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A new citizen in G2: Doki asserts his team is "confident as ever" for Six Invitational 2023 despite CTZN departure

G2 Esports are back on the Six Invitational stage following last year's absence.

G2 Esports missing out on the Six Invitational 2022 was the start of a new project in their Berlin offices, as the organization went big. Karl “Alem4o” Zarth joined the team from Brazil, becoming the second import in the team alongside the 2020 signing Jake “Virtue” Grannan.

Alongside the Brazilian, Jack “Doki” Robertson was reunited with his former partner in crime on Natus Vincere, Ben “CTZN” McMillan. 

“Our main goal was to go to the Six Invitational by the end of the year,” shared Doki in an interview with SiegeGG ahead of the Six Invitational 2023.

That goal was eventually achieved, but it was not a path strewn with roses. A dramatic ending to Stage 1 saw the team later make it as far as the quarter-finals of the Six Charlotte Major. Later on, in Stage 2, they won their remaining four games of the split to come back from eighth to fourth.

But, in the middle of that process, G2 also announced that Thomas “Shas” Lee would leave the team after the conclusion of the Six Berlin Major.

“We were all focused on just playing the best we could, Shas included, he was always trying to put as much effort as he could, even though he knew he would be going,” recalled Doki.

Shas wasn’t the only member of the team parting ways with G2 after the Major, though, as Kevin “Prano” Pranowitz also left the roster right after the lineup lost its quarter-final clash against the eventual champions, Rogue. 

Heading into Stage 3, the team thus signed former Natus Vincere player Byron “Blurr” Murray, who was moved to a hard-breach role. On top of that, Fabian “Fabian” Hällsten returned to the team in a coaching role.

However, despite the additions, the roster was all over the place. Statistically, Alem4o was the best player on the team with a SiegeGG Rating of 1.10 and an entry record of 18-7 (+11) while primarily playing Twitch and Smoke, while CTZN trailed with a Rating of 0.91. 

When asked about the reasons behind that lack of form during the final stage, Doki simply admitted his team was suffering from “burnout” and was not “working well at all together”.

“I wouldn’t say personal issues, but it wasn’t the best and the team lacked mentality wise and motivation wise, we knew it was going to be very tough,” he explained.

Heading into the Six Invitational 2023, and just one month before the start of the world championship, G2 and Soniqs announced the transfer of CTZN to the NAL team. For most of the community, it was a shocking move.

“We all thought that the roster would going to stay the same for Invitational, but we were all aware that players had other offers,” Doki explained. 

The surprise meant that morale briefly dipped in the G2 squad with uncertainty around their future. After all, CTZN had been the primary kill leader on the team and was considered to be one of the best players in terms of skill in the entire league.

“At first we were like, ‘oh this is a big change, we are going to struggle’. But, eventually, we came to realise that maybe Ben wanted to leave because he wasn’t as motivated on the team as he wanted to be,” continued Doki. “So, like, maybe a fresh start for him could be really good, and also a fresh start for us can also be good.”

With CTZN’s departure, came Benjamaster’s arrival. The Danish player, who debuted for cowana Gaming in the third stage of the EUL in 2021, was one of the best players of the 2022 season with Heroic. He had SiegeGG Ratings of 1.18, 1.22, 1.16 in Stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and also represented Heroic at the Charlotte and Jönköping Majors.

“Before we always had maybe something holding us back, like the atmosphere and the mentality in the team was never the best,” reflected Doki. “But, right now with the addition of Benja, the team has got a breath of fresh air, we are really comfortable right now and it’s like definitely the best team I’ve been a part of like, ever.” 

That is high praise for a player who was on a team that won a Pro League title (albeit without him) and played through the 2022 G2 super-team that looked to be on the ascendancy with two back-to-back Six Major quarter-finals.

“We are confident as ever, I was talking to Benja the other night, I said to him any other event I’ve went to I obviously wanted to win, but there’s always been some other stuff like that’s been in the background that made it hard for us to win,” he explained. “Right now I feel like we can actually do very well, it’s the first tournament that I am going to have an ecstatic feeling and that’s great.”

As such, despite the team losing such an important member like CTZN, the team has decided to look at this as a way of strengthening the ties between its existing players. Although CTZN is a big loss, the player’s mentalities and play styles may be more aligned with each other now, which could be vital for G2 at next week’s world championship event.

Catch this new G2 Esports in action at the Six Invitational 2023 from Feb. 7 onwards.

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