What’s going wrong with G2 and what could they do to fix it?
It’s been quite a while ago now but OG’s entry to the CS:GO scene was quite a tantalizing prospect and there was quite a lot of expectation on the squad. An odd mishmash of results followed as the world turned upside down, but after a seemingly endless stream of 14-16 losses and overtime defeats, it seems like they have finally turned a corner, ready to challenge for the top spots.
Let me start by saying that OG is exactly the sort of team I adore, and therefore I may very well be biased in their assessment. The idea of a group of big brain players with limited firepower coming together after having been rejected by their respective squads is exactly the sort of revenge/redemption story I watch CS for, and I always found a flank more impressive than a flick, if only because I myself can only rely on the former in the game. That said, there’s no denying this is one of the more exciting projects in the scene, an international side with an approach closer to Astralis’ than FaZe’s, one that has already leapfrogged all but one of the squad members’ previous teams.
Let’s run down the list: ENCE is down in the dumpster having burned through most of the capital they earned with the fans, North remain a perennial punchline, Hellraisers is so irrelevant you wouldn’t even be able to tell whether they’re in the top 30 without looking it up (nope, #34 at the time of writing) and ALTERNATE aTTaX have never really been a part of this conversation to begin with. Vitality have done well after shedding their skin twice, and they are certainly among the top teams right now, but they still remain incredibly top-heavy – and a quick glance at Na’Vi’s last few years tells everything you need to know about the ceiling of such a side.
The potential has always been there for OG and now it finally seems to have begun to materialize, and it makes sense that a team full of cerebral players would show slow but steady progress instead of a quantum leap to the top of the charts. As the many close defeats begin to turn into wins and their tournament runs get deeper over time, there’s a very tempting direct comparison you can make about the team: their win over EG yesterday versus how they accomplished the same at BLAST Premier Spring Series back in February.
14-16 on Inferno, 16-14 on Nuke, 19-17 on Dust 2 to cap things off. Though OG seems to have some sort of a spell over Evil Geniuses, the different nature of their victory this time around is worth discussing. Not only were two of the maps a whole lot more one-sided (and the veto questionable on EG’s part, floating Overpass despite their awful record on the map, not to mention their economic self-immolation in the last rounds of the series), the way the close rounds played out were markedly different and less chaotic than in the Spring Series event. This comms sample from OG the February BLAST broadcast was full of crosstalk and noise in the late-round scenario. Now listen to this clip from yesterday’s game against Na’Vi where Aleksib is basically playing as a Commander in Natural Selection 2 rather than the dead guy in the middle of a round of CS:
The difference is night and day, and make no mistake, the sense of calm and focus on the comms in the middle of such a close game (and especially the fact that they still managed to close out the map 16-14 after losing this retake) suggests they have shattered the mental block that caused so many of their narrow defeats. The numbers also bear this out: the players’ clutch success rate has ticked up since the end of the summer, with Aleksib himself contributing three different ones against Na’Vi across the two maps. This may not seem like much, but when your team became synonymous with close defeats, turning around one or two rounds on confident and calm individual play matters a lot. No wonder their position in the HLTV rankings has also shown the same sort of slow but consistent improvement over the last few months.
It’s rare in CS to see a team materially improve without a roster change over the course of multiple months, and one has to wonder whether they would have been given the chance to work things out the same way had the LAN circuit not been interrupted by the pandemic. With OG’s recent performances, the question is rapidly becoming academic, and they will no doubt be an exciting prospect once the offline events roll around.
Though it’s usually the pressures of LAN we consider the most important mental part of competition, doing well in the online era requires its own sort of resilience. More games, lower prize pools, less prestige, no end in sight, stuck at home – more than six months into this upside down world, we’ve got to give credit to those who keep on keeping on playing the same permutations of CS over and over again for our entertainment, and finding a way to get better in the meantime. With that in mind, the teams forged in the monotony of the pandemic may end up doing a whole lot better than expected once the LAN circuit returns.
A quick word about one of OG’s vanquished rivals, too: the first act of the much-hyped intercontinental reunion has not worked out the way North American fans would have hoped it to, with Evil Geniuses suffering an early and painful exit, but there’s no reason to panic about their level of play just yet. Small and closed ecosystems don’t tend to produce excellence, and with the same set of familiar faces going up against each other over and over again in the NA bracket of the online era, there’s more to adjust to than just the bootcamp circumstances in Serbia. Even if the North American sides fail to live up to expectations at the first few events where they get to compete against the European powerhouses, their level of play will only improve from there as the cross-regional encounters (hopefully) become regular affairs again going forward.
