How G2 can make all their shiny new pieces fit

With a lot of mouths to feed, G2 have a delicate balancing act on their hands.

Photo via Riot Games

There’s no doubt that the biggest, craziest, most unpredictable roster move of this offseason was when G2 Esports signed star mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther away from Fnatic. In one fell swoop, G2 stunned the world and upended the hierarchy of the league. With their own amazing mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković moving to the bot lane, G2 are clearly one of the teams to beat next year in the LEC.

But that doesn’t mean it will be all rainbows and butterflies for the Spanish side as they cruise to another title. So-called “superteams” have failed in the past. It took kt Rolster nearly two years to figure out how to fit their resource-hungry star laners together into a cohesive group that could win it big. And they didn’t have to deal with a player changing positions on the fly.

Related: Where does your team land on our LEC preseason tier list?

In order to speed up the transition period, it would be smart for G2 to learn from the mistakes of the past. Here’s how they can do it in 2019.

What Jankos will we see?

Photo via Riot Games

The first thing the team has to figure out is how much they’ll get from jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski. He was the team’s highest-profile signing last offseason, and the results were mixed. Sure, the team made the Worlds semifinals after a stunning upset of Royal Never Give Up. But they were blown out by Invictus Gaming at that stage, and they weren’t really in contention to win domestically either.

We outlined months ago how Jankos’ teams tended to fall apart in playoff situations, as well as how his pathing would become more erratic as teams figured him out. He actually figured out a lot of issues after the Worlds play-in stage. But against Invictus, he was solidly out-jungled as his lanes slowly lost and the team fell into a 0-2 hole from which there was no redemption.

To be clear, this isn’t all on Jankos. G2 looked surprised by the degree their solo lanes lost with no jungle influence from either side. But again and again, this team plays lanes like they have no idea where the jungler is or where he’s going. 

That will be easier in 2019, when all three lanes should win most matchups. But Jankos has to resist the urge to use pushing lanes to simply farm for himself. He has to make sure that those lanes are pushing intelligently and within the overall strategic framework they chose in the draft. In essence, G2 need less of Jankos roaring after a big play and more of him talking in a smooth, cold management voice on the team’s comms.

Jankos wasn’t the only problem in 2018, but he can be a big part of the solution next season.

The sacrifice of Perkz

Photo via Riot Games

As far as which lanes Jankos should frequent, we have an idea for that, too. He’ll likely need to still spend significant time on the top side where Martin “Wunder” Hansen is typically a lot better with jungle priority than without. The team got to the semifinals at Worlds largely by unlocking Wunder as a splitpusher. 

Caps will also require a decent amount of jungle attention in the mid lane. He and jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen created a lot of pressure through their synergy with each other. That doesn’t mean Broxah camped mid in every game, but the two knew when and how to use that lane versus when to focus elsewhere on the map.

That leaves Perkz in the bot lane. G2’s best weeks in 2018 were in the days of gold funneling, where Jankos followed Perkz around and gave him 100 percent of his attention. Maybe that’s why Perkz moved to bot lane in the first place, so he could command all the time of new support 
Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle.

But for the good of the team, Perkz has to be okay with the bot lane being on an island. The reasons are numerous. We don’t know if the poaching allegations surround Perkz are true, but the fact is players come to G2 to play with Perkz. Perkz has to reward that trust by ensuring his new teammates—Caps in particular—succeed. If that doesn’t happen, G2 could face an issue where they have two mid laners on the roster and neither are happy with how things are going.

The other reason is simply a matter of how the map is played by high-level teams. Kt Rolster didn’t unlock their roster until they figured out how to pressure mid around a rookie, Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon, who turned into one of the best in the entire world. Without mid lane unifying the team, the side lanes looked disjointed. Even legendary shot caller Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong couldn’t get the team fully on the same page.

The good news is that Perkz is good enough to survive on his own. He played a solo lane for years, after all. But he needs to be the first one to buy into the team’s philosophy. Caps and Mikyx are the shiny new faces, but this is still Perkz’s kingdom. G2 will only go as far as he can lead them.