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L for EG

Boostio joins 100 Thieves, is Evil Geniuses finally out of Valorant?




Kelden “Boostio” Pupello has joined 100 Thieves’ Valorant esports roster, which carries big implications for Evil Geniuses.

100 Thieves secured one of the best in-game leaders in the world for its Valorant roster. Boostio joins the organization after winning the Valorant Champions 2023 with Evil Geniuses. Under 100 Thieves, Boostio reunites with former Evil Geniuses Assistant Coach Tony “Zikz” Gray. Boostio completes the roster alongside Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, Sean “bang” Bezerra, Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, and the recently added Daniel “eeiu” Vucenovic.

“So f****** ecstatic to finally bring Boostio to 100T to round out our roster. No other person in the world I’d want other than him to help lead this group. 2024 is about to be a movie,” wrote Zikz on X.

While the move might seem surprising to some, rumors about the transfer started circulating in October. At the time, none of the parties involved confirmed or denied the rumors. A post by Boostio’s mom reignited discussion and proved to be an omen of his transfer.

100 Thieves is making big moves ahead of the competitive season. In 2023, the organization confirmed that it would re-focus on its esports efforts, spinning off its game development studio and the Juvee brand.

What is happening with Evil Geniuses’ Valorant team?

Evil Geniuses’ Valorant roster is being broken down, with players’ contracts being sold off to other organizations.

Despite being arguably the most iconic North American esports organization, Evil Geniuses has been visibly struggling. The organization has been cutting players and teams entirely, including dropping its Dota 2 division despite being a staple of the game’s competitive scene. In November 2023, Evil Geniuses confirmed its departure from League of Legends, leaving its LCS slot vacant for 2024.

In Valorant, the VCT champions had no time to celebrate their victory as reports of internal conflicts within the organization surfaced soon after the event. According to a report by Richard Lewis, the Evil Geniuses players found themselves in a “contract jail.” The organization allegedly turned down buyout offers for key players, putting the players in a situation where they could stay and take significant pay cuts or enter free agency where nothing is guaranteed.

Weeks after that report, Max “Demon1” Mazanov and Ethan “Ethan” Arnold joined NRG. None of the players, including Boostio, made any public statement regarding Evil Geniuses. Only Demon1 hinted at a difficult negotiation on X.

Despite the uncertainty around the organization, one thing is for certain; Evil Geniuses intends to stay in Valorant. In a report by Jacob Wolf, founder of Evil Geniuses owner PEAK6 Matt Hulsizer stated that the organization is happy to continue on Valorant.

Evil Geniuses Valorant will have a new look going forward. All the contracts for its winning roster, including head coach Christine “Potter” Chi, expire in 2024. If the reports are true and the relationship between the organization and players has gone sour, it’s possible fans don’t actually see them until their deals run out and they find opportunities elsewhere.

Steven Rondina is a long-time gamer who loves the Persona series, but not quite as much as he loves all things Pokemon. He has a background in writing about video games, gaming culture, and combat sports.