookie of the Summer Split. What can the league expect from you this season? 

The league can expect only the best for me.

After having such a strong performance in my rookie year, I'm really excited to keep going and show people that I'm one of the top AD carries in the West.

 

What are your personal goals for the 2022 season?

I would like to win Spring Split, win Summer, go to MSI, [and] go to Worlds, hopefully. Yeah. That's basically the whole thing.

 

With an exciting roster, Danny and the rest of his team look to continue their good start against Dignitas on February 12. Proving once again, why they are one to beat.

 

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