G2 vs. MAD Lions: Can MAD send the defending LEC champions to the lower bracket once again?

The defending champs need to take this seriously if they want to have a shot at Worlds.

Photo via Riot Games

G2 Esports vs. MAD Lions is set to be one of the most interesting matchups in the first round of the 2020 LEC Summer Split playoffs considering the history between these two teams. The kings of Europe are looking for their fourth LEC crown in a row, while MAD are trying to build a name for themselves by taking down their opponents in a rematch of the 2020 Spring Split playoffs.

Following the EU LCS’ rebranding to the LEC in 2019, G2 gave opposing League of Legends teams a run for their money, taking down Origen in the 2019 Spring playoffs. They followed that up with two decisive wins over Fnatic in the 2019 Summer Split and the following spring. 

MAD Lions, on the other hand, joined the LEC in the 2020 Spring Split after Splyce rebranded. Their first split was phenomenal, securing fourth place in the regular season standings. G2 chose them as their opponents for the first playoff round—a choice that came to bite them later on. MAD came online in the best-of-five series, taking down G2 in the fifth game to send the reigning LEC champions to the lower bracket.

But MAD failed to beat the other legendary organization in the LEC, Fnatic, and were sent to the lower bracket to face G2 again. Following their rematch, G2 were better prepared and took down MAD Lions to face Fnatic in the grand finals, who they beat to get their third crown in a row. Despite falling in the playoffs, MAD made history. They took down the reigning Worlds finalists and LEC champions in the first round of the playoffs. 

With a rematch between G2 and MAD on the horizon, history might repeat itself once again. Here’s what League fans have to look forward to in this playoff showdown.

G2 Esports

G2 usually don’t take their regular season games seriously. But this time, it’s do or die for G2. The reigning champions weren’t locked in for the playoffs after their poor performance in the first round robin and had to turn things around to ensure that they’d get the opportunity to participate in the postseason.

They finished their season in third place at 11-7, which is much weaker compared to their dominant form over the past three splits where they came in first each time. Despite their regular season performance, however, G2’s recent matches showed signs of hope for the team. They looked much cleaner and more calculated in their plays with good draft phases.

G2 are in their comfort zone under pressure, so this match might be just what they need for that splash of motivation to move forward and crush the opposition to secure their fourth title in a row.

Who to watch: Perkz 

With G2’s latest role swap that sent Perkz back to the bottom lane and Caps into the mid lane, most pundits expected the roster to perform phenomenally considering how well this iteration did in 2019. But this split was different. G2 failed to find its grip with Perkz not performing up to the level he did in previous splits.

Perkz played much better in the second round robin, though, and that will likely be enough to stand up to Carrzy. Both ADCs have similar stats in damage participation, CS and gold per minute, vision control, and KDA. 

The bottom lane isn’t only about the ADC role, however, and a lot of that power is transferred to the support. Perkz will need Mikyx’s help to dismantle MAD’s bottom lane. Will Perkz rise up to his former glory or will he follow in the footsteps of Caps in last split’s playoffs and get sent to the lower bracket by MAD’s bot lane?

MAD Lions

MAD are coming into the playoffs after a much more dominant season in which they often found themselves tied for first with Rogue. A series of misplays toward the end of the season sent the Lions to second place, though. And while this shouldn’t be a worrying trend, the misplays were uncharacteristic from them.

They were less dominant last split but still showed up in the playoffs from the get-go. This split might be even better if they manage to replicate their success in the first round by taking down the reigning kings.

MAD’s recent performance leaves a lot to be desired, though. The rookies need to step up and fix their mistakes in the span of a couple of days if they want to challenge the kings for the LEC title and a spot at the World Championship later this year.

Who to watch: Orome 

Orome is a silent hero that no one talks about. He fits MAD’s playstyle well, playing the weak top side and focusing on being the supportive top laner for his team. While he does have some extraordinary carry performances, he’s usually left to farm up and join the team for objectives.

His deadliest carry pick is Renekton, and if he gets that champ without a counter, that might spell disaster for G2. He’s 5-0 with a 6.8 KDA on the pick, boasting an impressive 36 CS difference at 15 minutes against Fnatic.

If Renekton is banned, however, then Orome can easily pick up any other meta champion from his pool, such as Maokai, Mordekaiser, or Gankplank, with whom he’s been dominant as well.

Orome leads the league in KDA and average kills for top laners and might be a threat to Wunder since he gets a lot of solo kills. Since Orome also ranks 10th for average deaths while Wunder is second, this is an easy prediction to make for the top lane.

Prediction: G2 3-2

While MAD Lions looked stronger during the most recent split, G2 are known to step up during the playoffs. We wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped two games in the best-of-five series, one to better teamplay and one to an unexpected pick that MAD might bring out. But if Perkz steps up and shows that he’s still worthy of being called one of the best LEC ADCs, G2 could beat MAD in this highly-anticipated matchup.

You can watch the showdown between G2 and MAD Lions on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 10am CT.

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