esports

How G2 Esports ascended to the League of Legends World Championship semis

© Riot Games
Written by Pieter van Hulst
In an electrifying series, G2 Esports defeat DAMWON Gaming 3-1 and head to the World Championship semi-finals. Here’s how it happened.
G2 Esports showed once again why they're one of the most feared teams at the League of Legends World Championship in a thrilling quarter-final showdown. They took on the LCK’s DAMWON Gaming, the first seed of Group D, and defeated them in a solid 3-1 victory.
Through great rotations, individual skill and overall macro they outsmarted and outplayed Korea’s third seed. The victory wasn’t an easy one, however, as G2 Esports had their backs against the wall in multiple games, yet they were able to come out on top through great team fighting and split pushing. Did you miss some of the action? Or do you just want to relive some of the series’ best moments? We run through some of the best plays that G2 made to earn their spot in the semi-finals against SK Telecom T1.
Playing around Kayle
Kayle was one of the key champions of DAMWON’s composition in the entire series. In the first game, they put her up in the top lane, against Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen’s Jayce. Kayle is extremely strong in the late game, so G2 had to make sure to cripple her early on.
The play started with Wunder building up a massive wave and Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther recalling early to get enough mana to shove his minion wave under the enemy turret. This meant that Caps was free to roam to top and help set up a potential dive. DAMWON’s top-laner, Jang ‘Nuguri’ Ha-gwon noticed and backed off in time. This caused him to lose a massive amount of creeps and secured a solid lead for Wunder’s Jayce.
This play also gave Jayce an easy back, which meant that he didn’t have to use his teleport to get to his lane. He helped defend the bot lane against a gank, allowing his AD Carry to pick up first blood.
G2 ramped up in the mid-game, increasing their gold lead and grabbing multiple towers. Problems started to arise around the Baron, however. With both Kai’Sa and Kayle having some time to scale, the duo became strong enough to battle with G2 Esports in a full-out teamfight. Somehow, Europe’s first seed had to get a pick on one of DAMWON’s carries to create space. In the bot lane, they were able to pick off Kayle and get the bot lane inhibitor, which helped create enough space to pick up a Baron and push for the victory.
DAMWON tie it up
Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković is well known for his mages in the bot lane. For game two, he went for the Orianna pick with an easy ball delivery system in the form of Alistar. While Wunder was still slamming his opponent in the top lane with Jayce, Perkz was being attacked with ganks in the bot lane. With G2’s bot lane under attack and dying, they had to rotate away from the fed enemy Kai’Sa. Caps also started to lose the mid lane in terms of experience and gold, all while DAMWON’s composition was still scaling for late.
While there were some great moments in the game – like G2 Esports finding a massive teamfight win while behind several thousand gold – Damwon still managed to close the game out with their stronger overall late-game composition.
Perkz steps up
With the series all tied up, G2 Esports first picked Kai’Sa for Perkz, which forced DAMWON’s Sin ‘Nuclear’ Jeong-hyeon to pick something different. They opted in for the G2 botlane special with Gragas and Yasuo; unfortunately for the Korean representatives, Perkz and Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle essentially invented the composition. They knew exactly how to play around the duo and it showed in the early game.
G2 stacked a massive wave and dove the DAMWON bot lane while they were only level one. They killed both the Yasuo and the Gragas, resulting in a massive exp loss for the Korean side. This gave G2 Esports all the control they needed to play out the lane and allowed Perkz a large advantage into the midgame.
Later in the game, Perkz again came up big after picking up the Baron with his team. A fight starts with Wunder getting targeted by multiple DAMWON members to stem the bleeding. Perkz makes a split decision to use Kai’Sa’s ultimate and picks up a double kill. With enough DAMWON members down, and Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski delaying Yasuo’s back, G2 had everything they needed to close out game three of the series.
Match point
Game 4 was all about Jankos and his top-lane ganking. Nuguri is very well known for his extremely greedy playstyle. This time he locked in Irelia against Wunder’s Ryze. Jankos locked in Gragas, which created a lot of crowd-control synergy with Ryze. This makes setting up ganks very easy, so Jankos ganked top lane a lot. Jankos and Wunder managed to kill Nuguri multiple times in the laning phase, setting the G2 duo very far ahead. Every G2 lane was winning and they picked up every turret plate pre-14 minutes.
G2 started fumbling a bit in the midgame, giving some gold over to DAMWON. However, they kept trading objectives so DAMWON were never really able to recover from the large gold deficit. In the later portions of the game, the Korean representatives had some good teamfights which created some tension, since DAMWON had the better late-game scaling. Yet G2’s superior individual skills helped them win a crucial Baron fight, which ultimately won them the game.
With G2 Esports claiming victory against Korea’s third seed, they'll now face their toughest challenge yet in the semi-finals. SK Telecom T1 are favoured by many to win the entire tournament, but today G2 Esports showed that they're an entirely different team when it comes to best of five series. Will G2 Esports be able to repeat their MSI victory against the Korean number-one seed? Stay tuned.