Despite being one of the most iconic brands in Dota 2 esports, Evil Geniuses might be bowing out of the game forever.
Evil Geniuses is the latest major esports brand to implement sweeping layoffs and releases. A long list of organizations ranging from 100 Thieves to FaZe Clan to TSM have handed out pink slips en masse in 2023. This has impacted both staff and players, with whole teams being cut or being forced to take pay cuts.
That’s now being seen with Evil Geniuses as its Dota 2 team manager announced on Twitter that his contract will not be renewed. He added that the Dota 2 roster met the same fate and that the organization is leaving the game entirely.
Is Evil Geniuses leaving Dota 2?
Evil Geniuses has dropped its Dota 2 roster and walked away from the game, according to its now-former team manager. Dota 2 manager Vitória De Paula “Guashineen” Fonseca Otero stated on Twitter that he was no longer a part of the organization and that layoffs were happening across the company.
While this may come as a shock to Dota 2 fans, those who have been keeping up with the organization more generally may have seen this coming. Evil Geniuses has been struggling in several ways, with CEO Nicole Lapointe James stepping down and reports that its Valorant roster was being forced to take a pay cut after winning Valorant Champions 2023.
None of the actual players on the team have confirmed their departure. Office and support staff from other teams under the EG umbrella announced that they had been laid off or not had their contracts renewed. If Evil Geniuses is leaving Dota, it’s the end of an era for the organization and Dota 2 as a whole.
Evil Geniuses entered Dota 2 in 2011 shortly after the first The International event. It spent more than a decade as one of the top teams in North America and stood atop the region for the majority of that time. The organization’s biggest feat in the game was winning The International 2015 but it enjoyed fairly steady success for years after that.
In 2022, the organization dropped its longtime roster that included Tal “Fly” Aizik and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and signed a new squad made up of star players from South America. The team took fourth at the 2023 Berlin Major but fizzled for the rest of the season en route to an early ejection from TI12, which was won by Team Spirit.
Though Evil Geniuses as a whole may be in dire straits, this could end up being a good time for the whole of Dota 2 esports. Valve killing the Dota Pro Circuit and slashing the prize pool of The International is likely to bring more organizations into the game. Alas, Evil Geniuses seemingly won’t be there.