G2 Esports coach Fabian "GrabbZ" Lohmann talked to Lara Lunardi at the League of Legends European Championship about the importance of giving players time to progress through the season, addressing the 0-2 weekend and the issues the team had faced prior to the losses.
G2 has had its first 0-2 weekend. What were the issues that led the team to go winless? Was it the draft, the teamfights…
I think it was a mix of everything. First of all we didn’t have good practice because we had some scheduling issues because we had to shoot our G2 content as well, but that’s my fault, because we had only three days of practice. Usually we have two days to try anything we want, and the last two days we do stage practice, and this week we only had one day for that. We didn’t really feel prepared as much as we should have, but I also think from drafting to gameplay, it was just bad. I am not surprised, though.
I think it’s really hard to keep the excitement up because we come from Worlds, and this happens to every team when you go far in a tournament, it’s really hard to come back to your region, play best of ones and be really excited for it. We come from playing FunPlus Phoenix in the Worlds finals, in Paris, around 20K people and now it’s best of ones against MAD Lions, SK Gaming. Nothing against them, but… Yeah, we are trying new systems in place, for example, today (against Excel Esports) we tried to play a bit more standard, a bit more safe, it’s something we tackled, of course we showed that we are still practicing them, but again, we don’t really care for the regular season.
“It’s always good to feel threatened”
Were you guys surprised that Schalke-04 managed to beat you on stage?
We are surprised for sure, but we don’t really...care.
What do you think would have happened if you guys ended up going 18-0? Do you think that constantly winning can affect your players in a negative way?
Possibly, it’s always good to feel threatened before playoffs. We get those extra percentages that we usually wouldn’t get in just regular practices, especially because we are doing so well in scrims, but that is not too much of a worry. I think it was weird because we didn’t talk about the 18-0 at all, the broadcast did, but we didn’t care.
The coaching staff did not care at all, and there’s suddenly this hype around how “G2 is faltering and not playing that well”... We don’t care honestly, give Caps the time. I read messages saying “see, he is not as good as Perkz”. He played full eight games now being the AD Carry while we didn’t bootcamp. People forget that we started practicing with four scrims before the LEC started.
Why did G2 Esports decide to not bootcamp, then?
Because we had Worlds until the middle of November.
Technically there was still time available, some teams prepared themselves prior to the competition. But you didn’t.
As we prepared to have another season like this, we put first that players like Caps and Perkz never have time for themselves. If you take two weeks from them, where they will play a different patch anyway, it’s not even that big of a preparation. I think it would just not be helpful. As I said before, we don’t care that much about the regular season sprint. If we go 18-0, or 10-8, or 12-4 it doesn’t matter, if we are going to win the split, have a slow or fast pace, it doesn’t matter. Give them as much time as they need.
Your players are facing such high standards from the fans. Do you think that when facing a loss, they take a harder hit than other players normally would?
I think our team is known to be welcoming so they can talk about any issues, we all go through the season saying we don’t really care if we go 18-0 or not. We always make sure that we agree on how we see the season and how good we want to perform and we agreed that at the end of the day, we want to win worlds and if that means having to tank Spring or MSI, we will do that, because last year we made the mistake of going the entire way and we just fell flat towards the end. We just couldn’t do it, it was too long of a season. It’s the same for other teams as well, I’m not saying we are the only ones. If we can take conscious steps to be less stressed out, we will take them. We int a lot, we have fun. We don’t want to stress them out to go 18-0 if it’s meaningless.
G2 has had such a meaningful impact in and out of the LEC, especially with the way the drafts happen, now with role swaps. How have you helped to build the dream team?
I haven’t done much. I didn’t put it together, but I think I did a really good job at keeping it together. I want to make sure that everyone has a good time. My job is not to be the teacher of how to play League of Legends, but to make sure that all players feel happy and help them come to a consensus in the conversations. They are all very good, they all have big egos, and they clash sometimes, even though all you see are the happy times. I think everyone in this team, from coaching staff to management all work really hard to make this team work and create an atmosphere we all want to work in. There is nothing I can take credit for.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to the G2 Army?
As usual, thanks for the support, it’s really helpful for the players to know that we have the unconditional support of our fans.
One thing though, I heard about, is regarding a scandal in Turkey (regarding Dumbledoge) that an openly gay player is getting bullied by his teammates, so I just want to make sure that the G2 Army and the LEC should make a stronger stance about this. Esports should be an open field for any race, gender or sexuality, so I hope that the G2 army will be inclusive of all people.