The term “French Superteam” has been used to define this team ever since their formation on February 3rd, 2017. While this roster remains the best French team, it is very difficult to put G2 on any kind of pedestal. Their leadership seems inherently flawed despite the level of veteran leadership, and they are one of the most experienced lineups in the game.
The over aggression and lack of consistency against teams who are considered “worse” than them does not inspire confidence and after a full year they continue to display the same issues without signs of change. Their inability to make deep runs consistently in tournaments should raise a few concerns, but the overall fanbase still sees this team as a top three or even top five in the world. Why is that?
In terms of individual skill, G2 Esports are one of the most stacked teams globally. Owning the (arguably) best AWPer in the world, some of the greatest riflers, and a world renowned entry fragger (apEX) give G2 Esports a wealth of talent and experience to fall back on should their tactics not pan out. To their credit, they are a very good team. If a team cannot go toe to toe with G2 in frags, then G2 wins.
If G2 mismanages their economy and are not hitting shots, they do not crumble the way other teams would due to their experience and chemistry. They possess the ability to come back against lesser teams, but when they dig themselves in the hole against equal or greater squads the hole they dig is too deep. Their ability to comeback from a deficit have given G2 a solid top five reputation, but recently their claim to the top five is coming under attack.
Results wise, G2 seems like a different team in group stage compared to playoffs. There are a few things to keep in mind though, the teams who don’t make it out of the group stage are the worse teams at the event and that their last two exits at the Boston Major and Starseries i-League Season 4 were from the eventual winners (Cloud 9 and Mousesports respectively) of the event.
G2’s last few events have been miserable. Their final event in 2017 was the Blast Pro Series and could not have gone worse. In their losses, they lost by eight or more rounds and they lost often considering they placed 5th out of 6th. Blast Pro Series was one of the worst performances from G2, but IEM Oakland does one better. In by far the easier group with Renegades, Liquid, Gambit, OpTic, and FaZe Clan they got fifth in their group with wins against the lower teams who did not go far in the event.
G2’s group stage performance at the past three events have been respectable. Although they have been mostly without challenge. With exception of Starladder, G2 had the some of the easiest draws for getting out of the group stage. In both stages at the Boston Major, they had to play Flash Gaming, Misfits, Vega Squadron, Liquid (with a sub), and Quantum Bellator Fire. Their only notable win was against Cloud 9 on their worst map. At IEM Katowice, their groupstage consisted of beating a dead Virtus Pro, but falling in a best of three to Fnatic.
When G2 plays well, they are a world class team. Their win in Dreamhack Malmo and ESL Pro League Season 5 win emphasized their ability to be great. But G2 shouldn’t be the team getting eliminated in quarter finals or being unable to make it out of groups. Their roster has been the same for a full year, but their in game leader Richard "shox" Papillon is going to be out for an extended period of time with a wrist injury. So it begs the question to both their fans and themselves, are they a top five team?
For the next few months, the answer will be a resounding no until Shox’s return. Assuming Shox will be 100% when he returns, the uncertainty of G2 being a top five team is still up in the air. This team is not improving, in fact they are getting visibly worse. If the stats do not show their decline, their bi-polar in game performance is becoming predictably bad.
It is hard to pinpoint one or two rounds that depict just how bad G2’s issues are. In almost every game, you will see G2 throw away an anti-eco round by either not expecting aggression, or over aggressing themselves. They will lose a player early on a set strat and the team will freeze for a few seconds and then throw their bodies at the other team. With mixed results. It is not usually one person who get’s caught out either, it is discipline issue with the team that needs to be fixed.
I cannot comment on Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux’s coaching style and what exactly he does, but his impact does not show much. A coach in SmithZz’s position needs to make the team more disciplined and prepared for resistance against their executes. He does not. A coach needs to find several ways to fix over aggression issues and work with players to achieve that. There is no evidence to suggest that SmithZz is doing a proper job to hold these players accountable, and that is a problem which is starting to reflect in their results.
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