G2 Esports was founded by Carlos "Ocelote" Rodríguez and is the single most decorated organization in the LoL European Championship. After acquiring Caps from Fnatic, the team has dominated the scene under the leadership of Luka “Perkz” Perković for years.
After establishing G2 as the reigning dynasty in the region, even winning an MSI title while coming close to winning the World Championships the former team captain has left G2 to play in NA, where he won another title.
While Perkz was playing for C9, G2 was struggling to uphold their legacy as they felt surprisingly short of expectations. Despite signing another star player from Fnatic in Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and looking good in both the spring and summer splits of 2021 during the regular split, they faltered during the playoffs which have been the strength of G2 historically.
Rekkles himself was clearly upset with the results as well, as the only reason he signed to G2 was that he expected the team to be a contender for the world championships and they didn’t only end up not winning the European titles, but also failed to qualify for Worlds. A truly astonishing failure.
The team which mostly everyone has expected to dominate the region as they have in the past, after signing a new AD Carry who many considered to be the best in the world the previous, was now left beaten and humiliated in the eyes of the fans.
Rebuilding the team
Once the split ended everyone know that changes were coming. Rekkles surprised everyone as he decided to leave the LEC to play in the Minor region of the French league at Kcorp.
As for the team, Carlos had also some surprises for 2022 as they have benched their All-star support Mickyx while selling Wunder to Fnatic. These moves were in clear contrast to their previous strategy where they have made clear attempts to collect the best players from competing teams, whenever they had a chance to do so. As a replacement for the toplane they choose Brokenblade who was a logical pickup, someone who already has proven in NA that he has both the skill and the resilience to win a title, however, failed to find success after returning to Europe.
But the surprises didn’t end there. Many supporters of the organization started to give up hope for any success in 2022, when they learned that for their botlane G2 will be signing 2 lesser-known players, both completely new to the LEC in Flakked and Targamas, a great risk in the eyes of many, as rookies have great potential but there is no guarantee that they will be able to make the transition to the higher level of competition.
Everything considered G2 looked like a team with great potential, which could improve a lot over a few splits, but only with Caps and Jankos being left in the team from the old crew does it seems unlikely that anything better than a 3rd-4th place finish would be possible, especially considering the Super-teams Vitality, Fnatic or Rogue managed to assemble.
These expectations seemed to be about correct as the team had a fair but not extraordinary regular season, where Jankos was still a reliable jungler and Brokenlade was dominating his opponent in the top lane, however, their bot lane continued to be a liability, while Caps didn’t seem to have the old fire in him anymore, which he summoned to dominate the other Midlaners in the past.
Going into the Playoffs of the 2022 Spring split, the team had a difficult task ahead of them as they were placed in the lower bracket of the playoffs after being defeated by Fnatic, and would need to fight their way through all the competition without losing a single series to see success. They needed to win a number of series in a row, and they were expected to lose every one of them.
But It was all the more amazing to then see Caps finally look like the old himself everyone was eager to see, while Jankos also stepped up from being a reliable jungler to arguably the best player of the whole playoffs. But it wasn’t only their top side that delivered, with the exception for a few matches the rookie botlane, who only joined the league a few months ago and stood their own against some of the best duos of western League of Legends.
A new era begins
In the end, G2 didn’t only smash through the Playoffs and defeat teams that were considered previously clearly superior but did it not only without losing a series but without losing a single match! This is a feat few teams have ever achieved in the history of the game, and one no one would have ever expected them to get close to. And it serves as a clear sign to all the rival teams of Europe that Perkz and their long-lost Super-Team was not only the only reason for their success but even with most of their players switched the team still knows how to win!
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