The Spring-split is over! Many games have been played, scores have been settled and the old champions are the new Champions. G2-Esports will represent Europe at this years Mid Season Invitational and they will obviously be hungry to redeem themselves after some disastrous international performances last year. All of our eyes will be upon them, as they are gonna take on the likes of SK Telecom-T1 and the Flash Wolves to secure that precious number one seed at the upcoming World Championship for Europe.
But how far can G2 really go on the international stage this time around?
To answer that question, we need to take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the “Kings of Europe”. G2 has strong players at every single position. Synergy between all of the team is definitely visible, which is to be expected, since this is the same lineup that has played together since the beginning of 2016 Summer. While all of them can step up, most of the time we see Luka “PerkZ” Perković and Kim “Trick” Gang-Yun taking over the game for G2. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez are the rocks in the bottom lane, who usually won’t carry the team at the moment, but this has been a trend for many international powerhouses around the World
(SKT’s Bang and Wolf or Samsung’s Ruler and CoreJJ come to mind), so this doesn’t have to be a bad thing and when the late game comes around, Zven has shown to be a much smarter player in teamfights than in recent years, instead of just being a mechanical monster. Ki “Expect” Dae-Han used to be one of the most underrated players in the EULCS in my opinion and the Korean Top-laner is currently playing so much better than we saw of him in 2016 and he can apparently do it on tanks and carries.
In yesterday’s final, Expect was able to get the MVP for himself and even though you could have made an argument for both PerkZ and Trick, he has earned it after such a long time of being criticized as G2’s weakest link.
Yet, the speciality of the team isn’t just outright killing the enemy team.
G2 usually wins through getting lots of small leads through superior makro-play and taking tiny advantages, so they can be ahead when the first actual teamfight comes around. Yet, they seem to rely on Baron to end the game and G2 take absolutely no risks when it comes to the big purple worm. This can hurt them at times, because their game plan can be a little obvious, but G2 have shown time and time again, how to create advantages through pushing lanes to get the enemy team to give the valuable buff up.
I also have to criticize them for their inability to close out games in a fast manner.
This is something that hasn’t been punished in Europe, but League of Legends is a game of abusing windows and if you don’t use the tiny mistakes, a team like SKT makes, to the maximum, you are gonna have a lot of trouble with taking them down.
G2 are at their best, when not put at a timer and an ability to scale up in at least one of their members seems to be a huge winning condition to them every single time.
Another weak point is their lack of adaption in Bo1s, something we have seen time and time again on the international stage. G2 tend to lose the first game in a series and this one game might hurt them greatly, once again. We saw this just recently against Fnatic, who drafted an unconventional Twitch-comp and stomped G2 in game one of the semi-final. After that one game, the Kings of Europe adapted to Fnatic’s playstyle and swept the rest of the series in dominant 3:0-fashion. Losing their first game to unexpected drafts is gonna hurt them in Bo1s and it’s something, they still need to work on to succeed on the international stage.
That said, this years international competition doesn’t look to be the strongest.
Yes, SKT are still looking like the best team in the world and the Flash Wolves are probably the best chance, the LMS has had to win since 2012 when TPA won the
Season 2 World Championship, but other than that, the international teams are weakened. With a lot of Koreans leaving China, the LPL doesn’t look to be a huge contender for top-two anymore. TSM don’t look like a weak team at all, but their strength is hard to measure against the weak competition, they had to face over the course of this split. Only Cloud9 seemed to be able to really challenge them, especially in playoffs.
You could say the same about G2, yet I thought, the competition in EU was a bit stronger, especially at the end of the split, when Fnatic and Roccat found their form, so G2 had to adapt a lot more, than TSM had to. I think, G2 should focus on making it past the Bo1s and if they should achieve that, they have a shot at top two with the adaptability they have shown over the course of a series. Should they make it to the final, I don’t see them making it past SKT, but any other team attending MSI probably awaits the same fate.