Road to Season Seven: G2 Esports
G2 Esports is one of two European League Championship Series teams to retain its entire roster for the 2017 season, and the organization is hoping to build on the foundation of its impressive 2016.
- Top - Ki "Expect" Dae-Han
- Jungle - Kim "Trick" Gang-yun
- Mid - Luka "PerkZ" Perković
- ADC - Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen
- Support - Alfonso "mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez
Quick look at the 2016 Season
G2 Esports had a shot at becoming the new kings of Europe after a successful first split by winning the playoffs, but that was no easy task. The team's playoff run began against Fnatic, the longtime champions of Europe. G2 took down the giants 3-1, setting up a showdown with Origen in the finals. In 2015, Origen was the upstart rookie story of the EU LCS, doing well within the region and then doing the region proud at the World Championship. In 2016, Origen was the veteran squad, taking on the upstart rookies from G2 in the finals of the spring split playoffs.
The newcomers took the win 3-1, booking their spot in the Mid-Season Invitational in China for 2016. The team was expected to bring its success to an international level at MSI, but things went sideways.
Oh boy. For those who want a big recap into the events of MSI 2016, you can read my previous article here, but for those looking to get over this fast, let us get too it. Going into MSI 2016, G2-8, as they became known in the tournament, were flying the flag for Europe and decided to take a vacation before the tournament in order to now overwork the players after a long first split. This left a very harsh taste in the mouth of many players, analysts and those who saw the EU LCS lose their seed in the No. 1 pot for the Worlds group draw.
To keep it short, G2 ended with two wins and eight losses, only defeating the wildcard team at the tournament and ending in fifth place out of six teams. G2 was a determined organization, regardless of the result. Changes were made in order to have a more successful summer split, including the addition of the best bot lane in Europe: Zven and mithy.
G2's players had their sights squarely set on going to Worlds as either the first or second seed from Europe. With Origen's rough summer split, no one had enough points to keep G2 from going to Worlds, but they wanted to do more than just go. The squad won the EU LCS again, and walked into Worlds with a No. 1 seed.
However, their group stage at Worlds saw international issues rise again, as the squad failed to advance to bracket play and only registered a single win. Suffice it to say, G2's 2016 ended earlier than expected.
To maintain regional dominance, G2 should not have to worry. The players have proven on a regional stage that they are above and beyond the current crop of teams. It is, however, their international record that proves to be the most worrying.
If G2 wants to improve, providing they make it to any international event this year, they will need to figure out what is causing them such grief on the international stage. Something at these events is holding them back, and everyone involved with this team will have to figure it out in order to fix it.
G2 has kept its roster together for the upcoming split, which speaks for itself about the ability and the ambitions of the organization for the future. But if this team continues to display weak prowess on the international stage, just how long can the organization continue to have hope for its current roster?
Where will G2 Esports end up?
I expect G2 Esports to finish strong, especially in the spring split while the other teams are adjusting. This team should win the regular season and playoffs, or at least be in contention for the top spot pending any problems.
Hopefully both G2 and Splyce do not follow down the same course of Origen, who kept their roster after a very successful year and then completely flopped.
With that in mind, here are my predictions for the upcoming season.
Spring Split: 1st Place Finish
Summer Split: 1st-3rd Place Finish
Final Result: 1st/2nd
Even with all of this, we'll just have to wait and see for this G2 side. There is at least one European team that can challenge them for the title this year, but I still expect G2 to be heading to MSI and Worlds when all is said and done. Here is hoping we do not get a repeat of last year's international issues.
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