Earlier this week, G2 Esports jungler Jankos sounded off on the pitfalls of the LEC and why professional League of Legends in Europe pales in comparison to other regions across the globe.
Jankos mentioned how players from Europe were being sold and bought out by North American teams during the offseason process. Last year, European natives like Perkz, Alphari, and others were picked up by North American squads ahead of the regular season.
“Half of our players [are] being sold to NA every single split because EU teams can’t pay competitive enough salaries to compete with America,” Jankos said on his personal stream. The absence of big-name players in the region hurt Europe’s chances of contending with superstars from other leagues.
Jankos also mentioned how the shortcomings of his own team, G2, crippled the LEC’s chances of putting up a fight against Eastern teams—notably those from the LCK—at this year’s World Championship. After reaching Worlds in five consecutive seasons between 2016 and 2020, G2 missed the tournament altogether this year.
Since 2019, G2 have won 16 individual games against teams from Korea—the most among any Western team in that timeframe. At Worlds 2021, the absence of G2 and their noted dominance against Korean organizations left Europe facing an uphill battle against the LCK. As a whole, the region posted a combined record of 1-9 in games against the LCK at Worlds this year.
“G2 was the team who was competing the most with the LCK,” Jankos said. “It was only G2 being better than the LCK. Every other team sucked, let’s be honest.”
Above all else, though, Jankos pinned the LEC’s disparaging results on culture. The All-Pro jungler claimed Korean teams take the game far more seriously than European teams, and that the sheer amount of games played in Eastern leagues compared to Western leagues is a major factor at international events.
“Korean teams always treating it super seriously and being super strict, and playing 24/7, and having a good coaching staff, and having really insane backgrounds, and playing [best-of-threes] for two seasons straight when we are struggling with [best-of-ones],” Jankos said. “We have about 18 games in a split. They can play up to fucking 60, 70 games.”
Earlier this week, former G2 starter and current Cloud9 head coach Mithy made similar comments as Jankos, claiming that North American teams were also struggling to keep up with the East. The Cloud9 coach pointed to differences in culture in addition to structural issues Western teams face in regards to finding quality practice.
After a frustrating season for the LEC on the international stage, many teams—even those near the top of the league—are planning rebuilds ahead of the 2022 season. Among those teams, G2 has been very vocal about restructuring its roster before the regular season begins in January.
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