G2 Esports have been the dominating team in Europe for the past six weeks and two splits. With a record of 8-0, they also proved that they can adapt to different game styles from enemy teams after defeating H2K, and Misfits, teams known to have a strong mid game and Unicorns of Love (UOL)- a team that is known to have a unique champion pool. To put it simply, G2 proved that they are a force to be dealt with and will likely continue on a victorious campaign path.
What makes G2 a strong team?
G2 is undefeated for a few reasons, not just one. But aside from G2's strong macro game and early-mid game knowledge/power, let’s talk about other important factors that lead to G2's victories.
1. "Trick" does the trick
G2's Korean jungler has been a dependable player in many matches, averaging 7-8 ganks in 10 minutes, jungler Kim "Trick" Gang-yun keeps the snowball rolling especially in mid lane and top lane. Trick is also observed to gank lanes as early as he reaches level 2 which usually ends with enemy teams using their flashes, or giving up first blood which will result in early pressure and lanes ahead. Trick's high kill participation was highlighted in their match against Vitality (VIT) in week 6 of EULCS. Trick had a 50% kill participation in Game 1 and 100% kill participation in Game 2.
2. Decisive plays
G2 has been known to set authority in all lanes, putting enemy teams on the back of towers. This team is also known for taking down towers, sometimes along with laners as early as 6 minutes into matches. The decisiveness of this team in the early part of the game awards them with a 2-3k gold lead. From there on out, it's just a snowballing affect for G2.
3. Controlled/clean late game teamfights
G2 moves as a unit during late game. Unlike other teams, G2 does not take the risk in taking Baron or Elder Dragon if they want to close the curtain--they usually neutralize enemy jungler, force two enemy champions defend their base before taking these objectives.
4. Trick-Expect's strong synergy
Remember the synergy of Huni and Reignover? Trick and Expect also have the same synergy with Trick providing early pressure to top lane. What makes this synergy better is that Ki "Expect" Dae-han also provides early roams in the enemy jungle most of the time. Expect and Trick have also been successful in taking Rift Heralds together which provides early damage to either player.
Unveiling G2's weaknesses
G2 experienced another setback after losing to Flash Wolves (FW) during the finals of the Intel Extreme Masters (EIM) 2017 World Championship in Katowice, Poland. While Flash Wolves hindered G2 from redeeming itself in the international stage, the team also exposed weaknesses of the formidable European team to the world. Flash Wolves saw G2 Esports' weaknesses and exploited them to win the championship.
Here’s how G2 lost in its matches against pro teams in IEM.
1. Perkz' over aggression/early deaths
Yes, Luka "PerkZ" Perković has been improving as a player, especially as a carry. IEM even awarded PerkZ as the MVP of the tournament for his performance but the fact remains that G2's mid laner has lots of things to improve on. PerkZ's over aggression in lane causes early deaths and snowballing opportunities to the enemy team.
2. Fading Bot lane synergy
Unlike PerkZ who is improving, the decline of the bot lane duo of G2 was noticeable throughout IEM. Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen and Alfonso "mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez were dying in early 2v2 matches due to their uncharacteristic mistakes, getting caught out of position in the early and mid game. This created a lot of problems as enemy team could heavily invest to kill this unsynchronized duo to have early advantage or get back into the game.
3. Trick’s overfocus in Top/Mid lane
While we discussed how Trick is a threat to top laners and enemy junglers, Trick’s over aggression in the top can lead to other objectives such as dragon being ignored. The enemy team can just call their top lane to tower hug while they pick objectives like dragon, emptying Trick’s jungle camp or focus on the debilitating bot lane of G2 to snowball.
Do you think G2 will be exposed in the EU LCS? Or will they continue to dominate?