G2 Esports are back on top in the LEC! An impressive season with two out of three splits and season finals going their way is absolutely promising, but the EMEA representatives will have to step up their game if they want to go far into the knockout stage.
G2 Esports is unstoppable in the LEC! With the Season Finals win cementing their 12th title in the EMEA League, they are absolutely clear of their regional competition. However, that part is now behind them – the 2023 World Championship is next, and G2 has not been particularly successful at Worlds in recent years.
With a massive streak of success right behind them to conclude two difficult years of transition, now would be the time to announce G2 back on the international stage. According to literally everyone, they have the best odds out of all non-Chinese and Korean teams to make it to the knockout stage. The only question is: Can they deliver?
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Worlds 2023 Preview: What Are G2's Chances To Win The Title?
If there is one stat that definitely goes for G2 at Worlds, it is their incredible record against three-time World Champions T1. During the 2019 season, they made themselves a name for being the only team that could beat the back-then SK Telecom T1 in a Best of 5!
However, they could not replicate this success ever since. A single win in a Best of 1 at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational is the last moment of glory of this kind that G2 have to their name, and in the Best of 5 in the same tournament's semifinals, superstar Lee 'Faker' Sang-hyeok set the record straight and led his team to a dominant 3-0 over G2.
You still have to remember that G2's 2022 iteration was arguably weaker than the current one. Their solo laners, top laner Sergen 'Broken Blade' Çelik and mid laner Rasmus 'Caps' Winther, have remained with the team and proven their worth once more. Joining them are rookie jungler Martin 'Yike' Sundelin, North American reject and superstar bot laner Steven 'Hans Sama' Liv and lost son Mihael 'Mikyx' Mehle.
Another personality that remained with the team is coach Dylan Falco. With his creative drafts, G2 have managed to surprise their opponents more often than not. Despite the recent stock-standard drafts, you still get the feeling that he might be cooking something up for Worlds in particular.
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Worlds 2023 Preview: Can G2 Climb Back To Previous Heights?
Over the years, you got the feeling that if any team can bring a title back to Europe, it has to be G2 Esports. The odds are most certainly in their favor, with their recent record at international tournaments being by far the best of any team from EMEA.
Caps specifically will be looking to prove himself. With Fnatic, he has made a heroic run to the Worlds 2018 finals, where his team had to concede an 0-3 to Chinese representatives Invictus Gaming.
He and Mikyx are the only players left on the team that have also played in the Worlds 2019 finals, where he had to take another 0-3 from a Chinese team in their match against FunPlus Phoenix.
However, G2 have proven they can defy the odds. At the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, the door to EMEA's first international title since the Season 1 Championship went wide open when they beat SKT 3-2 in a spectacular semifinal series. The 3-0 in the finals against Team Liquid did not just look trivial, but also marked the fastest Best of 5 in the history of international League of Legends.
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On paper, G2 should be a lot closer to the eastern teams, and they are definitely in for a good shot at the knockout stage. However, from there on it is questionable how much of a chance the western representatives will have against the Chinese and Korean teams.
G2 has also been on the receiving end of some international demolition just this year. At the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational, G2 had to concede Round 1 1-3 against Gen.G before clean-sweeping their EMEA colleagues MAD Lions 3-0. This was followed up by another 1-3 against Bilibili Gaming – and while BLG went on to reach the grand finale, Gen.G made a disappointing early exit.
With a quite convincing loss even against the surprisingly weak looking Gen.G squad, G2 will have to step it up properly at Worlds to set the record straight. However, you have to keep in mind that spring split was also not the strongest split for G2 in the LEC. A group stage loss to KOI and a playoffs loss to MAD saw them claim only fourth place. Quite untypical for this squad!
Should G2 make it to the knockout stage at Worlds 2023, they will be with their backs against the wall – but they have proven to be strong in that position. The chances are slim, but they are not zero.
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