Image via Ubisoft/@itsmeerror
If you are an old school Siege fan, you may relate G2 Esports’ name with success or clout. But for the newer fanbase, G2 Esports’ name carries deception. A meme-material team whose first super roster failed disastrously, was sent home from SI 2021 by a NA Challenger League squad, couldn’t survive the Mexico Major’s group stage, and missed out on the Sweden Major and SI 2022. From excellence, to the middle of the pack.
Following a deep roster rebuild, G2 Esports has ended with the team’s worst international drought – a period of 271 days with no international appearances.
The team reached the Charlotte Major in not the most fashionable style. Heading to the final EUL playday sitting in second place, G2 Esports’ conceded a 1-7 defeat over Team BDS. Suddenly, the team’s future was taken away from the players’ hands – instead, the roster was relying on Heroic to defeat Rogue.
“We were all cheering for Heroic like really hard, every single round we were screaming on Team Speak. I think it was me, Doki, Shas, and Jake watching. Ben and Prano were not with us, but we were cheering for them,” explained Karl “Alem4o” Zarth.
Once Heroic locked in their sixth round against Rogue, it was all over. G2 Esports was confirmed to be Charlotte Major bound.
However, before the excitement, it was all worry in G2’s offices. BDS smashed the Berlin-based roster on Clubhouse in a game where G2 lacked pace while attacking. After eight rounds, it was all set and done.
“We fucked up the bans a little bit, we knew they could ban Hibana because they saw we struggled a little bit against Heroic, so the obvious ban was Hibana. We tried to double hard breach ban, which affected us more than them. But our idea was that we could play like this and win the match. For example, in scrims against tier one [teams] it was working, but I guess BDS showed the weakneses of the bans more than the other teams,” he elaborated.
G2 Esports’ first stage has been far from perfect. A promising start after defeating Rogue and MNM Gaming on regulation was followed by three back-to-back losses against LFO, Heroic, and Outsiders. G2’s performances against the top four rosters were balanced with consistency against the bottom teams – nine out of nine possible points against Natus Vincere, Team Secret, and PWNZ.
“We are still adapting a lot. For example, we saw Heroic and w7m esports playing really well on the first stage, but it is also because these two teams had four months to prepare for the first stage, because they didn’t have to play the Six Invitational, so they kept practicing for four months straight,” he said.
We can’t overlook the fact that this team was built at the beginning of the year, making its first steps in an official competition just over a month ago. More precisely, Alem4o comes from the Brazilian League, a league that can’t be compared in any ways to the European top-flight.
The Brazilian also had a look back at the creation of the roster. According to him, he was contacted after his match against G2 on the Six Invitational 2021, but Alem4o couldn’t join the team due to visa issues. “The entire year I knew I would join G2 after the SI so I rejected Team Liquid’s offer for example, the other teams already knew I was going to Europe.”
Alem4o revealed though that G2’s initial plan after the Six Invitational 2021 was to sign him only. However, after the team’s disappointing end to the year, a more deeper rebuilt was needed.
“I think after the Sweden Major, G2 decided they wanted to change the whole lineup, because I think in Paris the only idea they had was swapping me with one teammate, so they probably wanted to kick one guy, and then like after the Sweden Major, that they didn’t qualify, they decided to change the whole lineup and just keep Ben and Jake, so I think they reached me and asked what players I would rather play together, but I don’t know as much as them about European players.”
“They reached then Rogue to hire Prano and AceeZ I think, but AceeZ at the end was not a good option for them, and they decided to hire Doki who also wanted to join us, he is a friend of Ben, my friend, he is a good player. At the end of the year, like on December or January, we already knew the entire lineup.”
With three new players, one coming from Brazil, we must look at G2’s evolution throughout the stage from a different perspective. Adaptation and experience with the new collegues are fundamental, especially in a competition where teams like Team BDS, Heroic, and LFO haven’t gone through many changes during the last couple months.
“We are still adapting to the play style we want to play. We aren’t playing as my old team, the Brazilian meta. I am trying to adapt myself. Doki isn’t playing as he used to play with Na’Vi. Everyone is trying to adapt to find a new playstyle, which is the best option. We are struggling a little bit, but we have insane players in our team.”
People should expect a different version of G2 Esports over the next few months, but only time will tell. For Charlotte, Alem4o, the only Major winner in Charlotte alongside Lorenzo “Lagonis” Volpi, thinks he knows what the team needs: synergy. “You win a Major having a good mood. If the vibes are good, if everyone is having fun, you can win the Major. You don’t have to stress yourself, every game can be a game changer.”