G2 have done it again. With a win over Fnatic in the LEC Summer Finals, they’ve cemented themselves as the best team in Europe for 2019. Kicking off next month in Berlin, at the 2019 World Championships, they’ll try and prove they’re the best team on the planet.
With the Mid-Season Invitational title under their belt already, coupled with their dominant performances throughout the season, many see G2 as a potential favourite going into the tournament. But their star midlaner, Caps, speaking right after their victory over Fnatic, isn’t prepared to see it that way just yet.
“I’m not sure you can call us favourites,” he says. “There are so many teams at Worlds that it’s weird to call us a favourite. Because if you look at the chance of someone winning it’s so low because there’s so many teams.”
The Play-In Stage for Worlds 2019 kicks off on October 2, but G2 have already made it to the main event which starts up on October 12, giving them a nice extra rest period.
Last year, G2 had to go through the dangerous Play-Ins to qualify. The on-stage playing time did give them a bit of momentum going into groups, and they were able to identify their strengths and play to them during the main event. But when it came to the playoff stage, it looked like the long weeks of pro play caught up with them. They battled through an exciting five-game series in the quarter-finals with RNG, but were spent when it came to the semis.
This time around, they have a good few weeks off before they have to be back on stage. After the year they’ve had, G2 should have no problem finding their identity as they head into Worlds. This time, it’ll be about execution, but of course, 15 other teams will be standing in their way. They’ll be joined by four teams from the Play-Ins, the top two North American teams, the top two Korean teams, the top two teams from the LMS, the top Vietnamese team, and another European team. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the top three teams from China will be there, including Invictus Gaming, last year’s World Champions who dumped G2 out in the semi-finals last year.
With that said, despite the numbers being against G2, Caps is confident in his team’s ability.
“We’re definitely gonna put in hard work, and we have a bunch of plans, a few tricks up our sleeve that we still haven’t shown yet. I think we can get the victory.”
If G2 have some champion picks or strategies that no one has seen yet, it was incredibly bold to not use them against Fnatic in the LEC Summer Finals. G2 were 2-1 down in the series at one point, which seems an ideal time to break out the emergency plans. Instead, Caps decided it was simply time for him to take over the series.
“My play was a bit mixed,” say Caps. “I think in the last couple of games I stepped it up. The first couple of games were very bad, but I think we were put in a weird situation because Fnatic plays differently from most other teams. They have a very aggressive early game. I was taking a lot of charge making sure they didn’t get level one invades.
“I was sacrificing myself a lot in terms of making sure they didn’t get off an invade or a teleport, because they like to teleport a lot. But, in the last couple of games, I focused on getting a lead myself. I thought, ‘If I get a lead, then midlane is an overpowered role, so if I get a lead it should be an easy game.’ It worked out in game four, so I just did the same in game five.”
The stats back Caps up. In game one he went 3/4/1 on LeBlanc, which ended in a G2 loss. They won the second game, but he didn’t have much of an impact, going 1/2/4 on Sylas. Game three, another loss, saw Caps go 4/5/3 on Sylas. That’s when he turned it around. He played Sylas again in game four, this time going 7/1/6. Then, breaking out a surprise Renekton pick in game five, he went 5/2/5.
It shows that although G2 are incredibly strong as a team, they need each of their members firing individually to get the most out of their potential. Going into the biggest tournament of the year, with what could be their biggest ever chance to win the whole thing, everyone will need to show up when necessary.
Caps has one score to settle first, but after that, he has set his eyes on the main prize.
“I really want my revenge against iG,” he says. “But really, I'd be disappointed if we don’t win Worlds this year.”
Keep your eyes on the final in Paris, France, on November 10. If everything goes to plan for Caps, G2 will be there to entertain you.