Evil Geniuses has removed in-game leader Mike “pho” Panza from its starting Valorant roster, after a disappointing finish to its VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers campaign.

The team failed to find a single win during the group stage, and most recently suffered a loss to FaZe Clan in the BoomTV Proving Grounds tournaments.

Pho will be allowed to explore his options as a restricted free agent, even while he is still officially under contract with the North American organization.

Evil Geniuses is rumored to be trialing former 100 Thieves player jcStani

Valorant Evil Geniuses bench pho
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

The 28-year-old IGL has every intention to keep competing. “My most comfortable roles are initiator (Sova especially), controller, and sentinel. I am also a primary IGL and have been for both Built By Gamers and EG,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As a note I am also open to learning any role. I love flexing onto new agents,” he added.

Evil Geniuses is currently on the hunt for a new IGL and is rumored to be trialing former 100 Thieves controller Noah “jcStani” Smith, after Matthew “Wardell” Yu leaked a scrim lobby between EG and TSM on stream.

While jcStani did not take on shot-calling duties on 100 Thieves, he has experience leading his old Pioneers squad on a deep run in the VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers open qualifiers.

The team has just over a month to find its fifth player before the open qualifiers for VCT NA Stage 2 start in early May.

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