G2 secure first victory of 2022 LEC Spring Split after late-game Smite fight for Elder Dragon

In the end, the game came down to a 50-50 Smite.

Photo via Riot Games / Flickr

G2 Esports took down Excel Esports today on the opening day of the 2022 LEC Spring Split.

Despite bringing in three new players during the offseason, G2 were the heavy favorites to overrun their first opponents of the season. In the end, they got the victory. But it wasn’t as easy and one-sided as some likely expected.

For the most part, the game was even. Both sides traded blow for blow and made mistake after mistake. It was tough to pick a favorite for the first 30 minutes since neither side really stood out in terms of gold, eliminations, or map control. The only exception was the drakes. After the first half hour, G2 had secured three dragons and had their sights on the Ocean Soul.

But G2’s players made a crucial mistake just before the clock hit the 30-minute mark. They were sloppy in their reaction to Excel’s Baron control, which resulted in Nukeduck’s squad securing the global objective. From there, it may have seemed like the Norwegian’s squad was starting to take over the game. But that’s exactly the opposite of what happened.

G2 managed to ace Excel thanks to a smart flank by Caps four minutes later. But with no neutral objectives to grab and not enough map control in their favor, they couldn’t really convert this little victory into anything meaningful. Thus, both teams returned to trading blow for blow.

The game came to a conclusion five minutes later, and it did so in one of the most traditional fashions: a Smite fight for the Elder Dragon. Both sides hesitated to pull the trigger and go all in, so Jankos and Markoon had to try to prove who’s better at smiting in crucial moments. G2’s jungler came out victorious in this one-vs-one standoff, and after a teamfight that began seconds later, so did G2.

There are two more games to go until the first day of the European competition ends. The LEC continues with Misfits Gaming clashing against Astralis. You can catch all the action on the LEC’s Twitch channel.