After a glorious and exciting week 7 of the League of Legends European Championship, G2 Esports (G2) can take it easy for the rest of the split. Will they? Most likely not. After beating the other two teams in first place, Fnatic (FNC) and Origen (OG), G2 have kept the first place spot all to themselves. Week 8 has G2 face off against the 4th and 7th place teams, Rogue Gaming (RGE) and Excel Esports (XL) respectively. The LEC, at this point believes G2 will win, but there can always be a chance that they will garner a loss, especially with Rogue Gaming playing better than before.
vs Origen (10-4)
In part one of a double tiebreaker weekend, G2 and OG played each other for their chance at the top. Both teams had pressure, if OG wins, they keep their tie with FNC for a while and get a chance to bypass them. That’s if FNC loses to G2 or anyone else. And G2 winning allows them to face FNC the next day and try for the first place spot. As that is exactly what happened.
The game was extremely close for 25 minutes. Both teams were neck and neck, with an equal amount of gold, towers, and kills. G2 had the advantage with more Dragons though, and they kept Erlend “Nukeduck” Vatevik low and behind. OG showed that when they are able to hit all their shots, they can match G2. Unfortunately, that’s what happened at 25 minutes.
A misplaced or mistimed Orianna ultimate by Nukeduck gave G2 a path to take three OG members out. Then motion for the fourth Drake, and takedown Baron Nashor. Adding insult to injury, after Baron was taken, G2 had to sacrifice Martin “Wunder” Hansen. Sacrifice he did, but not before taking one of OG with him. Allowing G2 to push mid and storm the base.
vs Fnatic (10-4)
Part two had G2 rematch their top foes, Fnatic. Last time they played, FNC lost out quickly and by a lot, 25 to nine kills. G2 destroyed Fnatic by ganking early and repetitively, making sure Martin “Rekkles” Larsson could not get a lead.
After multiple games and a slight shift in strategy, FNC was ready to play the match-up again. And G2 knew that going into the match. That’s why they opted for two support champions and focused on getting their Dragon buffs again. Wunder on Janna and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle on Yuumi made sure that their damage dealers stayed alive. Truly, the key to G2’s victory was out damaging and staying alive to do so. Because other than that, the two teams kept making equal trades, or not even trading kills per battle.
Both were careful to not let the other team have a chance to pull off their attack plan. Yet, as the game scaled up, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski stole Baron from Fnatic and the G2 was able to push mid and top lane and reach the base. After that, two team fights occurred, both won by G2 due to Janna’s healing ultimate, Monsoon, and G2 stormed the base on all fronts. The end, G2 Esports is first place again.
Vs Rogue Gaming (9-5)
Rogue absolutely smashed their games last week. Against Team Vitality, no offense, but it was expected that RGE win against them.
Against MAD Lions, that was more of a difficult match. Both teams are of similar skill and both are able to hold a candle to the three top teams. RGE won though, mainly due to a stellar performance. A lot of team fights where they were able to simply maneuver better. The two initial dives helped Rogue secure an early game advantage that they were able to keep up throughout the game.
Key player for Rogue Gaming is still Steven “Hans sama” Liv, the ADC. Previously, he was on Misfits Gaming, and carried them to high states in their splits, but having left Misfits, he joined Rogue Gaming for a new chance to excel. Hans sama has always been a great ADC, doing his best on champions that deal on hit damage like Draven.
The team was slowing their momentum, but have definitely picked it up again. Hans sama, Finn “Finn” Wiestal, and Emil “Larssen” Larsson have helped the team move up the ladder with high damage plays. The key for Rogue is to peel for Hans sama so that he can deal massive damage in team fights. It helps that Hans sama is also great at positioning himself in a fight.
That’s what G2 will have to do take Rogue down. Make sure Hans sama cannot get a lead, cannot deal damage, and out leveled. Most likely, Mikyx will go a champion with hard CC (crowd control) to give Rasmus “Caps” Winther a chance to take down Hans sama. As per usual Jankos will be relied on to counter jungle and make sure that Kacper “Inspired” Sloma does not get the chance to help his team. Additionally, G2’s players are higher in skill, so there’s a good chance that a 1 v 1 or a 2 v 2 will go in G2’s favor. Rogue will have to single out G2 players and make sure they can’t engage in team fights whenever they like. Basically, prevent G2 from being aggressive and RGE can win as G2 escape from failed engages.
Vs Excel Esports (7-7)
Excel Esports have had a rough time in the league. They’ve lost as many games as they’ve won, which by no means makes them a bad team. Across the pond, in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), Team SoloMid (TSM) beat an undefeated Cloud 9 Gaming (C9) when they had six wins and six losses. No, that does not mean Excel can do the same, but it does give recent and relative precedent.
Excel, though, need to make better plays. When they played against Misfits Gaming, their early game was perfect. The two top lane ganks leading to a kill and a tower were great. The problem is, XL though it was a good idea to do a bot lane dive way behind the tower, giving Misfits four kills. They make good after a while, but it seems they get baited too easily or their just not patient enough between fights.
When they faced Team Vitaliy, they won. Easily. Vitality had the advantage in the early game, especially with Marcin “Selfie” Wolski getting three kills by eight minutes. But XL won this game due to Patrik “Patrik” Jiru dealing high damage with Aphelios.
The tricky thing is, Excel is a good team. In the start of the split they seemed as good as Misfits Gaming and Rogue Gaming. But the difference is their attack plan. It isn’t as finessed or as refined as the higher teams, leading them to make plays that have a high chance of being turned around. To win, they cannot rely on just fighting better, they will have to make a solid strategy and execute it. That’s what G2 does, and if XL does not formulate a concise plan or execute it and fall back when they need to, G2 will have no choice but to take advantage of them. In a certain light, it looks like XL is trying to do what G2 does, but not with the same level of clarity in the game.
“From Our Haus to Yours”