Image via Ubisoft/Eric Ananmalay
G2 is a team built from the ground up to win titles. Every aspect of their roster, their support staff, the infrastructure in Europe, it’s all pointing towards a championship ... eventually.
This is the first LAN competition for the “super-team” – and so far, they appear to be gelling well after a struggle of a first game against DarkZero.
Funnily enough, it was a minor gaffe from Karl “Alem4o” Zarth on round 15 that caused Ben “CTZN” McMillan a split second of doubt – enough for DarkZero to win the round, and then the game.
“I was watching,” Alem4o said before he took a break to chuckle. “I was watching Prano’s and Ben’s screen, and I saw, like, Prano’s killing one guy, and then Ben’s cam and he was also killing one guy, so I thought they were both dead – but it was the same guy.”
All the same, G2 believe that making it out of the group stage is a baseline for them – they’d like to be competing for a title, Kevin “Prano” Pranowitz says, but it might not come at this Major.
Indeed, the difference between being good in your region and being a contender internationally is stark, and you have to perform on LAN to be officially crowned champions. While on the outside there may be pressure to win immediately, internally G2 are setting humbler expectations – but only for this tournament. “We’re looking for growth, rather than a big sprint and a big finish as we go through the tournament,” G2 head coach Thomas “Shas” Lee said.
“Even though we have, like, insane players, no matter what, when you set up a new team you have to update literally everything as opposed to the teams, maybe, who aren’t as skilled as us, who already have foundations,” said Jack “Doki” Robertson. “Since we’re brand-new, we need to re-do everything.”
Prano chimed in when asked about what a reasonable result for them would look like, saying, “Even though we view it as a marathon, not a sprint, we still want to win this event.”
G2 definitely cares about this event, they still very much want to make the playoffs, but a group stage exit isn’t necessarily a blaring klaxon alarm, signaling a dead team or a failed project. There’s much more groundwork and foundation to be laid, and every season it gets harder and harder to win, according to Shas. There’s a need to not go overboard if the results aren’t to their liking, this is the first of three Majors this season.
If this is what re-doing everything looks like, most teams would be happy. G2 currently sit at second in their group, and with Heroic’s two regulation losses it’s looking more and more likely that they’re going to be at least quarterfinalists. The match against DarkZero woke them up, Prano says. “It was just us playing better as a team,” he said about the match against Heroic. “...On the second game, we just found our groove and played better as a team and individually. So, that’s why we came out with the victory.”
With w7m relegated to playing on the VPN, and Heroic looking a bit shaky, G2 have a great shot at exiting this group stage with a playoffs berth – exactly where they say they want to be. A rematch against Heroic – and a first match against a ping-hobbled w7m loom today.
When a team gets around 10 points in the best-of-one group stage format, they’re likely to be about to move on to the next phase. G2 can reach that number today with two regulation wins.
No matter what transpires over the next 36 hours, though, they’re just getting started.