‘The Kings of Europe’, a fitting title considering G2 eSports unrivalled dominance of the European region in recent years. For the first time in their EU LCS history however, G2 are coming to terms with a losing record – should EU fans be concerned as their top seed prepare to face North America at Rift Rivals?
Previously unbeaten for over a year before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Team ROCCAT at the end of the 2017 Spring Split, the G2 eSports roster have been crowned LCS champions for three consecutive splits.
As G2 faced off against their vanquished opponents of the Spring Split, Unicorns of Love, the series would prove the rumours within Europe to be true: the sands are indeed shifting beneath the Kings of Europe’s feet.
The Unicorns were, by their own admission, outclassed by G2 eSports at the 2017 EU LCS Spring Finals in Hamburg. As G2 lifted the trophy aloft for their third successive title, the champions’ status as Europe’s number one team was set in stone.
Fnatic, Misfits and Unicorns of Love have all loosened G2 eSports’ grasp of the European region during the Summer Split. Previously unbeatable, G2 currently hold a 2-3 record in Group A of the EU LCS.
Considering their success at the Mid-Season Invitational, finishing in second place behind SK Telecom T1, fans and analysts alike expected G2 to reach new heights during the Summer Split and following World Championship.
Rather than acting as a springboard for G2, the Mid-Season Invitational has seemingly crippled the organisation’s previously immaculate form. It is not uncommon for Western team’s to falter following the mid-season event.
Drained from an equally deep tournament run and a best-of-five series with the reigning World Champions, Counter Logic Gaming found themselves back in action within days of landing back on home soil.
Whilst buoyed by their impressive international performance, the exhausted roster appeared off-the-pace compared to their rejuvenated regional competitors.
Though G2 granted vacations for members of their roster during Week 1 of the Summer Split, the rest has evidently not fully recharged the batteries. G2 eSports look out of sorts as they continue to uncharacteristically concede defeat against previously comfortable opposition.
Despite their shaky start, it is unlikely that G2’s failings at the beginning of the Summer Split will be cause for any long-term concerns.
Given time to regroup as the season progresses and formulate a title push during playoffs, G2 have proven their ability to bounce back after disappointing results in the past.
More immediately however, G2 may not succeed in delivering the level of European dominance regional fans may have been hoping for heading into Rift Rivals.
Though where the Kings have looked weary, the knights of Fnatic and the Unicorns of Love have stepped into the foreground, able to carry the mantle as their Kings recover from the battle wounds sustained at the Mid-Season Invitational.
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