Now, if FURIA come in hot and dominate the competition, that would paint a very different picture altogether…
Photo credit: HLTV
After a great split for the Swedish superstar, Rekkles added a trophy to his mantel. He wins the MVP award despite missing out on the LEC Spring Finals after G2 took a rough 3-1 loss to Rogue in the lower bracket final. The loss knocked out G2 and means that the LEC final will be without G2 for the first time since 2018.
The MVP award will likely be a consolation prize for the veteran bot laner, as there is no doubt that Rekkles and the rest of G2 Esports saw themselves in the final to defend the LEC title. For Rekkles, the loss will likely sting even more as he joined G2 in the hopes of winning another domestic title, but despite his best efforts in the season, that dream will have to wait for at least one more split.
Even though the LEC trophy will fall into new hands this split, Rekkles has done everything in his power to carry G2 Esports all the way. While this split was Rekkles’ first with G2, he has been a constant force in the bot lane. Almost every game G2 Esports has played this split has been with Rekkles leading in kills and damage. His impact was enough to score 101 kills throughout the regular split, only beaten by Rogue bot laner Steven “Hans Sama” Liv at 103.
Rekkles also fielded the best KDA in the entire league during the regular split at a whopping 12.6. The KDA alone shows that Rekkles is as reliable as ever and might even reach a higher peak during the year. For now, Rekkles will have a break before the 2021 LEC Summer Split Starts as he won’t represent Europe at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.
After five years with Fnatic, Rekkles made the move to G2 Esports shortly after the 2020 World Championship. Rekkles joining G2 was one of the biggest roster moves in the history of League of Legends and brought a lot of expectations with it. So far, Rekkles has done well at G2 Esports but will have to chase his first trophy with the team for a bit longer.
Rekkles is one of the most experienced players in Europe with an age of 24 years old. Rekkles has played professionally since he was very young, starting with Fnatic all the way back in 2012. Back then, Rekkles was one of the top talents in the world and has achieved more than most players will ever get close to.
Igor “iLTW” Filatov joins team Nigma for the Dota Pro Circuit Europe Upper-Division league.
Team Nigma has added a Russian carry player Igor “iLTW” Filatov to complete its roster after moving mid laner Aliwi “w33” Omar to an inactive position. The team announced via Twitter that iLTW will be the fifth player on the team’s roster. ILTW joins Nigma in full capacity and will play with the team for a Major ticket in the second season of Dota Pro Circuit Europe Upper-Division League.
New patch, new🌟
We’re excited to announce @iLTW1 as our 5th player!
— Team Nigma (@TeamNigma) April 10, 2021
Recently. Nigma had a disappointing run at the Singapore Major. They faced elimination during the Wild Card phase of the tournament, after which the team decided to drop off w33. The team quotes “As of today, w33 will be moved from the active roster and become our sixth player for the time being. Omar has contributed a lot to the team and the organization. We are grateful that he is a part of the Team Nigma Family,”
iLTW is a well-established carry player and a great addition to the roster. Back in 2019, he started the year at OG, but his trial period lasted only about three months. Now he is all set for his second big European affair. Where he can play in the mid lane with ease. Team Nigma so far has 200 points to their name, courtesy of their third-place finish in the first season of EU Upper-Division. However, with this coming season being the last chance for everyone to grab enough points for a direct invite at The international 10, the team will have to work on its game with some amazing results.
Team Nigma’s finalized roster:
After his debut season in a G2 Esports jersey, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson has been named the LEC Spring Split MVP.
Much like Rogue’s Coaching Team of the Split, the MVP award was given to Rekkles for his performance in the regular season. Rekkles joined G2 Esports from rivals Fnatic. Despite not winning a LEC title with his new team, he was regularly one of the standout players, hence this award.
Rekkles was joined by Rogue players Inspired and Odoamne, in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The pair were key to Rogue’s victory over G2 Esports in the Lower Bracket and will need to be so again against MAD Lions. During the Spring Split, Rekkles managed to pick up five Player of the Game awards, joint first with Armut and Hans Sama.
This latest MVP adds to Rekkles’ history of solo success inside the EULCS and LEC. Including this title, he’s picked up four MVP awards (Summer 2014, Summer 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2021). He’s also been included in the EU All-Pro team four times (Summer 2015, Summer 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2020), alongside one 2nd place finish and four 3rd place finishes. All this goes to show the storied success Rekkles has had in Europe.
