Many analysts did not expect G2 Esports to overcome their shaky performance in Groups against Griffin. After all, G2 is basically a coinflip team. You never know which version of the players you’re going to get. Fortunately for the LEC and MSI champions, their main players stepped up when the moment required them. Europe’s final team at Worlds will go up against the team they eliminated in MSI semis, SKT T1. This is an epic rematch between the final teams of their respective regions, vying for the last Finals spot.
To understand how G2 arrived at this situation, let’s dive in on their stellar performance against Damwon Gaming:
I think it would be safe to say that Damwon Gaming was the safe bet to win this series. In all the previous match-ups in the quarterfinals, the top lane proved to be the consistent catalyst for the winning teams. TheShy, GimGoon and Khan all towered over their counterparts and advanced to the semifinals. While Wunder is no slouch, the prodigy that is Nuguri simply cannot be ignored. Moreover, Damwon Gaming’s play only went upwards after their stint in the Play-In stage.
With that said, Damwon became content on putting Nuguri in a losing match-up, hoping they can weather G2’s early storm and beat them later. Well, they were wrong. G2 Esports played fast and furious. Although the Korean squad managed to make good plays around the map, G2 showed incredible poise. The defending MSI champions simply traded objectives elsewhere, nullifying the lead Damwon accrued. On top of that, G2 made it incredibly difficult for Damwon to execute their plays, a testament to G2’s world-class caliber.
After a relatively close game, G2’s superior wave management ultimately won them the game. They made plenty of lose-lose situations happen, despite Damwon executing well in team fights. Finally, G2’s repeated Baron dancing ended in a failed steal by Canyon which led to a failed base defense from Damwon Gaming.
G2 Esports 1 – 0 Damwon Gaming
G2 played the first few minutes well, getting a 1k gold lead before five minutes. However, some of G2’s members truly are a coinflip and this game, the coin landed pretty bad for Mikyx and Jankos. G2’s unsung heroes for most of their year repeatedly got blown up in team fights before making any sort of impact. Additionally, Nuclear stepped up in a big way for the Korean side. Perkz played relatively well, but G2 won the first game party because of bot lane difference. With that gone this time, G2 failed to find a win condition before Showmaker’s Ryze went online.
With that said, it still wasn’t smooth sailing for Damwon Gaming. Just before the 30 minute mark, G2 found a winning team fight near the dragon pit, allowing them to contest the next Baron. However, Nuguri used a flanking play to delete G2’s members and take the Baron for themselves. With that buff, they wrested control over the Elder drake and used that to brute force the Game 2 win against G2. Series tied 1-1.
G2 Esports 1 – 1 Damwon Gaming
Despite the good reception of mages becoming viable in the bot lane, it hasn’t been successful so far at Worlds. Exhibit A: Perkz’s Orianna bot lane in the previous game. It didn’t really provide much, not even in the late game team fights. Realizing that, G2 went back to their winning ways, punishing Damwon’s Yasuo-Gragas bot duo with early dives. Moreover, Caps maintained mid lane priority over Showmaker almost the entire series. Despite Damwon’s mid laner hyped as the next Faker, Caps constantly pinned him to his turret and generated so much pressure in his other lanes.
Before I forget, G2 drafted Yorick for Wunder to counter Jayce in the top lane. While it didn’t seem much, the split push potential of Yorick forced Damwon Gaming to respond to him, relieving pressure from Perkz, who had probably one of his best games of the tournament. G2 stepped on the gas from the get-go and didn’t look back, winning in 31 minutes.
G2 Esports 2 – 1 Damwon Gaming
Damwon Gaming surely learned from the Kayle mishap from earlier, right? So why are they putting it on Showmaker now, who’s been stuck farming under turret for most of the series? Whether this was a coaching mistake or a player’s gut call, this decision proved to be one of the fatal blows G2 dealt to Damwon Gaming. G2 drafted Xayah-Nautilus and Yasuo-Gragas for their bot lane and jungle mid duo, respectively. That meant they will win against any even number skirmish except top lane, which had Wunder’s Ryze against Nuguri’s Irelia.
Well, they lost the top lane too. Why? Simple answer: Caps. Damwon Gaming probably thought to themselves, “Hey, Showmaker’s stuck under turret all series. Why not give him a scaling hypercarry and continue to do that?” It would’ve been a decent gameplan, if they weren’t up against G2. The reigning MSI champions will simply ignore that turret hugger and dive other lanes with a numbers advantage, and they did exactly that to establish dominance in this final game.
Also not to be lost in all this is Jankos’ godly performance on Gragas. G2’s success may have stemmed from Caps and Perkz’s prodigious talent, but they would never have amounted to anything if it wasn’t for LEC MVP Jankos. He made all the plays possible for his carries and set them up for success. Despite Damwon Gaming’s valiant stand against G2’s onslaught, Jankos made all the right moves for G2 in the final team fight, securing their date with Faker in the semifinals. GG.
G2 Esports 3- 1 Damwon Gaming
Winner: G2 Esports
Worlds 2019 will continue on November 2, Saturday. Stay tuned for our semifinals preview and predictions.