G2 Esports Dismantles Excel to win LEC Summer Playoffs
The LEC Summer Split has come to a close. G2 Esports’s near perfect summer was capped off with a 3-0 sweep of Excel Esports in the finals. The LEC is using a new format this year, so this victory isn’t the final trophy hoisting moment in the European League of Legends season. That will come at the LEC 2023 Season Finals next month. Even so, G2’s resounding victory here has resulted in a €40,000 prize and the guaranteed first seed at the Season Finals.
Sprinting through Summer
G2’s fourth place finish in the LEC Spring Playoffs was certainly a disappointment for a team of their prestige. They didn’t make any roster changes though. Their goal was to run it back and take the league by storm, and G2 did just that. The nine game LEC Summer Regular Season ended with G2 in sole possession of first place with an 8-1 record.
G2 only lost a single best-of-one match throughout the three week long Regular Season. That game came in week one, meaning that by the time the next stage of LEC began, G2 had gone a month without losing a game on stage. They took that streak into the LEC Summer Group Stage. Here, the top eight teams were split into two groups and seeded into a double elimination bracket. The first two teams to get two best-of-three match wins would advance to the LEC Summer Playoffs.
The first seeded G2 opened their Groups campaign against eighth seed KOI. The gap in the teams was readily apparent, and despite some shenanigans, G2 easily took the 2-0. Their advancement match was against Team BDS. Again, G2 outclassed their opposition with their signature playstyle. They drafted double ADCs for Rasmus “Caps” Winther and Steven “Hans Sama” Liv in both games, as well as Ivern for jungler Martin “Yike” Sundelin.
Just like that, G2 was through to the LEC Summer Playoffs without breaking a sweat. No team could put a stop to their duo carry threats of Caps and Hans Sama. The rest of the squad was able to support and set them up perfectly. Now, all that was left to do was win Summer.
Round One Scare
G2’s upper bracket match saw them face off against Excel Esports, the third overall team from the Summer Regular Season. It was unclear exactly how in form Excel was. Their toughest potential opponent in Groups was Fnatic, but they were upset in round one. As a result, Excel qualified to the Playoffs in second seed while beating the sixth and seventh seeds from the Regular Season.
Game one in the best-of-five started out with a G2 stomp. Caps and Hans Sama got fed out of their minds and were able to run through Excel. Based on this, the series appeared to be a non-starter. However, Excel would turn that narrative around in game two.
Felix “Abbedagge” Braun took Jayce mid against Caps’s Lucian. Despite being down in early pressure and CS, Abbedagge picked up kills in every bloody skirmish. There were 14 kills in the first 13 minutes of the game and Abbe had five of them. From there, he was able to take over the game with Jayce’s raw damage and poke. Even when G2 thought they had him, he managed to escape and pick up even more kills.
Resilience Pays Off
The 28-minute win was the fastest of the series and pulled Excel up to even. The next two games were also traded back and forth. It was a battle of the ADC’s, as Hans Sama’s 14 kills in game three on Kog’Maw was matched by Patrik “Patrik” Jírů’s 14 on Xayah in game four. A final tiebreaker game was needed to decide a winner.
G2 threw a curveball from the draft, picking the only enchanter of the series in Milio to pair with Kog’Maw. The game was extremely close, though it was Excel who managed to take a lead through great team fighting in the mid game. Down 3.5K gold and a Dragon Soul, G2 made the call to risk it all at Baron. Their gamble was successful. Hans Sama picked up two kills onto Excel and G2 got the Baron, bringing them back into the game.
It would all come down to a final brawl at the Elder Dragon. By this point the Kog’Maw supported by Milio was too strong for Excel to deal with. Hans Sama railed off a triple kill, resulting in Elder for G2. One last collapse onto Excel in the bot lane was enough for G2 to complete the comeback and win the series. They were now in the Summer Playoff Finals with side select advantage.
Number One Without a Doubt
Excel had put up a surprising amount of resistance, even nearly taking G2 down. They were dead set on having a revenge matchup in the Finals. A 3-1 victory over Fnatic in the loser’s bracket make sure of it. All of the sudden, hype had built for this last match of Summer. Were G2 really the undisputed top team in Europe, or could Excel push through and take that title?
G2 made the answer very clear. A quick 3-0 sweep put Excel out of the picture and solidified G2 at the top of the region. The total game time for the series was just 85 minutes. The entire series was complete domination from start to finish.
Not only did G2 win, they did it in typical G2 fashion. In game one, Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle took Rell in the support role and went 0-2-20, a near perfect performance. Game two saw G2 draft Rell again, but this time she went jungle with Yike. He went 5-0-16, opening questions on who G2’s best Rell is. Hans Sama’s combined KDA was 27-2-23 for an absurd ratio of 25. And of course, Caps styled all over his opposition with three unique mid laners.
This G2 roster is running at full capacity right now. When the Summer All-Pro teams are announced, every player will likely be either first or second in their roles. While their playstyle is very defined, G2 has enough flexibility to make their drafts hard to counter. Team will need to up their level if they hope to contest G2 in the Season Finals. Otherwise, the LEC trophy might be as good as G2’s.