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Deep Dive Tim Sevenhuysen

The Deep Dive: G2 Esports’ Legacy of Dominance

Ever since joining the EU LCS in 2016, G2 Esports has established a legacy of complete dominance. In nine splits, G2 has won seven championships, and only missed a single European Final. Their roster has shifted over time, but Perkz has been their constant, cementing himself as the greatest European League of Legends player of all time.

To celebrate G2’s and Perkz’s latest triumph, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

All They Do Is Win

First, here’s a timeline of G2’s success, both in the regular season and the playoffs. For each split, we can see the team’s regular season win/loss record, their regular season gold spent percentage difference (GSPD), and their final result in the playoffs.

In case you aren’t familiar, the GSPD statistic measures the gap in spent gold between the two teams at the end of the game. Teams that end with higher spent gold had a larger lead at the moment of winning. In other words, GSPD measures margins of victory/defeat, in a more nuanced way than pure win/loss record. It’s possible to win a game from a gold deficit, but that win is less convincing than a game where the winner was 15,000 gold ahead and crushed their opponent more decisively.

Between regular season GSPD and final playoff result, we can get a very clear picture of how convincingly G2 performed each split.

G2 Esports’ Dominant LEC Results

SplitRecord
(Reg Season)
GSPD
(Reg Season)
Playoff
Result
2016 Spring15-3 (1st)9.0% (2nd)Champions
2016 Summer28-8 (1st)11.3% (1st)Champions
2017 Spring25-8 (1st)8.5% (1st)Champions
2017 Summer20-13 (2nd)4.1% (3rd)Champions
2018 Spring12-7 (2nd)4.5% (1st)2nd
2018 Summer12-8 (4th)6.1% (4th)5/6th
2019 Spring13-5 (1st)7.8% (1st)Champions
2019 Summer15-3 (1st)11.2% (1st)Champions
2020 Spring15-3 (1st)5.9% (2nd)Champions

In nine splits, G2 have topped the regular season standings six times, and had the highest GSPD five times. They’ve reached double-digit GSPD twice. The entire rest of the league has only done that four times, which includes 2015 Fnatic in both splits (in the year where Fnatic had a perfect 18-0 in the Summer).

Roster Permutations in G2 Esports’ Legacy of Dominance

2016 Spring: Kikis, Trick, Perkz, Emperor, Hybrid

G2 entered the league with a couple of mid-tier Korean imports in Trick and Emperor, a role-swapped Top laner (Kikis had previously been a Jungler, and has since swapped back to Jungle), and a rooke Mid. They weren’t the most convincing group on paper, but that didn’t stop G2 Esports from dominating in their very first split, taking first in both the regular season and the playoffs.

2016 Summer to 2017 Summer: Expect, Trick, Perkz, Zven, Mithy

Despite their championship, G2 heavily adjusted their roster, enticing one of the league’s strongest bot lane duos away from Origen and using the import slot they gained to add Expect. This lineup would go on to win three consecutive titles — every single available title during the EU LCS’s best-of-three era. But after failing to escape the group stage at the World Championships in both 2016 and 2017, it was time for G2 to shake things up and look for not only domestic dominance, but international results as well.

2018 Spring to 2018 Summer: Wunder, Jankos, Perkz, Hjarnan, Wadid

Wunder and Jankos replaced Expect and Trick, while Hjarnan and Wadid rounded out the bottom lane. G2 showed their continued ability to identify and acquire strong, arguably underrated talent from other European teams. Wunder and Jankos, especially, have now been crucial parts of G2 history for two-and-a-half years, and Hjarnan was a savvy signing, paired with Wadid, a relatively low-profile Korean import who has since spent time in North America and on LCK broadcasts, most recently competing with Griffin in the LCK Promotion Series.

With this lineup, G2 were taking a risk in order to seek out a new ceiling, but despite reaching the Finals in the Spring, they failed to win a championship for the first time in their EU LCS history. That was followed by a disastrous — by G2’s standards — Summer, with a fourth-place regular season finish and a loss in the Quarterfinals. Summer 2018 remains the only split where G2 did not reach the Finals, and it led to the most shocking, and most influential, roster change in their history.

2019 Spring to 2020 Spring: Wunder, Jankos, Caps, Perkz, Mikyx

For Spring 2019, G2 Esports pulled off the most dominant off-the-Rift move in European LoL history, signing superstar Mid laner Caps away from their biggest rival, Fnatic, and swapping Perkz into the Bot lane to accommodate their new acquisition. They also brought in Mikyx to establish an all-European lineup.

What can be said about this roster and its accomplishments? Even without all of the great G2 Esports history that came before them, these five players together have produced their own legacy of dominance. They have produced three first-place regular season finishes, topped the GSPD standings twice, won three consecutive championships, defeated Team Liquid in the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) Finals, and most impressively made an appearance in the 2019 World Championship Finals. There have only been two blips in this roster’s history so far: their loss to FunPlus Phoenix in the World Finals, and their defeat at the hands of the MAD Lions in the 2020 Spring Playoffs upper bracket. The former prompted a lane swap between Caps and Perkz that looked shaky at times, and may have contributed to the latter, but ultimately it produced just as impressive of a final result. Now there are rumours that we will Caps and Perkz intermittently swap back and forth, and who knows how that will affect the next chapter of their legacy.

With MSI’s cancellation, we won’t have a chance to see G2 Esports make another international run, hopefully with even more success, until the 2020 World Championships. That should just build even more anticipation for anyone who appreciates great League of Legends, enduring storylines, and superstar legacies.

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