Sadly for Rekkles, this latest MVP title won’t result in another European title. However, G2 Esports, and Rekkles will likely have a fire in their bellies come Summer Split.
While many thought Rekkles’ move to G2 Esports was an odd one, and others even claimed it was bad. Rekkles has proven himself yet again on the European stage. While his side failed to win a LEC title, that’s not for a lack of trying on Rekkles’ part. Ultimately, it looked more like a lack of leadership was G2 Esports’ problem, which just happened to come from the player in the position Rekkles has moved into.
If G2 Esports can improve on that area in Summer Split, they, and Rekkles will be once again a challenge for anyone.
G2 Esports and Rogue take to the Rift to secure a spot in the 2021 LEC Spring Split Finals.
Two of the biggest European League of Legends teams in the LEC went head-to-head today. G2 Esports and Rogue had the opportunity to redeem their previous losses and make their way to the LEC Spring Split Finals. Both teams had a phenomenal Spring Split, with many fans predicting them meeting in the Finals. However, the MAD Lions defeated both of these teams in the Playoffs and made the Finals for the first time in their history. They’ll be waiting until tomorrow, looking to take the crown from the winner of this series.
Rogue sought to do the same; to secure a place in the Finals for their first time. Meanwhile, G2 Esports was looking to gain momentum and re-establish the dominance of European superteams. With Wunder back on the Solo queue grind, things looked very intense moving into this match.
The drafting phase for Game One went very well for G2 Esports. They managed to secure strong picks like Senna, Seraphine, and Olaf, which secured them both good early and late game power. Wunder quit tank duty and switched to Urgot, which he used to bully Odoamne’s Karma in lane to gain an early advantage. However, the early game was very calm. During it, Inspired gained a monumental lead on Jankos in the jungle. He completely outpaced him, killing the first two dragons and Rift Heralds and picking up First Blood on Wunder in the top lane.
Moving into the mid-game, Rogue actively pressured G2 Esports with their lead and gave them no opportunities to come back into the match. G2 traded the third dragon for a mid-tower while RGE pushed their lead further. After that, a teamfight broke out in the mid lane where G2 took the charge of the fight. At first, it actually looked good for them. But Larssen’s Syndra had a fantastic position to land a stun on four members of G2 Esports, which changed the whole outcome of the fight. After losing that fight, Rogue had a massive lead and it was almost over for G2. They needed a miracle to come back into the match.
At 25 minutes, G2 found a crucial pick onto Trymbi. Afterward, G2 Esports went straight for the Baron and forced Rogue to challenge them in the pit. Not having enough vision around the area, Rogue stepped into a trap and G2 turned instantly. They took down every single Rogue carry and secured themselves a Baron buff.
It was a major turning point for the game. Soon after, G2 also grabbed an Ocean Dragon too. This stopped Rogue’s Soul and meant G2 had so much sustain paired with the Serpahine and Senna combo. After that point, G2 Esports controlled the tempo for the rest game and comfortably scaled into the late game, where their actual strength resided. Eventually, they gained more Ocean Dragons, but Rogue attempted to rush Baron. While Rekkles secured the third dragon himself, G2 Esports called the enemy’s bluff and forced another team fight. They slaughtered Rogue in the river and used the opportunity to end the game and claim the first Nexus of the series.
The Nocturne pick came as a surprise to many fans in the drafting phase. To add to the surprise, Hans Sama picked up the Jinx, which was the first-ever appearance of that champion in his hands. The match started similarly to Game One, as Wunder got caught by Inspired and Odoamne, leading to First Blood. However, unlike last time, G2 Esports made proactive plays into the bottom lane and caught the likes of Hans Sama with the help of Mikyx’s beautiful hooks. Having two global ultimates on the side of G2 meant that they could rinse and repeat the bot lane gank formula and get free kills on the enemy bot lane.
After a few skirmishes of trading champions and objectives, a team fight broke out in the bottom lane. That team fight started in favor of Rogue as they managed to bring down the key carries of G2 Esports’ health bars. However, a very good hook from Blitzcrank made a small opening for G2 Esports, but Inspired stopped the situation from escalating on his Nidalee, and he won the team fight for the team. Then, an array of small team fights happened, and Rogue was continuously taking the game away from G2. They secured three elemental dragons and the Soul dragon was in contention for both the squads.
