League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) third seed Evil Geniuses (EG) may not have starting AD Carry Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki available for the start of the World Championship, as the player is currently taking a mental health break.
EG have tapped Muhammed Hasan "Kaori" Şentürk as Danny's replacement, though the organisation clarified that nothing is set in stone yet.
Danny took a break to 'focus on mental health'
EG first announced on 6 September that Danny wouldn’t be competing in the LCS Championship finals, though the statement did not give any timeline for his return.
With love regarding our League roster for Chicago.
Thank you for understanding and sending nothing but amazing vibes for the forever Prince of Pentakills. pic.twitter.com/cMvZqqNtiH
— EG Nicole LaPointe Jameson (@totheLaPointe) September 6, 2022
EG CEO Nicole LaPointe said that it took Danny "a lot of courage and self-awareness" to step away from the game, especially since he cared so much about his teammates, and that the team understood and supported his decision.
Danny, one of the roster's youngest and most exciting members, has been a major contributor to EG's success over the past year, earning the title of "King of Pentakills" in the process.
He established himself as of the best ADCs in the LCS from Spring through the Summer, with an average KDA in the regular Summer season of 7.54, according to the LoL Esports section of Leaguepedia.
However, his performance seemed to drop in the LCS Summer Playoffs, even clocking in 11 deaths in a game against Team Liquid.
Danny decided to step away from the competition after EG's 3-2 win against Team Liquid, which secured their spot at Worlds. As of now, it's still unknown if Danny will be back in time for the tournament.
Kaori to start at Worlds ‘for now'
Head coach Han "Rigby" Earl gave a short-term answer when asked who was expected to be the starting bot laner at Worlds for EG.
“Kaori, I think, as of now,” he said. “Danny’s just having a little needed rest.”
Rigby also stated in the interview that even though the team haven't had as much practice together, they’re "confident with whoever’s starting".
Kaori stepped in for Danny as the team’s bot laner at last weekend's LCS Championship finals.
Hailing from EG Academy, Kaori had only eight scrims before competing at the lower bracket finals against 100 Thieves.
Kaori’s ferocious playstyle shone through, adding his own spin in the bot lane and opting for early game teamfights that helped push their match versus 100 Thieves to five games.
EG ultimately lost the series, 2-3, locking them in as the LCS third seed.
As the LCS third seed, EG will have to compete at the Play-ins in Mexico City, where they will start in Group A.
This group includes teams like Fnatic, Beyond Gaming, DetonationFocusMe, LOUD, and Chief Esports Club.
This gives Danny only a couple more weeks should he want to return to the competition in time for Worlds to kick off on 29 September.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.