When ESPN released a report on Rasmus “Caps” Winther signing with G2 Esports as their new mid laner and Luka “PerkZ” Perković switching to ADC, everyone went wild. The thought that the two best Western mid laners are going to play under the same banner is mind-blowing in and of itself, but the fact that one of them is voluntarily role swapping to a different position adds a twist to an already epic narrative. Now, nothing is official yet, but if this goes through, it will go down as one of the craziest moves in League of Legends history.
And it might just be crazy enough to work!
Method in madness
At first glance, this role swap seems like something straight out of 2013, but there is an underlying logic behind it. Perkz has gone on record saying he enjoys playing ADC as his off-role, and he even had some highlights make the front page of Reddit in the past. Of course, Solo Queue is a very different environment from the LCS (or, rather, the LEC) stage, so it’s impossible to tell how well Perkz could do as an ADC based on ladder games alone.
Fortunately, he’s no stranger to playing ADC in a competitive setting either. Perkz’s marksman mastery made him the focal point of G2’s gold funnels, and he had played 4 games of Kai’Sa, 3 games of Lucian, and 1 game of Xayah during the 2018 EU LCS Summer Split. Lucian, in particular, seems like a pick he keeps going back to, as Perkz has a total of 13 games on the Purifier over the course of his career.
Granted, making marksmen work in the mid lane doesn’t necessarily translate into bot lane dominance. But considering Perkz is already grinding bot lane games in Solo Queue, he should get the hang of it on a fairly short notice.
Another thing to note is that Perkz might not even have to play marksmen at all. Patch 8.11 introduced a multitude of unorthodox picks to the bot lane, and while many of them fell out of the meta, some can still work in the right circumstances—in fact, Hjarnan’s Heimerdinger was the cornerstone of G2’s strategies at Worlds 2018. The problem is that most ADC mains aren’t proficient enough at other classes, so they can’t use these picks to their full potential.
But Perkz doesn’t fall into this category.
As a former mid laner, he has a vast champion pool of assassins, bruisers, enchanters, marksmen, and control mages, and he will have no issues going off-meta in the bot lane. So even if G2 lose their Heimerdinger, they will make up for it with other pocket picks.
More than meets the eye
You also have to consider that a move like this is bound to affect things outside of the game. The most obvious point is that G2 will now have two strongest mid laners in Europe on their roster, so other teams will struggle to stand up to them. Granted, Europe still has talented players like Febiven, Froggen, and PowerOfEvil. But none of them can match the raw firepower of Caps and Perkz, so there’s a good chance that G2 will have a complete stranglehold on the mid lane.
Caps and Perkz will also have an effect on each other. It’s no secret that Fnatic’s ace didn’t look too hot at the 2018 World Championship. His aggression backfired more often than not, and he struggled to keep up with the likes of Scout and Rookie in the laning phase. Having another world-class mid laner alongside him will make it easier to identify the holes in his play, which might very well elevate Caps to the next level.
Of course, there will be drawbacks. For instance, there’s a solid argument that Perkz is the better mid laner after Worlds 2018, so it feels weird to relegate him to a less impactful role. Skeptics will also remember the disaster that was the xPeke role swap on Origen, and while the circumstances are different, it’s hard to imagine Perkz being as good at ADC as he was at mid lane. At least not from the get-go. Finally, the expenses surrounding this move must be overwhelmingly high. This puts a ton of pressure on G2 Esports, and anything other than first-place LEC finishes and great international showings will be considered a failure.
In the end, this is exactly the kind of move G2’s Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago would make. He went above and beyond to get the best possible talent on his roster. And even though the risks are high, if they pay off, the Caps and Perkz iteration of G2 will be the stuff of legend.
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