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The story of Jankos: "Everything about my life is League"

With almost a decade of professional experience behind him, Jankos is a certified LoL veteran. Join us as we take a look at his career thus far.
Written by Jack Ridsdale
9 min readPublished on
Few League of Legends players can boast a career as celebrated as Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski, G2 Esports' jungler and team veteran. At 26, the Polish player is the longest-standing member of G2's current roster and one of the most senior players in the League of Legends European Championship and esports as a whole.
As an LoL veteran, it's no surprise that Jankos got in on the ground floor, jumping into League in its very first season, playing on North American servers from his native Poland. Despite recognition from pros like Christian 'IWillDominate' Rivera, League remained nothing more than a friendly pastime for Jankos until 2013.
On the strength of his solo queue domination, Jankos was recruited to his first pro team – Team Mistral – which would lead him to a spot on H2k-Gaming's roster. With H2k, Jankos nabbed a win at DreamHack Bucharest 2013, before joining the Kiedyś Miałem Team, which was acquired by Team Roccat ahead of their EU LCS debut in 2014. Team Roccat didn't manage to win any titles during this time, but Jankos' promise was clear to see, earning him the nickname 'First Blood King'.
A photo of Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski in action during Week 3 of the 2019 LEC Spring Season
Jankos was off to a celebratory start during the 2019 Spring LEC Season
Jankos' life changed when he was signed to G2 Esports as the squad's jungler at the end of 2017, just in time for the 2018 EU LCS season – "back then, they were one of the best teams in Europe already," says Jankos. They'd go on to be even better with Jankos in the team – alongside teammates Martin 'Wunder' Hansen, Luka 'Perkz' Perković, and the botlane duo of Petter 'Hjarnan' Freychuss and Kim 'Wadid' Bae-in, Jankos dominated the European scene, winning his first regional title.
With G2 firmly established as the 'Kings of Europe', 2019 would go down as Jankos' best year in professional League of Legends. With their new botlaner Mihael 'Mikyx' Mehle and midlaner Rasmus 'Caps' Winther in tow, G2 dominated the competition, winning the Spring Season and then jetting off to the Mid-Season Invitational in Rotterdam. Here, G2 did what some thought was impossible, defeating South Korean legends SK Telecom T1 to win the tournament. They then went on to get second place at the World Championship.
A photo of Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski lifting the Mid-Season Invitational 2019 trophy
The glory continued as Jankos lifted the MSI trophy in 2019
In 2020, Fnatic superstar Martin 'Rekkles' Larssen joined G2 in the botlane, propelling the roster to new heights of power in the LEC. G2 predictably dominated the Spring Season, but they hit a roadblock in summer. Due to a combination of circumstances, from meta changes to the pandemic, what once worked for G2 was no longer cutting it, and the team were surpassed by newcomers MAD Lions. As Jankos puts it, the team had lost the fire – the motivation to succeed.
Things started to take a turn in 2021. The team were off to a spectacular start in Spring, finishing the Regular Season on top, but it was a different story during the playoffs as young talents in other LEC squads were rising fast. The team’s synergy was waning, and throughout the year, G2 didn’t manage to win a single European title, nor qualify for either MSI or Worlds.
"We went from second at Worlds to not even qualifying for Worlds," laments team owner and CEO Carlos 'ocelote' Rodriguez. "We just decided to literally explode the team from the inside out. You either adapt or die."
It was clear that a radical change was needed if G2 were to compete with this new generation of European players.

A new dawn for G2

In October 2021, ocelote announced a huge roster refresh for the team, selling off all but two of the team's players. Those two remaining players that would form the backbone of the new roster were Caps and Jankos. The two veterans were joined by Sergen 'Broken Blade' Çelik in the top lane, Victor 'Flakked' Tortosa in the bot lane, and Raphaël 'Targamas' Crabbé in support.
A photo of Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski during Round 1 of the 2022 LEC Spring Playoffs at the LEC Studio
Jankos takes the stage with his new comrades
In this new roster, Jankos was the eldest and longest-serving team member, allowing him to slip into a mentor-like role for the younger players. Jokingly referred to by his juniors as 'grandpa', Jankos embraced this new role, taking on more responsibilities on and off the Summoner's Rift.
"Jankos, six years ago, was much more mechanical, but he was not a leader," says ocelote. "He was a pain to deal with. Now he's very different. Right now, many times he's the guy that carries calls, that carries maturity in the team."
"I still want to be myself, and don't want to leave my personality," says Jankos. "But I have to show [my team-mates] that it's not only for fun and that we actually have to perform for real."
It's getting harder each year, but that also means it's much more fun
Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski
It wasn't an overnight turnaround for G2, as many of the players on the new roster were still finding their feet, but nonetheless, it was clear that the team were firing on all cylinders once again. Jankos looked comfortable in his position as the team's 'big brother', spurring the team forward with his trademark humour and positivity, as well as a knack for communication and, of course, his rock-solid jungling skills.
"Currently, I feel like being a great jungler is mixing a lot of early game playstyles, along with game understanding and being able to lead your team," he says. "It's getting harder each year, but that also means it's much more fun!"
The team became noticeably more comfortable in their respective roles as the weeks went on, dropping fewer games by the week. But fresh doubts arose in the last couple of weeks, as the team dropped games to the likes of SK Gaming, Fnatic and Misfits Gaming. Despite this wobble, G2 still slid into fourth place in the final ranking, qualifying them for the Spring Playoffs. The pressure was on for Jankos and company to pull off something special.

