League of Legends MSI finals preview: G2 vs. Team Liquid

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Jankos of G2 Esports. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

G2 Esports

On the other hand, G2 Esports has been a dominant force throughout MSI and the LEC seasons. Although they faltered in the LEC Spring Split regular season, dropping games to far inferior opponents, their issues were shored up once playoff time came around. They went 3-0 in both series to claim the LEC Spring Championship.

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Unlike Liquid, G2 was guaranteed a spot in the main stage, allowing them to skip the play-in stage entirely. On the main stage, G2 performed admirably, if not spectacularly. The lost both games to Invictus Gaming, won both against T1, split their series against Liquid, but also suffered a questionable loss to Phong Vũ Buffalo.

G2 has been a team built on aggression, winning games by getting and snowballing early leads. That shouldn’t be an issue against TL’s conservative early style, but it could pose quite the problem if they aren’t able to build that early lead.

One to Watch: Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski

To get that early game lead, G2’s jungler Jankos will have to be on top of his game. Facing off against Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, who shocked everyone by out-pathing maybe the best early game jungler in the world, Ning, in the semi-finals, Jankos will be under a lot more pressure to make things happen for his time than Xmithie.

Xmithie has been known for playing tanks and defensive junglers more than carries (his most-played champions in MSI are Jarvan, Rek’Sai, and Sejuani) and isn’t going to look to force ganks, especially with laners like Impact and Jensen who are perfectly fine to just survive lane and scale up. Jankos, on the other hand, has been known for playing more up-tempo.

He has strong solo laners with him in Martin “Wunder” Hansen and Caps, and they can very easily take advantage of the skill mismatches in their lanes. They’ll need that early game pressure from Jankos to do so, and to set Liquid behind enough that they can’t scale into the team fight phase.