League of Legends LEC Playoff Preview: G2 Esports vs. Origen

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
Perkz, G2 Esports. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

G2 Esports

G2 Esports’ roster entered the Spring Split with a slightly refreshed look, keeping three of the five members that helped the organisation reach their first ever World Championship semi-final in 2018. However, eyebrows were raised when the four time EU LCS winners opted to shift star mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković into the AD Carry role, alongside new signing Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle.

Although, the most surprising change to the line-up came in the form of shock signing Rasmus “Caps” Winther, Fnatic’s Worlds finalist and 2018 EU LCS MVP. Possibly the most controversial transfer in European League of Legends history, the move from close rivals, Fnatic, cemented G2’s 2019 roster as THE EU super-team, and they didn’t disappoint in the regular season.

Thirteen games into the Spring Split and G2 were by far the most impressive team, sitting on a 12-1 record, and many analysts comparing them to the greatest rosters in EU history. The introduction of Caps and Mikyx to the roster, along with Perkz adjusting to his new role, did not hinder Europe’s top team, as they blitzed through every opponent in the first six weeks of the season and never looked challenged.

So, what was their revolutionary playstyle that led them to a 9-0 start? There wasn’t one. G2 simply outplayed their opponents across the map, often drafting four carries and completely controlling the game before the 15 minute mark. Their domination peaked in week 4 when they took down Fnatic in what was the shortest game in European history at the time (20:35).

It was a game led by Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s Olaf performance in which he controlled the jungle from start to finish, providing ganks for all of his laners and putting his team in a huge advantage before the ten minute mark, which they then snowballed into a sub-21 minute victory.

Nevertheless, G2’s insane run in the first half of the split was undermined by their worrying collapse in the final three weeks, losing 4 of their last 5 games. The team continuously collapsed in the early and mid stages of games, feeding kills across the map, and only redeeming themselves in the occasional teamfight wins. The disappointing end to the season highlighted G2’s major problem – they don’t really have a plan if they’re not ahead at 15-20 minutes.

There’s no doubt this will have been worked on during their three-week break between the end of the regular season and their first playoff match, however their complete lack of control during their last five games was very worrying for the 1st place team. If it continues, G2 will struggle to make it to the final, never mind lift the LEC trophy, particularly when facing an extremely organised outfit in Origen.

Origen

It took a while for Origen to ramp up in the Spring Split. With four losses in their first five games, many had written the team off early, expecting them to finish in the middle of the pack. However, their return to the European top division has been successful so far as a result of 11 wins in their final 13 games, while looking very clean in the process.

Many analysts have referred to Origen’s set-up as “Korean style” League of Legends, involving patient early game play and focus on objective control in the later stages of the game. Their aptitude at their slow, composed style was on show during the last three weeks of the split, as they took down some of the best teams in the LEC to pick up six consecutive victories. While they may not have faced the strongest opposition, it was the manner in which Origen picked up these wins that was the impressive aspect.

The combination of Jonas “Kold” Andersen and Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm allows Origen to dictate the tempo early in the game, edging out small gold leads across the lanes and maintaining full control of the map. The team then use their early advantage to craft out clever macro plays around neutral objectives, mainly Baron Nashor. It may not be as flashy as G2 have shown they’re capable of, but it’s a very clean style and one that Origen look to have perfected in recent weeks.

What’s even more impressive is the consistency and excellent performances across the map from every member of the roster. While their start may have been slow, all five players have since stepped up and maintained cool heads to guide the team to the late stages of the game where they thrive through superior decision making. The bottom lane transformation of Patrik “Patrik” Jírů and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez, in particular, from the first half to the second half of the split has been remarkable.

Without doubt, if Origen can continue their excellent and clean performances into the playoffs then they’re in a great chance of lifting the trophy. At the moment there is no team in Europe that has shown similar levels of macro play and ability to close a game out without issue. The huge contrast of styles between both teams will certainly create an interesting battle on Saturday.