G2 eSports has a history of letting down the European region at international events. Following their heroics at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, fans may have thought that the G2 curse was broken, Rift Rivals shattered that illusion.
Starting with their first overseas appearance at the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational where the “G2-8” meme was born, G2 eSports hold a poor track record at international events.
G2 had been the clear best European team for over a year, with an unparalleled run of domestic dominance that saw them lose only one series in the EU LCS. While that success had not translated to the international stage, many fans had hoped G2 had finally turned the corner after their second place finish at MSI 2017.
With a string of poor finishes broken in Brazil, G2 looked to continue their run to redemption at the inaugural Rift Rivals between the EU and NA LCS. Unfortunately for their European fans, that dream quickly became a nightmare starting with an opening series loss to Team SoloMid, where G2 was clearly the lesser team.
Unfortunately, the following days would not get much better for G2 fans, as they would only secure one victory over Cloud9 for the entire tournament, finishing with a record of 1-5 (the worst of any team at the tournament). With their performance at Rift Rivals, G2 now possess a 2-10 record against NA teams over their history.
For a team that many fans and analysts had held up as a top tier contender just a few months ago, the fall from the top was swift and harsh.
G2’s play at Rift Rivals was disorganized and uninspiring. A former EU LCS Most Valuable Player, jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-Yu could have easily been considered the worst jungler at the tournament, with very poor early game impact that left G2 behind in almost every match.
To make matters worse, Trick tied Unicorns of Love mid laner Fabian “Exileh” Schubert for the highest number of deaths in the tournament with 26.
Aside from their individual play, G2’s coaching staff has done the team no favors preparing them for the games. The drafting has been terrible, often leaving G2 at a disadvantage before the game has even begun.
G2 continues to predictably rely on heavy late scaling team compositions focused around AD Carry Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, overconfident in their ability to survive the early game and out macro their opponents in the mid game.
While these strategies may have worked for a time, they are clearly starting to falter. G2 has been slow to adapt to many of the recent patches, with poor reads on the meta allowing power picks to be drafted by their opponents and creating questionable drafts for G2 themselves.
If G2 wants to reverse their current course, they must be much quicker to adapt to patches, making their own correct determinations of what is strong rather than learning from what others have beat them with.
For G2 eSports, a 1-5 record at Rift Rivals is an embarrassment for the reigning EU LCS champions, and for all of the EU LCS. Failing to win more than one game against a trio of teams who many would consider hardly NA’s best three is a testament to just how far they have fallen as an organization.
Many changes need to be made to bring G2 back to contention, beginning with the coaching staff and taking a serious look at the roster as well. These changes will undoubtedly be painful, but they can not afford of Rift Rivals at the fast approaching World Championship.