Playoffs Perfection

Things didn't get off to the best start, with their playoffs match resulting in a loss to Fnatic, but over the next 12 games, G2 would delight fans and silence the haters with an unbelievable run of wins.
Now fighting it out in the lower bracket, G2 swept Team Vitality before moving on to another bout with Misfits. G2 piled on the pressure here, showing just what they could do at full strength.
Everyone's favourite jungler shone in G2's third game against Fnatic, with a well-executed bot lane dive allowing him to pick up First Blood in Game 1, after which the team steamrolled to domination. Game 2 was more even, but the team's focus on neutral objectives allowed them to win out. Game 3 was the longest in the series, stretching to 40 minutes before Jankos scored a stunning quadra kill, leaving Fnatic's base open for the taking.
A photo of Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski lifting the LEC trophy once again during the LEC Spring 2022 Playoffs.
Jankos became an LEC champion once again in Spring 2022
After winning every game following their initial defeat to Fnatic, G2 Esports were once again within touching distance of the trophy, facing up to Rogue for a final best-of-five. In the first game, Jankos and caPs showed their experience, combining forces to take the fourth dragon, giving them the strength to finish the fight. Over the next two games, each member of this exceptionally talented roster would have their moments to shine, as G2 denied Rogue the title to become champions once more.

Mid-season madness

With the advantage of having a slightly more forgiving group than some of their rivals, G2 managed a remarkably strong opening at the Mid-Seasonal Invitational 2022. The team took to the Busan stage, hoping to build on their LEC success. They began by doing just that, sweeping North American representatives Evil Geniuses without too much trouble. They then stomped the Australian team ORDER, continuing their impressive winning streak.
"We were kind of lucky to not have the strongest group during our MSI Group Stage run," Jankos tells us. "Besides, we figured out the meta well, we knew what works for us, and we played to our strengths. Big shout out to the coaching staff and head coach Dylan Falco, who all were a crucial part of this success."
Their Rumble performance was more mixed, starting with an incredible run of wins that saw them take down T1, Royal Never Give Up, Evil Geniuses and Saigon Buffalo to secure a 24-0 win streak from the Playoffs to this point. Sadly, a defeat at the hands of PSG Talon knocked the wind out of their sails. The team had to cling on with all their might to secure a spot in the semis against T1.
A photo of Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski getting ready to compete at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational in Busan, South Korea.
Jankos prepares for battle at MSI 2022
While the two teams seemed fairly evenly matched in the previous stage, this best of five would prove disastrous for G2. Lee 'Faker' Sang-hyeok was in top form, leading the South Korean squad to take 11 towers in just 24 minutes in Game 1, putting them in an insurmountable lead. G2 managed to hold them for a little longer in Game 2, but were still unable to stop them from building up a considerable gold difference. In the third game, T1 completed their sweep, amassing a huge gold lead that G2 couldn't touch.
"We wanted to play against the best, and at MSI, it was RNG and T1," Jankos says. "Playing against Faker always hits differently. After all – he’s a legend. It was super fun, even though our early game lacked a lot. There are many things we have to do better next time!"
Despite this disappointment, the tournament points to a bright future for G2. While the rookies might not quite be ready to destroy the world's best teams, the talent and experience are there, just begging to be developed into full-blown greatness.
As for Jankos, the player still doesn't have his World Championship trophy, so we expect he will be doubling down on training to make the Summer Season an even more decisive victory for G2. Whether it will be his last season or just one of many more to come, you can bet this veteran will continue to bring his best.
"Now we can focus on the next step, winning Summer," adds Jankos. "The goal is to keep having fun with the new roster, keep growing together as a team, and ultimately win Worlds. This year or with the time I have left, it's always about winning Worlds."
"G2 was a team I joined to win, it was and is still the highlight of my career," the player concludes. "I'm not sure how long I will be able to still play, but I don't regret being a pro player, and it was definitely a blast being here for so long. I'm thankful to all the people that have been supporting me throughout this time, my fans, my family and my friends."