The regular season of the LEC 2022 Summer Split is coming to a close. There have been many notable developments. Rosters like Team Vitality and MAD Lions have risen to become some of the best lineups in Europe. At the same time, teams like Fnatic and G2 Esports have been having difficulty replicating the success they experience in the spring.
For G2, the optimism for fans has changed rapidly with each week. The team had a rough slump that significantly changed their spot in the standings. Even in their victories, the team doesn't look as strong as their form earlier in the year. Inven Global spoke with Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik to get his perspective on the team, as well as his role with them.
G2 has been in a very weird spot for most of the split, however, I know there were some struggles last split as well. How would you compare the atmosphere at this point of the split to previously?
It's definitely different — we are in a position where every team is actually fighting for something. And it's very, very close. Usually, after the first round-robin, it's clear who is going to be the favorites. But I feel now nothing is very clear, and every team has its issues. Every team has its own ways of working with it. And obviously, we were in a slump, so we had to overcome that — and I think we did.
So I'm very happy with that. Right now, we still have some mistakes in the early game, but we still had a very good plan going into it. So I'm not really worried — it was more execution problem than a planning problem. And I think we're all on a good way up.
Would you say that you perform better when your back is against the wall?
Yeah, I would say so — I use pressure really, really well. I really like it when people set expectations for me. If I fulfill them, that's very great. And if I don't fulfill them, then I try to look at why I could not fulfill the expectations that we had (or I had as a player). Because obviously, it's important to know what you're capable of.
And if you're being put into a situation where you are not able to do something because you're either not good enough, you don't know enough, or your team is not good enough, then it's something you can work on always. But it's also a good motivation — being under pressure and actually proving that you can perform when it matters. That really makes a good team or player.
What’s your perception of G2 once you guys start playing best-of-fives? G2 has always been an effective best-of-five team — is the confidence still there?
I'm very confident — I still think we're going to win the split. We are very good at best-of-fives. We were very good last split as well, and we always knew that. And I think we still are — obviously, it's never black and white. But I think we do have the infrastructure in G2, and all the players and staff are really trying their hardest to win, no matter the situation we're put in. And that is something very amazing — to be able to work in such an environment. I think many teams do not have that. And that's going to be the reason why we're probably going to win.
Do you think the road to win is more difficult this split than last?
MAD Lions bringing Nisqy obviously upped their game a lot — they have found their identity really quickly and can play with it really well. Obviously, they are strong opponents. Vitality also is a team that is performing way better than they were in spring in most of the games.
I still think we should be the ones that come out on top, because I know that once we truly fix our early games, and I can go into a game knowing that it's not going to be five-thousand gold behind in ten minutes, then we're probably going to win. And I think that's something that everybody knows in G2.
Now that you've had a good amount of time to reflect on it, why do you believe there have been weaknesses in G2's early game?
It's very meta-dependent as well. In some metas, you have a lot of level-ones, because your champs can just do more. We didn't realize what we had to do in early game, and we finally caught up to other teams in how they play early game. I do think we are probably one of the better teams playing mid to late game — maybe the best. So I'm very confident in if you go into early game and have a lead: we can close out almost any game.
The reason why it was happening (at least in the past) is because it was just not a great understanding of the whole organization as a whole: staff and players. We all did not realize how we can do better in early game: how to path better, how to ward better, etc. There's a lot of things to consider, and we did not do that. But now that we have made a mistake, it's way more clear to us.
To round things off, let's conclude with your opinion of your personal play. You haven't been seen as a hard carry for the team, but haven't been viewed by many as a liability either. What're general thoughts on your play and your current role within the team?
I think I have been playing good. There's definitely games where I could have done more. And (at least this split) I've realized what I can really do with my skills. It's very important to realize your strength as a player, and knowing what you can do in-game for your teammates, and also outside of game. That's something that I have been working with actually this split — to be the best version of myself, in terms of how to play the game, what champions I play, and what my style is.
Actually knowing my identity and implementing my identity into the game — I have been doing that really well since after our losing streak. I was thinking of why we were losing, and what I can do better individually as a player. And I said, "Okay, f*ck it, I'm going to take more responsibility, and I'm going to lead the team when I have to." That's the player I am, and the player I can be, and that's where I shine the most.
There's obviously some performances that were not looked at as great, but I do think I had performances where I was very solid. I also don't think it's true I did not shine in some games. A lot of the Gwen games, for example, I was really carrying [laughs] if I can say it that way.
There's been some games where I played GP and I didn't do as good. But those things happen — the most important thing is how you bounce back from that. So I have the ability to bounce back from these kinds of things. And I think the split has been very, very good for me individually to grow as a player already. I'm still just growing, and I'm still just discovering the skill I had. Now I will make sure that I just get better every game I play.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.