Rogue played the same Baron dance mini-game with G2 this time. However, an excellent shot from Rekkles’ Jhin Ultimate made it very easy for him to snatch the Soul dragon from Rogue’s hands. In response, Rogue angrily chased down the G2 champions and took down almost everyone in the enemy squad. Despite the steal, Rogue won the fight and collectively pushed through the bottom lane to collect their first win, equalizing the series.
The Nocturne has apparently become the talk of the town, as Rogue picked it up for their top lane in Game Three and denied it from G2. The drafting was very strong for both the teams, and as expected, it turned out to be a bloodbath in the early game. Al level one, Rekkles was caught out in his jungle, where he had to insta-Flash the engage from Trymbi’s Rell. Mikyx also expended his Flash to put some damage on the enemy AD Carry. However, knowing G2’s bottom duo had no Flashes, Inspired started the top blue-side jungle and quickly made his way to the bottom lane to easily dive onto the support for First Blood.
After a matter of seconds, Caps was harassing Larssen with his heavy poke damage and both of them were dangerously low in the lane. A quick visit from Inspired into the lane made sure that Caps had no way of escaping with his life. In this fight though, Jankos made sure the Rogue mid laner got shut down as well. Another tower dive under the bottom tower gave G2 Esports another kill to neutralize the lead quickly. There was a bit of a hiatus for the spectators, as both of the teams looked to secure dragons and Rift Heralds to push their leads. But another dive was set up by Rogue on the enemy bot lane, where they secured two additional kills. Furthermore, Rogue looked to further advance their lead in the match by forcing a fight and trading their top laner in return for two from G2 Esports.
Things were looking very grim for G2 Esports and they wanted to take fights near objectives, but Rogue was way ahead of them. They punished their desperate attempts to fight and brute-forced major objectives. Of course, they convincingly won team fights to take down G2 Esports in Game Three, taking the series to the match point.
Coming into Game Four, it was do-or-die for G2 Esports. To start, Rogue was playing aggressively right off the bat, beating them in the early game. Because of this, Jankos ganked the mid lane and secured First Blood for Caps. However, G2 Esports pushed their luck a bit too far in the river, so Rogue collapsed on them. They had to sacrifice three members of the team, whereas Rogue left the fight unharmed. G2 got their revenge when they went for a dive on Hans Sama in the bottom lane, but it went utterly wrong as a five-person stacked Rogue roster collapsed on the play. G2 had no escape. As a result, Rogue took down four more kills at the cost of only one champion of their own.
Now, all of the pressure was on G2 Esports to come back into the match. They tried to gank the enemy AD Carry in the top lane, but all was in vain, as Rogue promptly responded to the gank and made a disadvantageous situation for G2 Esports. After Rogue secured even more kills to their name, G2 Esports found it very difficult to come back into the match. Eventually, Rogue started up the Baron, challenging G2 Esports to contest them. G2 Caps got his opportunity and jumped into the pit with his Sylas, but there wasn’t anyone able to support to him. As a result, Rogue got another kill and walked away with the Baron buff.
It was all over for G2 Esports at this point but they tried desperately to hold the fort down. With an amazing Orianna Shockwave from Larssen, Rogue secured a pick onto Rekkles, and a kill on him meant that Rogue won the final fight. Taking down the final Nexus in front of them, Rogue secured their first-ever Grand Final appearance. Riding high from this victory, they’ll take on the MAD Lions tomorrow for the 2021 LEC Spring Split title and Europe’s spot at MSI.
Bitcoin Cash Price Prediction: BCH/USD Price Turns Bearish; Can the $540 Support Hold?
How Chainlink will help secure Polkadot’s environment
GeneRaL is replaced by RAMZES666 on Na’Vi
Blockchain-based renewable energy marketplaces gain traction in 2021
Volkswagen’s European Factories Up To 95% Powered By Renewables
World2Fly gears up for July launch with roll-out of Airbus A350-900
Stärkung von Frauen in einer aufstrebenden Branche
Mark Cuban Thinks Dogecoin ($DOGE) Could Get to $1, but Could It Get to $10?
Hardware Hacker Modifies Old School Game Boy To Mine Bitcoin
Amouranth becomes Twitch’s top female streamer, beats Pokimane
PUBG releases limited-time 2D pixel shooter POBG where you get to fight against giant chickens for April Fool’s Day
BitTorrent Token Price Analysis – BTT Poised to Hit $1 In April?