After weeks of wild rumors and (completely accurate) predictions, G2 Esports have finally unveiled their starting line-up for the 2022 competitive LoL season. As expected, there aren’t any surprises whatsoever, but it’s still nice to get an official confirmation and to see these new players don the legendary G2 jersey for the very first time. It’s an honor, no doubt, but it also comes with a heavy burden.
Needless to say, fans expect nothing but the absolute best from G2 and, frankly, they’ve been “spoiled” by the most mind-blowing title runs and international showings. G2 is synonymous with winning, which is why their recent downfall came as such a tremendous shock. They had all the right tools and players to once again leave a mark and yet for some strange reason it simply wasn’t enough.
Did they get complacent? Did they rest on their laurels and think they’d be able to play on “auto-pilot?” Or did a changing of the guard occur before our very eyes? We’re still not sure what happened, even though we’re many months removed from that whole debacle.
After missing out on Worlds for the first time in the organization’s history, huge, sweeping changes had to have been made. Fortunately, the higher-ups knew as much, which is why they’ve brought on a new head coach, analyst, top laner, marksman, and support. The only two players who’ve kept their jobs are Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and Rasmus “Caps” Winther — two bona fide legends.
They’re the foundation around which G2 have decided to rebuild. And, well, we expected as much. They might not be as dangerous as they were in the past, but they’re still in their prime and should, by all means, be able to dominate on the LEC stage.
Will it be enough, though? That’s the million dollar question and, frankly, we have our doubts.
G2 Esports | 2022 LEC Line-Up
The three players G2 Esports have brought on for the 2022 competitive LoL season were by no means our first choices — or anyone’s, for that matter. They’re not bad at all, but given who was available (i.e. a free agents) it’s somewhat surprising that G2 opted for a seasoned veteran top laner and two (admittedly promising) players from the ERLs, one of which had already played on the LEC stage and didn’t impress much.
In other words: it’s somewhat hard to envision a world in which this line-up — talented though it is — trades blows with Team Vitality or Fnatic and lives to tell the tale. They’re outmatched, simply put, and while they’ll surely leave a mark and compete for a spot near the very top of the standings, they’re probably not going to go the “whole nine yards” (barring any huge, unforeseen surge for the ages).
Top Lane: Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik [formerly of TSM FTX and Schalke 04]
Jungle: Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski
Mid Lane: Rasmus “Caps” Winther
AD Carry: Victor “Flakked” Lirola [formerly of MAD Lions Madrid]
Support: Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé [formerly of Karmine Corp]
Seasoned head coach Dylan Falco will be leading the charge — a stellar pick-up by G2, no doubt. He knows a thing or two about leading both stacked rosters and undervalued underdogs, so he’ll surely find a lot of success with G2 over the coming months.
In top we have a player who needs no introduction: Broken Blade. He’s a veteran through and through and even has an LCS title to his name. And while he might not be as good as Martin “Wunder” Hansen, he’s nonetheless a big team player and a hard worker — two key virtues that’ll no doubt serve as a boon to G2’s chances going forward.
He had very respectable stats last split despite playing on Schalke 04 — the absolute worst team in the LEC at the time. He was second in Kill Participation (64.8%), second in Kill Share (22%), second-best in Death Share (16.5%), had some very respectable laning stats and the second-highest Damage Share amongst all top laners (25.3%).
These numbers alone tell you all you need to know when it comes to Broken Blade’s talent and ability to clutch things out. He’s by no means the perfect player (there’s more than enough evidence of that from his LCS days), but can nonetheless play out of his mind when given the right support and guidance.
Fortunately, he’ll have both at G2 so there’s a very good chance we’ll see the best Broken Blade yet! Plus, with a mechanically gifted jungler like Jankos, he’ll surely dominate right from the very get-go.
Speaking of the legendary Pole, he’ll have to assume the role of an in-game leader, perhaps now more than ever. This is still a fairly seasoned line-up, but if he wants to stand a chance at reclaiming the LEC throne, he’ll have to both lead and play like never before. The same can be said for Caps as well — arguably the best Western mid laner of all time. He wasn’t as clean or commanding in 2021 as in years prior, but there’s no doubt in our mind that he’ll once again return to his dominant ways. It’s Caps, after all.
A Question Mark in the Bottom Lane
Flakked and Targamas have some pretty big shoes to fill and, frankly, we’re not convinced they’ll be up to the task. The loss of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle is absolutely huge and it’ll make G2 a lot less dangerous from the bottom lane. They’ve basically lost some of their most potent “weapons” and it’ll reflect on their play as well.
Now, Flakked and Targamas will surely deliver in one way or another. After all, they’ve been selected after a thorough vetting process and they’ve obviously impressed the folks in charge. That’s great for a start, but until we see them in action it’ll be downright impossible to consider G2 Esports as a favorite for the 2022 competitive LoL season, against the likes of Fnatic and Team Vitality.
On paper, they’re still better than most of their peers but there are never any guarantees — a lot of it will boil down to preparation and the speed at which they can get on the same page. This is a completely different G2, and they’re bound to fumble and fail in the beginning. With a fairly inexperienced bottom lane duo and a top laner that’s probably not as good as the man he’s tasked to replace, G2 Esports will almost certainly face an uphill battle for the 2022 competitive LoL season.
Be that as it may, we’re confident that they’ll rise to the occasion and eventually leave a mark. The path towards that point, however, will surely be both treacherous and filled with many detours. All in all, this is a new kind of G2, and that warrants a shift in our expectations as well.