During the third week of the League of Legends European Championship, following Jungle’s nerf-buff fiesta, we got to chat with G2 Esports’ Jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski about the current meta, Soraka Top, G2’s influence on the LCK and of course… Sejuani.
When G2 faced Rogue this weekend it got the closest to defeat in this split. The draft was borderline“disrespectful” against them, do you think that backfired a little?
I think so far it has been the hardest game of the season for us, the team comp we played was not really disrespectful, the champions were kind of good. Obviously, Soraka is a pain to play against. I think that we misplayed a lot of fights, we were chasing too much and Aphelios which was the core of our team was left alone, and when he died, we didn’t have that much to kill everyone else, but the comp was good! The early game went decently. You don’t always expect to get the kills or get ahead in the early game, I think not dying and having a team comp like that is good enough but for sure our team fights and mid game could have been smoother.
Last week when talking to Sjokz in a post-game interview you begged Riot to not buff Sejua--
Well, Riot did buff Sejuani. *laughs*
Yeah, I saw that, how do you feel? *laughs*
Well, last week we were playing the patch really hoping that people would not realize that Sejuani is good but she seems pretty strong right now.
Okay, so my actual question is… Why is she so much of a problem to you? Is it the buff itself or is there something related to you being put on Sejuani duty last Summer and you don’t want to do it ever again…?
Well, I mean, I think it’s just… For some reason I don’t enjoy playing the champion that much because I prefer to play champions where I actually deal damage. Even last Summer she did quite some damage but then she got nerfed and right now she is purely a CC bot, sure you can win some games, she is a good champion with a good design but it’s not very enjoyable compared to playing champions like Elise, Lee Sin or all those damage dealing champions. Since junglers are kind of useless right now and even with the recent buffs Riot made in 10.3 are going to help a little bit, we will still be quite behind all laners because they got the xp increase, so a CC bot in the jungle is very strong and that’s why we see so much Gragas, Elise and Lee Sin, none of them really need to scale and they are kind of decent at the early stage of the game.
And what was it like to adapt your play to the 4% nerf?
I think it was fine, honestly. I mean, solo lanes got buffed so they are always ahead if you play 1v1 or if you play a lot on the side lanes, or they just catch more XP than you do. I think the junglers still have a strong impact in the early game because we are the only ones that can roam around the whole map from minute 1 so you can do something for your team, but then you will probably fall behind in levels at some point, so you will have to do a decent job in team fights, try to go for the enemy ADC and if you do that your team will do better than the other team.
So do you still think junglers are the team’s dogs?
I mean, I did not think that they were dogs in 10.2…
Well, funny, I heard you say that on stream this week!
*laughs* Well, okay, I would hope junglers would be stronger, for example, last year it was quite balanced, I didn’t feel super broken but I felt like I had a bigger impact on the game so I felt pretty happy about my role, I think junglers had the worse and better seasons. This season so far has been a little bit underwhelming, you do feel worse, especially in solo queue, if your laners are losing there’s just nothing you can do because not only you are falling behind on levels, even if you farm non-stop, but also if the early game doesn’t go so well there’s nothing you can really do to impact the game. In a competitive environment though it’s a bit different because I have a good team, so even if I cover lanes and don’t make kills happen in the early game depending on the comp we have, I still can hope to impact in team fights and still do something as the CC bot basically, but it does feel less rewarding in solo queue.
And what does a less rewarding game mean to you outside of the game?
I do like early game style and I am forced to play it right now, since I can’t play farm junglers. I don’t really mind playing early game champions in solo queue and try to dominate then, if it doesn’t work then just ff, right? Last year was more fun, but since I like the game it’s still quite fun for me. I Like the champions that were meta up until 10.2, and now we are at 10.3 and might have Sejuani in the meta and I don’t like it anymore! *laughs*
Thoughts on Soraka top being meta?
Having Soraka top is a pretty toxic design. I just think the champion shouldn’t be allowed to win lane in the early game so hard and then have such a strong presence in team fights while not really getting punished, or also being able to dive in the enemy top lane quite a lot because it’s how strong she is in the early game. She also doesn’t lose health when she is healing people and her ult is so OP. Soraka doesn’t require a lot of gold either, so you don’t need to speed perform that much, you can just catch some waves, and since all her items are very cheap, like redemption or athene’s, that just makes her very oppressive in a team with no risk of picking it, right? You can blind pick it and there’s nothing really that will actually counter her.
I believe I watched a game in the LCK where HLE played Olaf, Yuumi and Soraka, and they would never die, right? If you play against something like this, with Soraka in the middle lane, not even top lane, you just don’t enjoy the game, you’re not having fun. In our game against Rogue, they played decently because we had Soraka top and they couldn’t really make plays on her and in team fights we were still misplaying, but we were still winning those fights, which is, you know, not fun.
"Back in the day it was all about comparing teams to the Korean or Chinese teams, but right now, we have G2 Esports"
The LCK has seen a lot more flexible picks, which had been unseen for a while, and G2 has clearly impacted this trend. HLE Haru said "Right now, we’d like to be called ‘Korea’s G2’, but I want the team to be glorified in our name, HLE”. How do you feel about that?
I do think a lot of teams were happy that we had a pretty good year last year and there is plenty to adapt, because Korea has not been very successful for the past two years. China is on top right now, in the LPL. So I am hoping that next time we meet each other it’s going to be super fun to play again, because if they have more flex picks and they are already super talented players, the draft will be harder. Some of those games we won because of the draft, so I’m quite curious about what they have in store.
It’s really fun to us that people will compare teams to us, because back in the day it was all about comparing teams to the Korean or Chinese teams, but right now, we have G2 Esports because we were very dominant last year. We have our own play style where we flex so many picks, the Pyke top lane and the Syndra bot lane, so I am really happy that we have our own name and that teams look up to us.