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“[Not qualifying] would have been the most disappointing thing”: G2's Doki talks Stage 2, Shas exit

G2 Esports were on the verge of missing out on Berlin, but here they are.

The G2 headquarters are just 138 meters away from the Berlin Major venue, the Theater am Potsdamer Platz. As a result, they are the de-facto home team at the Berlin Major and missing out was never an option.

“That would have been the most disappointing thing if we didn’t qualify because it’s our home turf,” explained G2 Esports’ player Jack “Doki” Robertson in an interview with SiegeGG.

But, after losing four of their first five EUL matches, G2’s odds for qualifying for the Berlin Major were dire. But though they looked down and out, they ended the stage with a four-game win streak that secured G2 their spot at the Berlin Major. They seem to be the Real Madrid of Siege — it doesn’t matter how the odds may look, their Galacticos can’t be counted out.

“It was definitely the aftermath of the Charlotte Major that made us play bad at the beginning of Stage 2,” explained Doki. “We had a lot of issues in the team, it pushed us back a lot of steps compared to our Stage 1 performance.”

Not only was the team’s momentum an issue, but also the team’s schedule. G2’s first five games were against three of the other top-four teams; Wolves Esports, Rogue, and MNM Gaming. A win against NAVI kept their hopes alive, but only barely. 

“After a loss it was hard to belt back up, because our next opponent was just as good if not better,” recalled Doki.

Regardless of their rivals' abilities, something was clear: G2 Esports were not playing as a Major-bound team. And after months of underperformance through various forms of the roster, G2 opted against renewing their legendary coach Thomas “Shas” Lee’s contract.

“It was a complete decision from the organization, people need to understand this is a professional environment and this is our job so it’s not necessarily our choice to choose who’s in our team, that goes for players as well,” stressed Doki.

The players knew nothing about G2’s intentions, with CTZN’s reaction on social media being that of surprise. However, Doki says this could “maybe” be for the better, and theorised that Shas was also perhaps “getting a bit kind of staled (sic) of G2”. As a result, that could create a new, “fresher environment” for both parties. 

“From my POV, we had some disagreements and stuff as everyone does. I wouldn’t say he is a troublemaker or problem causer, not at all, so the decision was a bit weird to us,” Doki concluded.

At the same time, he also shut down any possible hope of Shas’ contract being extended in the case G2 wins the Major. “As I said, the decision has been made, but we never know.”

Heading to game day six, G2’s chances looked dead. And although the team never stopped believing, Doki was a realist. 

“I told my teammates, ‘Guys, no way we make the Major, get it out of your heads’,” he shared. “We just focused on our next opponent, game by game, game by game.”

Heading into the ‘easier’ half of their schedule, G2 knew they had to make drastic changes in the server as well. According to Doki, the team spent a lot of time outside scrimmages, taking a lot of time “to think of our play style and the processes we take.”

Furthermore, the team made an IGL change, which seems to have had the desired effect. 

“We changed IGL, from Prano to CTZN, that was also a big change, I guess everyone is feeling a bit fresh in some rejuvenated roles and stuff,” said Doki. “We didn’t want to sit at the bottom of the table, so we put the work in to make sure we were going to be there, nobody wants to be there and a G2 team doesn’t deserve to be there.”

Finally, after defeating Heroic in the final game of the stage, G2 Esports completed the comeback and will make the 138m trip to the event venue as competitors, not spectators. And it’s now time to see if the team can keep their momentum going.

They will share a group with FaZe Clan, the Soniqs, and SANDBOX Gaming at the Major. Karl “Alem4o” Zarth has had a spicy social-media fight with some of the players at Soniqs, but Doki downplayed it as nothing too serious. But such jokes could well fuel the fire for G2’s group stage rivals -- or even for G2 themselves.

Catch G2 Esports on the international stage again at the Berlin Major, which will run from Aug. 15 to 21, and read up on everything you need to know about the event.