Hello and welcome to the eighth LEC Preview. There is not long left before the European franchise era begins. So, it’s time to talk about one of the biggest organisations still competing in this year’s European championship.
G2 Esports have cemented themselves as one of the biggest brands in western League of Legends. When applications were being received for the new LEC, G2 was probably one of the first names to be accepted. The team rose to prominence this year. Despite not winning the spring or summer split, G2 made it all the way to the Worlds semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Invictus Gaming.
However, it seems that even after their international performance. Changes needed to be made if they wanted to be the best team in Europe. Then began some of the wildest roster changes, many thought would never happen. But first, it’s not only the playing roster that has changed.
If it isn’t broke, change it slightly?
The major positive with G2’s backroom staff changes is that there are not many of them. GrabbZ and Duffman still remain central to the organisation. With a western team making it to the semi-finals you shouldn’t expect major changes with regards to coaching. Duffman is a name many people may not know. He has been involved with the organisation since 2016. The man is G2 through and through having started part-time before becoming full-time in May 2017. After a brief time working for TSM in Spring 2018 he returned in the summer as their head analyst. This season he will be G2’s assistant coach while also keeping his previous role. As previously stated, Duffman will be alongside GrabbZ yet again. The former ROCCAT coach has a point to prove despite their international performance. Last season he failed to secure G2 any split titles, which is now seen as a disappointment to many of their fans. He is still considered one of the best coaches in the LEC. Nevertheless, the pressure will be on him to succeed if he can’t get his roster to win the first ever LEC split.
Luckily he will have arguably one of the best minds in League of Legends helping him. Boris A.K.A Krepo joins G2 as their new general manager. After officially retiring from playing in 2015 (apart from a brief run as Schalke’s substitute support). Krepo has worked as a caster for Riot, an analyst for Splyce, a coach for Schalke and now he has found himself as a manager at G2 Esports. It’s quite the CV. With Boris overseeing things, it seems unlikely that anything backroom related will crumble. Overall, while G2 already had a solid structure in place, adding somebody like Boris just adds more quality to their staff. Also, let’s not forget that we have ocelote still around in the background if anything goes wrong, it’s always nice to have a backup plan.
If it isn’t broke, sign your rivals best player and put Perkz in the bot lane.
Mid lane: Caps
Let’s get the big news out of the way first. One of the best western mid laners will be playing ADC this split. Yes, Perkz has handed his spot to Caps to continue G2’s mid lane dominance. This could be one of the best and also worst decisions G2 have ever made based on a few variables. Can Caps adapt to having four new players around him so quickly? Can Perkz perform in his new carry role? Will Mikyx and Perkz have the synergy that is expected from a natural ADC and his support? Quite simply we do not know these answers for sure until the season starts. However, we here at Gromp News have a rough idea of how we think this will turn out. During the funnel meta last season, Perkz had to play a variety of champions which were ADC’s such as Xayah, Kai’Sa, and Lucian. His performances gave everybody a glimpse into his potential as a bot lane player. It’s also no secret that Perkz’s secondary role while he streams and practices is ADC. He has spoken out before about wanting to play a different role competitively and the addition of Caps has provided the Croatian with his wish. Within the first few weeks, we will find out if Perkz as an ADC will work. He has had a whole offseason to prepare and practice and on the 18th January we will see if that hard work pays off. There is no doubt that Perkz is one of the most skilled players in Europe. We here at Gromp News think that while he may not be the best bot laner in Europe, with the help of his partner, he will certainly be able to hold his own in lane.
As we talked about briefly. Perkz’s role swap has allowed Caps to make the controversial move from Fnatic to G2. Firstly before even mentioning the player directly. Taking one of your rival’s best players of the season is automatically an advantage as it weakens your opposition. Caps was seen as the only person in recent splits to challenge Perkz for the mid lane crown consistently. Now he is at the top of the hill and many challengers will want to bring him down. Despite his reputation already, Caps has only played for one other EULCS (now LEC) team in Fnatic. While there is no doubt that Caps is a top quality acquisition, he may need to adjust to his new surrounding with a new dynamic around him. Questions are raised on who is the shot caller and leader, is it Perkz or is Caps the defacto leader? Still, for the organisation this is a win/win signing, they have signed a quality mid laner who made it to the world finals last season. If it doesn’t work out (which we believe it will) then you could put Perkz in the mid lane and possibly use your academy ADC. Either way, Caps has proven his worth in the EULCS and under a new era, the Dane will be hoping to make a name for himself with G2.
Making Perkz’s job a little easier in his new position will be former Misfits support Mikyx. It seems that every season the Slovenian find himself on a different organisation. G2 this year, Misfits the season before and Splyce before that. However, this isn’t because the player lacks quality but more the opposite. Since he is so mechanically gifted he has quickly worked his way up the ladder to one of the top organisations in Europe. While you have to feel a little sorry for Hjarnen and Wadid. The addition of Mikyx to the side has added more stability to the support role, in a time where stability is needed on that side of the map. Both him and Perkz have on multiple occasions laned with each other while scrimming, so there should already be some synergy there. Perkz probably had a lot of influence on who he wanted his partner to be and Mikyx was chosen. It shows how much faith Perkz has in the player and also the caliber of player G2 see him as. While this may be the unpopular opinion, G2’s success in the bottom side of the map will be more dependant on Mikyx’s ability to help Perkz than Perkz’s mechanics on an ADC.
Finally rounding off the roster are the returning faces of Wunder and Jankos who thankfully have not decided to trade roles. This is because Wunder is one of the best top laners in Europe right now, if not the best. His champion diversity from tanks to carrys in the top lane was unmatched by anybody last season. To put this into perspective Fnatic had two top laners (Bwipo and SoAz), who essentially did the same job that Wunder was doing on his own. This should not discredit any top laner in the league but more emphasize how good the Dane was last season. This season everybody is expecting to see the same performances coming out from Wunder. However, everybody now knows of his ability, many top laners in the league will want to prove that they can beat him in lane. Moving on to the jungle, Jankos last split proved that he should still be in the G2 lineup. Out of all the players in this roster, he possibly has the most to prove coming into the first LEC split. He will be just as much responsible for helping Perkz in the bot lane as Mikyx will be however, he will also need to help Caps in the mid lane. Jankos has a lot to focus on this split in terms of priorities on the map. Gone are the days where you just help Perkz in the mid lane.
Are G2 taking a risk?
Yes. But a calculated one. This side has the potential to win all three lanes considering the quality of players they have in each position. On the other hand, there are certainly some changes that could affect their performances in the short term. It may be a little too soon to say that G2 is the best side. While they may have the best players skill wise. One is playing out of position, two others are joining a new team and the organisation will have to adapt away from their ‘Perkz centric’ mentality that they have instilled for years. This side from the roster to the backroom staff has been built to challenge at worlds again. Which may cause some teething issues this split.
Predicted finish: 2nd or 3rd
By Tom DanielsFollow @TheTomDaniels