G2 Esports; The Surprise of the European LCS

After 4 weeks have gone by in the EU LCS, the standings look nothing like we all expected it to look like. Origen and Fnatic find themselves in the middle of the pack fighting for playoff position, Elements is clear of the relegation zone, and G2 Esports find themselves tied for first place with a 7-1 record. G2’s exceptional all-around game has them looking down at the competition, a place I didn’t think they would be in when the spring split started. Let’s dive into the fantastic season G2 Esports has had thus far.

The Roster

g2Roster

Ocelote built this team in the off-season with 2 Korean imports and 3 existing members from the team that qualified for the LCS. Trick came over from the LCK team CJ Entus and Emperor was last seen in North America playing for TDK. The biggest move by G2 might have been moving Kikis out of the jungle and into the top lane. He has transitioned pretty well to his new position and helped his team get off to this great start this split. Perkz and Hybrid were a part of this team when they started their journey through the Challenger scene last summer as well. G2 was able to keep together a core of 3 and added two talented pieces to improve their talent level without disrupting the team chemistry bond that existed. The team together has performed greatly so far and has no intentions of slowing down. I didn’t expect them to get off to a great start, but I do expect them to grow together and improve as the year goes on.

Weeks 1-2: Taking Care of Business

G2 opened up the 2016 Spring Split with matches against Elements and ROCCAT the first week. Neither team talented enough to make the playoffs, G2 was favored to take home both wins and that’s exactly what they did. They stand out performer for this team in their first two games was their jungler, Trick. In his debut in the EU LCS, Trick played Graves and finished with a score of 4-0-7. To follow up that great performance, he picked Lee Sin in the next game and ended up with a 2-1-14 scoreline. He finished the week with an impressive 27 KDA and took home the honor of being named the EU LCS Week 1 MVP. Trick dominated his opposing jungle matchups with his relentless aggression and be able to successfully perform multiple ganks each game. He did a fantastic job snowballing each game for his team that led G2 to a 2-0 start.

Week 2 started off with another easy matchup for G2 Esports as they took on Giants Gaming. Perkz took over the game with his strong LeBlanc play (7-1-4) and made enough picks and led his team to their 3rd straight win to open up the season. Their fourth game of the season was their first real test against H2k. Trick tried to surprise H2k with his Udyr pick in champion select, but he failed to make an impact anywhere on the map. Kikis floundered on Lulu and Perkz was non-existent on Zed. G2 only managed to pick up 3 kills, a season low, and lost the game after 34 minutes. It was a wake-up call to G2 that they needed to improve if they wanted to be seen as a top team. They were benefits of an easy schedule the first 3 weeks and would need to prove just how good they actually are in the next 2 weeks.

Weeks 3-4: Proving the Doubters Wrong

g2teamphoto

G2’s week 3 schedule consisted of Fnatic and Unicorns of Love, two playoff level teams. In their first game aginst Fnatic, Perkz (5-1-4) and Emperor (4-1-4) dominated the game on Corki and Lucian respectively. Kikis was also able to push his advantages in the top lane as Fiora aginst Malphite. He split pushed effectively and ended up taking multiple turrets and setting up easy objectives for his team to take.  G2’s macro gameplay was far better than Fnatic’s macro and helped them earn the win and improve their record to 4-1. This set the stage for a game against UoL, who was also a 4-1 team looking to prove themselves. Perkz, once again, stole the show with his amazing Corki play. He finished the game with a very impressive 13-1-7 scoreline and ended up with over 100 more CS than his lane opponent Fox. He earned 4.5 thousand more gold than anyone else in the game and proved to be too much for the Unicorns. Perkz led his team to a 5-1 record and a share of first place. His efforts in Week 3 saw him take home the EU LCS Week 3 MVP award. G2’s support Hybrid also found himself on the OP 5 team of the week.

Week 4 for G2 was another tough one as they did battle with league favorites Origen and fellow newcomer Splyce. G2 probably played their best game of the year against Origen. Every single member of the team put up great numbers and contributed in their convincing win. Emperor (5-2-6) and Hybrid (0-0-12) were able to bully Sven (2-2-0) and Mithy (0-3-3) in the bottom lane matchup, Trick (7-0-7) outperformed Amazing (1-5-2) by a mile in the jungle, and Perkz (2-2-6) and Kikis (2-0-10) held up in their solo lanes and contributed in a big way in team fights. G2 won the lanes, the objective game, and any other part of the game. It was a huge statement game for G2 and improved their record to 6-1. They finished out the week with a dismantling of Spylce in a 24-minute rout. G2 finished with 18 kills while only giving up 4 themselves. Fantastic scorelines were posted by every member of the team yet again. Emperor and Hybrid were recognized for their week 4 performances and ended up on the OP 5 team of the week. At 7-1, G2 Esports hold a share of first place and a good grasp of the EU LCS.

G2 Esports: By The Numbers

g2hug

G2 Esports averages 14.6 kills per game, which is the highest in the EU LCS. They have the 3rd lowest deaths per game as well. Giving them a very nice team KDA that is 2nd only to H2k. G2 leads the league in Gold Per Minute (GPM) and they average the shortest game time which means they are beating their opponents quickly and effectively. They are averaging the most towers taken per game and are only behind H2k in towers lost per game. Their gold differential at 15 minutes is far above anyone else as well. They take the 2nd most barons per game as well which leads to them extending their leads rapidly. They like to fight and lead the league in damage per minute to opposing champions. G2 are out for blood and are finding it with much success this season. G2 is probably the most exciting team to watch in the European LCS at the moment and their success so far is very encouraging. At 7-1, G2 Esports are no longer underdogs but are now expected to keep this up as we pass the midway point of the LCS season this week. We will see if G2 can continue to prove themselves to be a top team in this the EU LCS or if they cool down from their red-hot start.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy