G2 Esports signs Caps, officially announces 2019 LEC roster
One of the most anticipated moves of the 2019 offseason has finally happened. G2 Esports officially announced the signing of superstar mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther for its 2019 League of Legends European Championship roster, confirming an early report from ESPN’s insider Jacob Wolf. The Spanish team also added rising star support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and moved mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perkovic to AD carry.
G2 posted the announcement on Twitter along with a video introducing its 2019 roster. Top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen and jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski have been retained from its 2018 lineup, which made it to the World Championship’s semifinals. Support Kim “Wadid” Bae-in and AD carry Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss won’t return. Wadid has already signed with newcomer Rogue, while Hjarnan is still looking for a team.
Here is G2’s “Kings Unite” video.
This is our time.#KINGSUNITE
(Pending Riot approval) pic.twitter.com/ptqkWzhGmX
— G2 Esports (@G2esports) 29 de novembro de 2018
After dominating the EU LCS competition for two years, winning four consecutive splits, G2 had a down year in 2018. Having revamped its roster, the Spanish team lost to Fnatic 3-0 in the Spring Split finals before being swept by Misfits in the Summer quarterfinals. It did manage to bounce back, however, qualifying for the World Championship’s play-in after winning the Regional Finals. The Carlos “Ocelote” Rodríguez-led organization went on to qualify for the main event, although dropped games to TCL’s Supermassive and LAN’s Rebirth cast some doubts over the team’s potential.
G2 won a tie-breaker over LMS powerhouse Flash Wolves, advancing to face defending MSI and LPL champions RNG, widely regarded as the best team in the world. The European team pulled what has been considered the biggest upset in the tournament’s history and took RNG down 3-2 in a closely fought best-of-5 series. The Spanish team dropped out in the semifinals swept by Invictus Gaming, which went on to win the trophy.
The successful run at Worlds led many to believe that G2 would retain its roster for 2019. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case. With a heavily stacked roster and such a high investment, it’s fair to say that anything less than sweeping both LEC splits and another deep World Championship run would be a massive disappointment for the team.
Getting to know G2’s League of Legends lineup for 2019
Now let’s take a look at G2’s promising lineup for the 2019 LEC Spring Split.
Martin “Wunder” Hansen
Wunder started his career with the in-game name “Wunderwear”. After spending his early years competing at the national and Challenger series level, the top laner made his EU LCS debut with Team Splyce in 2016. The team surprisingly managed to qualify for the World Championship that year, but failed to repeat its success the following year.
Despite this, Wunder established himself as one of the best top laners in Europe, eventually signing with powerhouse G2 Esports as Ki “Expect” Dae-han’s replacement. He finished the year constantly as one of the best performing players statistically, and played a key role in G2’s World Championship run, especially on carry and split-pushing champions.
Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski
Jankos rose to prominence in 2014, when the Polish jungler made his EU LCS debut with Team ROCCAT. He soon became one of the teams’ best players, eventually signing with H2k for 2016. The British team, which also featured famous bot lane duo Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou and Oskar “Vander” Bogdan, qualified for the World Championship on points following a fourth place in Spring and a third place finish in Summer.
H2k topped a group featuring LPL champions EDward Gaming and went on to beat fan favorites Albus NoX Luna on the way to a semifinals berth. The team eventually lost 3-0 to runner-ups Samsung Galaxy. Following a disappointing 2017, which saw H2k finish as a top-2 team both in Spring and Summer but lose to Fnatic in the Regional Finals, Jankos signed with G2 Esports as a replacement for Kim “Trick” Gang-yun. Already considered the best jungler in Europe, he also played a key role in G2’s World Championship run and is expected to carry on his form for 2019.
Rasmus “Caps” Winther
Following a breakout year in 2018, Caps is aiming even higher for 2019. Signed as a relatively unknown player by Fnatic in 2017, Caps had spent a year at TCL’s Dark Passage before heading to one of the biggest teams in Europe. It didn’t take long for him to impress, earning the “Baby Faker” moniker in the process. Fnatic would make it to the World Championship after winning the Regional Finals. The team then produced the greatest turnaround in the tournament’s history, managing to qualify from the group stage with a 0-3 record at the end of the first week. Fnatic lost to RNG in the quarterfinals.
The team began 2018 with high expectations following its solid showing at Worlds. And it did live up to them, dominating the Spring Split and advancing to the MSI semifinals before losing to RNG once again. After a dramatic shift in the meta for Summer, Caps took over Martin “Rekkless” Larson’s position as the team’s star player. Considered the best player in the West, Caps also played a key role in Fnatic’s surprising World Championship runner-up finish. The mid laner then shocked the League of Legends’ world by hitting free agency and signing with Fnatic’s rival G2 Esports. Without Rekkless, Caps can now achieve his long-standing goal of becoming a team leader. The British organization, meanwhile, signed rising star Tim “Nemesis” Lipovesk as Caps’ replacement.
Luka “Perkz” Perkovic
Perkz has been with G2 Esports since 2015, back when it used to be known as Gamers2. Recognized as the face of the team, the mid laner was one of the key players in the organization’s rise to the top. Making its EU LCS in 2016, the newly rebranded G2 squad made an immediate impact, placing first during the regular season and winning both splits. However, the team failed to make it out of the groups stage during the MSI and the World Championship.
G2 once again dominated the European scene in 2017, and although it did make it to the MSI finals, another World Championship group stage exit led the team to completely revamp its roster. Perkz was the only remaining member of the four-time championship winning team. Following Caps’ arrival, Perkz will switch roles for the first time in his career. G2 did use gold funneling compositions quite often last Summer, with the then mid laner playing AD carries such as Kai’sa, Xayah and Lucian.
Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle
Mikyx was also part of Splyce from 2016 to 2017 alongside Wunder. The support then moved to Misfits for 2018 and had a breakout season for the British team. Well-known for his skills on playmaking champions, especially Rakan, Mikyx was usually regarded as the best support player in the EU LCS by most analysts. Misfits had a rather disappointing Spring Split, missing out on a playoff spot. The team had a red-hot start in Summer, going on a 9-0 streak before a massive drop. In the end, Misfits swept G2 in the quarterfinals but lost to Fnatic in the semis. It then got knocked out by Splyce in the Regional Finals, failing to earn a World Championship spot after a promising start.
Moving to G2 Esports for 2019 marks perhaps the biggest step yet in Mikyx’s career. He arrives with high expectations while pairing with a superstar player transitioning into a new role.
The first ever LEC season kicks off on Januray 18th, 2019. G2 Esports will join rivals Fnatic as well as Misfits, Schalke 04, Splyce and Vitality, returning teams Origen and SK Gaming and newcomers Rogue and exceL.