It has been two months since the League of Legends European Championship finals went down and the games stopped. G2 Esports (G2) reigned supreme at the podium, taking first place from Origen (OG), almost as expected. In the break between the splits, MSI was cancelled, Rasmus “Caps” Winther switched with Luka “Perkz” Perkovic for mid lane. Also they’ve added Kristoffer “P1noy” Pedersen as a substitute ADC, will he be used? Doubtful but at least he is there. Now, onto the first week of play for G2.
Welcome back to the LEC, in the first week of the Summer Split G2 Esports faces off against a still very young team in MAD Lions (MAD) and one of their biggest opponents, Origen. And due to fitting in only eight weeks, week 1 will have three opponents, Vitality as the third opponent on Sunday.
vs MAD Lions (11-7)
Last split, the team made of rookies, MAD Lions were able to land in at fourth place with 11 wins and 7 losses. To be honest, it was a big surprise to see a brand new team make it this far. This team has a strong team sense and were able to get into playoffs with ease. Not to mention, they played against G2 twice in playoffs, beating them the first time without much effort.
On the other hand, they snagged some interesting records during last split. Against FC Schalke 04 (S04), they played the longest game in the split that took 51 minutes and four seconds, which is quite odd since S04 played very poorly last split. This goes to show that MAD weren’t without its vices, and at times they would show an overabundance of brute force which can be easily swayed. Which is also why they have the fifth-highest gold per minute in a game, when they played against Fnatic in week 4.
Hoping to see the same strength in this split, the team has not changed their roster of players. These five have proven that being new doesn’t mean being weak or inexperienced. In a sense they played the same game as G2, less risky but just as volatile. Their track record with G2 shows that they can face against the giant and win, but if outplayed, they’ll lose. It’s a game of who will edge out in a contest of force in lane and map awareness. Keep an eye out for Marek “Humanoid” Brazda and Zhiqian “Shad0w” Zhao.
vs Origen (13-5)
What could be said about Origen? They were the top three teams of last split, and when it came to a match between Origen, G2, and Fnatic the casters and Riot team were excited to discover the end result. Between Origen and Fnatic, it was anyone’s game for real, as the two played differently that worked to their strengths. Fnatic being a bully in-game but Origen being patient and looking for late-game to outplay.
In the regular split, OG lost against G2 both times, and that was the same story in playoffs. They are very capable of holding their own and waiting to get objectives, or leaving fights to gain lane dominance somewhere else. It’s hard to find flaws in the OG early game. The issue is, when the game starts to get going, they let their small victories get to them. Often Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm will teleport somehow to the other side of a chase and score kills. Or Elias “Upset” Lipp will brute force a play in order to score a kill that they consider absolutely necessary.
When it comes to this following game, they may lose the same way they lost to G2 before. G2’s early game is infamously messy. With players leaving lane early and Martin “Wunder” Hansen trying to solo kill his best in the top lane. If not for Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, G2 would fail their start, but once they get momentum and realize how the opposite team responds to them, they pounce on their weaknesses. In the previous games against OG, G2 would dominate in a few opportunistic team fights and then score influential objectives that would net them a victory.
Will Origen be able to counter G2’s counter-strategy? Be bolder than the team known for their bold and brash drafts and plays? Hopefully coming to the new split, the team has prepared to scale up faster, both in the game and mentally.
vs Team Vitality (2-16)
This match looks to be another loss for Vitality. Unfortunately, last split they ranked at the very bottom, winning against Fnatic and SK Gaming, once each. It was surprising to see a team of such great players like Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet being unable to play at their full potential. It really felt like the team were playing with self-limiters, holding back their ultimate abilities or being feared out of making certain plays.
What they will need is some of the backbone that the other teams of the LEC have. When it came to the Fnatic game that they won in, it seemed hopeful. They played a close game, with near equal amount of kills and gold. VIT lost all but one tower and wasn’t very focused on objectives. But they won with certain kills and headed to the nexus.
If they want to win against G2, and it is possible as S04 showed last split, they have to do the same again. They will have to avoid fighting G2 head on and go for objectives. Keep the G2 players busy and VIT will have the chance to push into base, where G2 struggles to escape from. It will be tricky though, as G2 is best at roaming the map and squeezing every opportunity they can find. VIT may not be prepared, and their practice will show in the game on Sunday.
The biggest opponent for G2, is themselves. Last split the biggest factors to their losses were obvious. Having Caps play ADC, and sometimes only as Aphelios was a risky move that if failed, would cost them losing a viable damage dealer. There was also the fact that they still love to make risky and fun plays, that cost them the game. Of course, they mentioned that they play better without thinking about the stress or the importance of the result, but this professional league where those matter.
When watching these new games, pay attention to the plays, are they smarter? Are they focused on a target or objective? And what will taking down that do for them? Before, sometimes they just did things to kill, but led to nothing more or led to the other team getting an objective somewhere else on the map. These avoidable errors will need to be fixed, that comes from the coaching staff. Let’s hope Fabian “Grabbz” Lohmann isn’t fooling around.
“From Our Haus to Yours”