G2 Esports retained their crown as the strongest European League of Legends team with a commanding 3-0 win over Fnatic in the grand finals of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Spring Split earlier this Sunday.
G2 Esports had a bumpy road leading to their seventh LEC title and although many already wrote off the reigning European champions due to their iffy performances this split, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and his crew delivered when it mattered and once more solidified themselves as the undisputed champions of Europe.
There is always a feeling of the unknown when a question of how strong G2 Esports truly are comes up. As a team, G2 became known for their experimental playstyles which helped to shape the competitive landscape of LoL across all regions, but most of all, G2 have become known in the European competitive scene for their carefree approach to their games, which can sometimes result in some less-than-inspiring results.
Their lenient approach to most of their games also makes it incredibly difficult to say how strong this team really is as you never know if G2 are playing to their full strength or are just playing with their pray. Throughout the Spring Split, G2 Esports lost three games against Misfits, Schalke 04 and MAD Lions, which instantly cast doubt over the team and their chances to compete for the LEC title. The fans' concerns became even more obvious when G2 Esports lost to the rookie-laden roster of MAD Lions in round one of the playoffs, which instantly made it seem like 2020 Spring Split was going to be the split when Fnatic will get to hoist their eighth LEC trophy.
After their shaky display in round one, G2 charged through the lower bracket, where they demolished OG (3-1) and later got their revenge against MAD Lions in the semi-finals (3-1), which set them up for the iconic Fnatic versus G2 esports clash this Sunday.
From the first minute of LEC Spring Split finals, G2 looked to be heads-and-shoulders above their regional rivals, which was in part due to Fnatic's players underwhelming performances. Additionally, G2 Esports, in their own fashion, pulled out another creative draft, which left Fnatic baffled and without an answer. Interestingly enough G2's draft was unique in a sense that it was very simple. A Kog'Maw and Lulu duo, which is iconic for stomping games in lower ELO proved to be just as effective in the top-level of professional play, as G2 Esports managed to take full advantage of Kog'Maw's scaling and Lulu's unmatched peeling capabilities to take down their rivals in game one and game two.
But it was not only their superior draft that earned G2 the historic win but also their unmatched ability to rotate around the map with incredible speed, as well as impressive macro play, meanwhile, Fnatic looked incredibly sloppy in those aspects.
Fnatic, who became known for their early aggression, their ability to get ahead early and use the advantage to take over the games were anything but themselves this Sunday. Perhaps their questionable late-game oriented draft played a part in Fnatic's lack of firepower in the early game and the fact that G2 forced fights every chance they had did not help with Fnatic's scaling compositions either. Additionally, there is no denying all five members underperformed compared to the expectations, with one of the biggest surprises being Fnatic's top laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau, who had an incredibly poor showing throughout the series.
After suffering two stomps in game one and two, Fnatic finally looked competitive in game three, where they opted for a more early-game composition, consisting of Zac, Gragas, Azir, Miss Fortune and Braum, meanwhile G2 picked up Ornn, Aphelios, Corki, Trundle and Janna.
Fnatic's new jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek played a major role in Fnatic's strong performance in the early game and with the help of Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek's Azir, the duo were set to bring Fnatic their first win of the series. However, a bit too aggressive approach and a few positioning mistakes, which were most likely a byproduct of Fnatic's frustrations, ended up handing G2 the lead, who took full advantage of the situation and secured their third and final win of the series.
With yet another dominant display, G2 Esports not only proved they "still got it" and that they're the strongest European LoL team, but also that you should never underestimate them, despite all the iffy performances they have put up throughout the season. This also marks G2 Esports' seventh LEC title, which ties them with Fnatic as the winningest European LoL team in history.
What's more, by winning 2020 Spring Split title, Rasmus "Caps" Winther secured his fifth consecutive LEC title, while Luka "Perkz" Perkovič won his seventh LEC trophy, thus became the single-most decorated European LoL pro player in the history of the league.
Despite Caps and Perkz's success, it was Jankos, who won the 2020 LEC Spring Split MVP award for his incredible performance throughout the season. This also marks his second MVP award in a row, having previously won the 2019 LEC Summer Split MVP award. The 24-year-old Polish jungler put up some seriously impressive numbers throughout the season, which included the league-most 96 kills. He also led all European junglers in assists, KDA ration, first-blood percentage, the average gold difference at 10 minutes as well as average damage to champions per minute.
With his second LEC Split title, Jankos has further solidified himself as one of the most consistent players on G2 and one of the pivotal members who contributed to G2's success in recent years. Since he arrived at the Spanish esports organisation in December 2017, when he replaced Kim "Trick" Gang-yun, Jankos has been consistently putting up impressive performances with his perfectly-timed ganks, early aggression and strong synergy with all three lanes, which quickly gained him renown as one of the best junglers in the world.
Another player, who deserves special praise for what he has shown is Perkz, who made a remarkable return to the mid lane, after spending last season as G2's ADC. The 21-year-old Croatian Lol pro ended the season with the third-most kills and third-highest average damage to champions per minute out of all LEC players. With yet another phenomenal season, Perkz proved that no matter which lane he is put in, he will deliver at the highest level, which, not surprisingly, gained him the recognition of one of the best players Europe has ever produced. What's more, with his seventh LEC title, he is not only the most successful LEC player in history, but he also holds the same number of LEC titles as G2 Esports and Fnatic as organisations.
By winning the 2020 LEC Spring Split, G2 Esports have secured themselves a ticket for the Mid-Season Invitational, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now set to kick off on July 3, 2020. There G2 will chase their second consecutive MSI title against top teams from 12 regions. At the time of writing, three teams are already confirmed to attend the MSI, including G2 Esports, the champions of LCS Cloud9 and VSC champions Team Flash.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.