LEC Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why G2 Esports Lost to MAD Lions

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

G2 Esports were defeated by MAD Lions in the opening game of the Spring Split LEC Playoffs in one of the biggest upsets in European history. Here’s why it happened.

The first game of the 2020 Spring Split LEC Playoffs was one of the most intense best-of-5 series in recent memory. MAD Lions sent the defending LEC champions, G2 Esports, down to the loser’s bracket through a 3-2 victory in the biggest upset European League of Legends has ever seen.

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From Game 1 it was clear that this series was going to be a banger and it kept the LEC audience on the edge of their seats right through to the final seconds of Game 5.

The result sends MAD Lions through to the top three, while G2 Esports now have to run a gauntlet to be in with a chance of making it to the playoff final and reclaiming the LEC trophy.

While MAD Lions fans (and the wider LEC audience) are ecstatic with the result, G2 fans may be wondering where it all went wrong.

We’ve tried our best to answer with 5 reasons why G2 Esports lost against MAD Lions in round 1 of the LEC playoffs:

1. The games are being played online

Alright, let’s get the excuses out of the way first.

The current global pandemic that is affecting everyone’s lives has also had a huge impact on the LEC, meaning that games are no longer played on stage and the playoffs are taking place online instead.

As a result, it’s an entirely different environment for the players who are now “taking to the LEC stage” in the same place where they’d usually scrim or review VODs in their gaming house/office.

Obviously, this is going to hinder performance in one way or another due to being in unfamiliar surroundings for competitive games and the possibility of inconsistent ping compared to the controlled LAN environment of the Berlin studio.

G2’s poor performance in their first best-of-5 of the year could simply be because they haven’t adjusted to online games yet and had a scrim mindset heading into the series.

Nevertheless, MAD Lions were in an identical situation and both teams had to contend with the same online difficulties.

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

2. G2 are taking advantage of the double-elimination format

We’re already well aware of the fact that G2 Esports enjoy testing their limits and borderline trolling in competitive matches, as evidenced by some of their unique champion choices throughout the regular season.

Combine this with the fact that the LEC introduced a double-elimination format to the playoffs this year and you can see why G2 may have viewed their match against MAD Lions as an opportunity to express themselves over five games.

The first time this G2 line-up has ever lost a domestic best-of-5 just happens to be in the first-ever double-elimination LEC playoffs. Surely that’s not just a coincidence?

3. Caps fumbling on the MAD Lions Nexus

This play right here.

This play might be what costs G2 their third consecutive LEC trophy. And, as unlikely as it may be, this play might come back to haunt Caps when his team fails to qualify for the 2020 World Championship at the end of the domestic calendar.

Despite being widely regarded as one of the best League of Legends players on the planet over the last 18 months, Caps has found his transition to bot lane a little tougher than expected.

After a rather disappointing regular season, Caps’ lacklustre performances have been put under a magnifying glass once again as he failed to destroy the MAD Lions Nexus during Game 5 due to some questionable decision-making and spell usage.

We’ll never know if it was possible to destroy the Nexus before Shad0w and Kaiser arrived, but taking a Magical Journey through the Nexus followed by a oddly-placed Satchel Charge had plenty of LEC viewers scratching their heads.

Humanoid, MAD Lions, LEC, League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

4. MAD Lions are an incredibly talented roster

Now onto the real reason for G2’s defeat: MAD Lions outplaying the reigning LEC champions on the day.

From Carzzy’s untouchable Game 1 Kalista to the unexpected Game 3 triple-carry threat to Shad0w’s unstoppable Game 5 Olaf, MAD Lions were unbeatable in their series against G2 Esports.

Before the Spring Split started MAD Lions were viewed merely as a bunch of rookies who lacked the experience to mount a challenge in the LEC and would struggle to make it to playoffs. Now they’ve won against the second-best League of Legends team in the world.

Not only did MAD Lions win several team fights over the course of the series, but they also made some incredible macro decisions that G2 could not follow.

The level of dominance MAD Lions displayed over their opponents can be illustrated by their massive 11k gold lead in Game 5, something that G2 probably don’t experience too often.

5. Shad0w played the series of his life

Finally, it was a complete team performance that allowed MAD Lions to triumph over G2 in their playoff clash, but if one player deserves all the plaudits, it has to be Shad0w.

G2 Jankos is undeniably a top-three jungler in the world and he has just been out-jungled by an LEC rookie. Shad0w had Jankos’ number throughout the series, demonstrating perfect enemy jungle tracking and always showing up on time for a counter-gank.

Despite having zero European playoffs experience prior to today, the MAD Lions jungler grabbed Games 3 and 5 by the scruff of the neck on Lee Sin and Olaf, boasting an incredible combined KDA of 21/2/12.

Shad0w was deservedly awarded Player of the Game by viewers and will certainly be one to watch heading into the second round of playoffs.

Next. Fnatic vs. Origen Preview. dark

The LEC Playoffs continue on Saturday 4 April with Fnatic vs. Origen! Catch Ready Check from 16:30 CEST on the LEC Twitch channel and LoL Esports YouTube channel!