In every competitive sport, people seem to remember those who are victorious and lift the trophy over their heads. But for the ones who weren’t so lucky, the feeling of being an after-thought is something that can weigh heavily on their mind—especially when they’re watching it happen in real-time. In that moment, nothing seems to stop the freefall.
For G2 Esports’ new top laner Broken Blade, this feeling is all too familiar. The 21-year-old League of Legends pro spent the 2021 LEC Summer Split on a last-place Schalke 04 roster that was set to disband at the end of the year, and that experience gave him a much different perspective on the game, as well as an appreciation for the team he has now.
“It’s always hard when you’re losing,” Broken Blade told Dot Esports after G2’s game against SK Gaming in week six. “It’s never easy, especially for teams where not much is expected from… I think it is way easier to keep on winning once you are winning just because of the atmosphere that’s going on, so you always have that good mood.”
The toll that losing has on teammates can be intense since the effect can echo across every part of their lives and the relationships between teammates. Broken Blade said Schalke “had some rough moods in the team when scrims weren’t going as good,” which led to worse results. This also means that when a losing team does finally get the victory screen at the end of a game, it not only floods the team with joy but also lifts a weight off of them momentarily.
Over the past few weekends, underdog squads like SK and Astralis have scraped together a few big wins to keep their spirits high and competition fierce at all levels. Even though G2 dropped a game to SK, Broken Blade thinks not having any pushover rosters is good for the league as a whole since it forces everyone to maintain a high level of play.
“I think SK has players that are still hungry to win, and that is really good for competition,” he said. “Obviously we lost today, which sucks for us, but I think it’s generally good for the league. It’s a nice [and] refreshing thing to see when an underdog team beats one of the better teams in a good fashion as well.”
Now, after having experienced a losing season with Schalke, Broken Blade is ready to hone himself with his new teammates on G2. They haven’t been together for too long, but he and his team have already shown how strong they can be with a limited amount of time and practice.
Two key players who have helped bring the talented top laner into the fold were the team’s superstar mid-jungle duo, Caps and Jankos—the only members remaining after G2’s big roster shuffle at the end of 2021. As the longest-tenured players in the organization and two of the most successful players in European history, they’ve been a boon to Broken Blade’s improvements as a player, both on and off Summoner’s Rift.