Kingdom of Glass: Can G2 Esports New Roster Dominate League of Legends?

G2 Esports was in a rather odd state last year: despite not having gotten a single EU LCS title, they have gone all the way to the World Championship Semifinal, upsetting early favourites such as the Flash Wolves and Royal Never Give Up. Following that rather unexpected Worlds run, the G2 Esports organization was clearly hungry for more. With a desire to win all domestic and international titles, they acquired star mid-laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther, with their franchise player Luka “Perkz” Perkovic switching over to the AD Carry role. Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, one of their most mechanically talented players, was signed as the team’s support. This left many people asking can G2 Esports new roster dominate League of Legends?

In League of Legends, attempts to create a super team fail. You only have to cast your mind back to 2015 Elements in the EU LCS where Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Henrik “Froggen” Hansen joined forces. Or 2015 when Oh My God over in China had Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao teamed up with Gao “Gogoing” Di-Ping or Yu “Cool” Jia-jun. Both of these experiments ended in failure. Even the 2017-2018 iterations of KT Roster, which were designed to win it all, only one domestic title failing at the World Championship Quarterfinal in 2018. Not exactly a “super-team.”

Here we assess whether G2 Esports new roster has what it takes to be a successful super team in League of Legends.

Draft Flexibility

G2 Esports New Roster
The team’s capability to flex champions has worked towards their advantage. (Image source: LoL Esports)

G2 Esports seems to be following in the footsteps of the 2018 World Champions, Invictus Gaming. Their relatively stronger top side of the map utilize flex picks that either Caps or Martin “Wunder” Hansen can pilot. In addition, flexes may sometimes include the bottom side of the map as Perkz can use champions like the Yasuo or the Jayce. This means that preparing against them is quite difficult when several flex picks are available in the meta. This was one of the focal points as to why they have gone through the first round robin of the regular season with an unscathed record. This was particularly true before patches 9.3 and 9.4 when we finally saw Akali, Irelia, Aatrox, and Urgot get nerfed. This update made them more conditional than before.

In recent weeks, this has no longer been the case. Because lane matchups are more delicate than before, the laners aren’t capable of brute forcing and outplaying their opponents, and they are not able to generate the same leads that they could in the beginning of the season. With the reemergence of lane specificity for most of the viable champions in recent patches, it does not seem like flexing picks is a huge advantage for G2 Esports right now, and it might not be so even for the next few patch rotations.

The Caps Factor

G2 Esports Caps
Caps has overcome most of the opposition, but what happens if he is set behind? (Image source: LoL Esports)

G2’s biggest signing of the offseason is undoubtedly Caps, the most mechanically talented player that the West has ever produced. Sporting a 25.8% average damage share when given only an average of 21.7% of the team’s gold, Caps is proven to give value for every single penny he is given. He has been capable of singlehandedly turning games around. Look to their recent game against Excel Esports, Caps singlehandedly turned the tide of fights around with his Akali. And their game against Team Vitality where he scaled as  Ryze and made plays that highlighted his relative power in the map.

While Caps’ capability to carry is undeniable especially when given a lead they have had a rough time whenever he fails to draw pressure. This, however, is more of a Caps tendency than a G2 Esports one. Even when he was on Fnatic, Caps failed to draw pressure against Song “Rookie” Eui-jin in the World Championship Final. Feeling the need to force some plays, which ended up putting him at a disadvantage.

As it currently stands, it appears that G2 has inherited some problems that go with Caps’ play. Without Caps, G2 is lost in mid and late game transitions. In their game against Origen, as soon as Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm was able to secure mid lane priority with his Zed counter pick, Caps was rendered irrelevant for the rest of the game.

G2 usually lives and dies through Caps. There may be a need to have others step up especially when Caps is on a disadvantageous matchup.

Aggression in patch 9.3 and beyond

G2 Esports New Roster
Aggression is G2’s game, and that may not exactly work in their favour anymore. (Image source: LoL Esports)

As we know, critical strike chance based items got reworked on patch 9.3. Because of this, some AD Carries have gotten access to their power spikes on two items. As opposed to the last iteration of critical strike chance based items which were accessed on three. This means that some champions are not fully online on two items and they are now more capable of skirmishing and team fighting earlier.

For G2 Esports this means when they are ahead and they botch a team fight and the gold goes to the enemy AD Carry, the punishment is painful. Needless aggression can turn the tide especially in season 9. There are more comeback mechanics in the game. The priority is to secure leads and play around protecting and snowballing those. Thus denying the enemy from ever getting resources and objectives is the more efficient path. Rather than lusting for blood and going for fights that may go awry.

Resource Allocation

G2 Esports Jankos
Jankos has been one of the best performing members of the squad, knowing where to be at the right time. (Image source: LoL Esports)

There is always a problem with putting several players with a carry orientation. The question is always resource allocation. First, who gets priority in the drafting phase? It is not always that a player gets the capacity to play favourable matchups, or that a team has priority in all three lanes. This means that once in a while, a champion has to be picked blind to make way for other favourable matchups.

The teams most prominent drafting strategy is to pick a strong 2v2 in the bottom lane. Which they usually do so after the first round of bans. We often see Perkz on champions like the Lucian, Draven, or Kalista. All of which are known to have priority in the bottom lane. Wunder is blind picked. He is often put on the safest champion to go into lane, with the Jayce, the Jarvan IV (which is a flex pick) and the Irelia. Counter pick is usually saved for Caps.

In terms of resource allocation, we must also talk about resources within the game. There are questions of jungle attention and then gold. This is quite difficult to discuss as Jankos’ most picked jungler is Karthus, followed by the Olaf and the Elise. As Karthus, he does not need to even gank; all he needs to do is farm up and press his ultimate whenever an opponent is in mortal danger. As Olaf, his job is to battleward— that is, to invade the enemy jungler and track them depending on what camps he sees have been taken. Jankos usually plays around the pressure that the mid lane creates, but does not necessarily play towards the lane. He uses his mid laner’s pressure to contest enemy jungle camps and to set up aggressive vision. With this, his playmaking is usually informed.

As for gold, almost every team usually has its AD Carry as the beneficiary of the most gold in the map. Perkz gets 24.5% of the team’s gold on the average, and in terms of damage share, he contributes around 26.9% of it. This means two things. First,  the team does not necessarily play around the bottom lane. Teams that do usually have higher damage shares on their AD Carry. Second, the game may not even last long enough for AD Carries to be fully unleashed. Wunder has a 22.7% damage share from getting 21.6% of the gold from the map.

But what does all of that mean? It means that G2 Esports have been doing well in terms of balancing resources between its players and they have little problems playing any lane. The implications of this are monumental as they can be diverse in the strategies that they can employ.

Can G2 Esports New Roster Dominate? – Final Thoughts

G2 Esports new roster is ambitious, we have to give them that. But at the end of the day, have they done the right steps in order to fulfil their ambition? The answer is, so far: yes. They have gotten some of the best players in the League, and from the numbers, it looks like they could play any style that they would like to if they manage to unlock their players’ potential. They have been playing the rather explosive style that Europe has been known for, and it is with the hope that they eventually net an international title.

But a word of caution. While they have immense potential to be one of the best teams, at times their aggression is needless. At times they fight for the sake of it, without any objective on the map to take. This has been the source of some of their losses over the regular season. These mistakes can be corrected, and it may be that this team shows a greater amount of restraint and discipline in a best of five.

Do we hesitate to hail the new kings, the kings of glass? Kings whose power is certain, but whose kingdom may shatter easily.

Can G2 Esports new roster dominate the world of League Of Legends? Are we looking at the new kings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.