G2 Esports drew first blood in the playoffs, taking down KOI 3-1. For his stellar efforts in the bot lane, we consider Steven "Hans Sama" Liv the MVP of the second week of groups.
The preseason gave us yet another major rework of G2 Esports, who made changes to their jungle and bot lane for the new season. As usual, the team quickly showed what they could do, ending the regular split in a shared third place alongside dark horses SK Gaming. Historically, though, G2 had been most dangerous in the playoff, an the first series they had there was a clash with KOI. The last time these teams met in a Bo5 was the summer finals, when the then-Rogue swept G2 to win their first LEC title. This time, however, G2 had their revenge in a bloody 3:1 series - and no one deserves more accolades for this victory than AD Carry Steven "Hans Sama" Liv.
The French AD Carry spent several years making a name for himself in the Challenger Series before making it to the then-EU LCS in 2017 on Misfits Gaming. The team quickly became the new sensation of the European pro scene, reaching the playoff finals in their debut split and making it to Worlds this year where they eliminated TSM and got to five games against SKT T1 in the quarterfinals. Hans Sama spent four more years establishing himself as a star bot laner in the LEC on Misfits and Rogue. A one-year stint on Team Liquid was less than successful, but fans were excited when they heard that G2 Esport had signed him and former Misfits teammate Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle. The veteran bot lane quickly justified the hopes with a strong split, but it was the series against KOI that really put Hans Sama back into the spotlight.
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The G2 bot laner went on a rampage from the first game G2 played, playing a nearly immaculate Miss Fortune and taking over the mid-tame with clutch ultimates for a 10/1/5 end result. The second game was a lot shorter since G2's full-court press demolished KOI, but his Varus still made its mark with a 4/0/2 showing. While G2 stumbled in the next game as Rogue rallied, and Hans' Kalista only ended with a 1/4/4, he bounced back hard with a great Sivir performance in game 4, ratcheting up an impressive 11/2/10 score and being clutch for G2's victory for the ultimate 3:1 result. Even in the face of KOI's carries and the engage their star jungler provided, Hans Sama would not be denied his place in the finals.
|Game 1: Miss Fortune
|Game 2: Varus
|Game 3: Kalista
|Game 4: Sivir
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The LEC playoffs continue this weekend and Hans Sama will wait in the finals for the next challenger. Can he finally raise the LEC trophy that has eluded him so far or will another team snatch the title away from G2's hands?