Mere moments after we argued that Elias “Upset” Lipp is the most likely replacement for Luka “Perkz” Perković on G2 Esports, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson did the unthinkable and parted ways with Fnatic, just three days after he chose to become a free agent.
Rekkles has reportedly signed with G2, and even without official confirmation, it looks like a done deal, and it’s hard to imagine him going anywhere else.
Rekkles is an incredibly talented player, and if he can properly gel with the rest of G2 Esports, he would prove to be a suitable replacement for Perkz. In this article, we take a look at the nuances of the seasoned Swede and how they would integrate into G2’s already stacked roster.
Rekkles boasts a far more conventional playstyle in the AD carry position than Perkz due to his vast amount of experience in the role. Furthermore, the mages that gave Perkz an extra edge in the bot lane are not as prevalent as they were in the 2019 meta when G2 were at the peak of their powers.
That isn’t to say that being a veteran makes Rekkles rigid, and he does have pocket picks like his Soraka in the 2020 LEC Summer. In addition to showing a surprising level of comfort on the support, Rekkles’ weak side, low-resource play on utility picks like Ashe and Senna was crucial in Fnatic’s resurgence after a mid-summer slump in 2020.
Rekkles has shown the ability to be aggressive and gain advantages with Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov in the 2v2 matchup, and has also been able to sit back and mitigate pressure individually to allow Hylissang to roam and make plays around the map.
Rekkles would certainly take fewer risks than Perkz did on G2, but his level of play, experience and flexibility should pair nicely with support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, who plays a similar — albeit less aggressive — style to Hylissang. G2 may be slightly more limited than before should mages make a return to the front of the bot lane meta, but Rekkles’ playstyle meshes with the team on paper.
G2 Esports and Rekkles share the same competitive spirit, but when it comes to approaching competition, the two parties could not be more different. Rekkles has been a spiritual leader for Fnatic in past seasons, albeit mostly by passive example, and his expectations for himself and his teammates are extremely high. Rekkles is friendly with multiple players on G2 Esports, but his stoicism may clash with G2’s fast-and-loose, fun-loving approach in a competitive setting.
Rekkles might be a team player, but he is not a “role swap to make space for another player” teammate. Rekkles will make sacrifices necessary, but one has to assume that if he’s leaving Fnatic, he’s going to be approaching any opportunity on his terms. That being said, Rekkles has spent enough time playing in Europe — and much of that time narrowly finishing in 2nd to G2 Esports — to not need to call G2’s competitive grit into question.
Rekkles is also one of the few western players to have reached a Worlds final, but if he truly wants to bring a trophy home (and if he believes G2 is his best chance), he will have to make some concessions and adjustments. Getting as much individual agency as he did in Fnatic likely won't be on the table anymore and this is an even bigger adjustments than the ones connected with his gameplay.
That said, G2 is and remains the most successful western team in LoL history, so perhaps it will benefit Rekkles to soak some of their wisdom and follow a new rhythm than be a leader himself.
It’s important to remember that as any team, G2’s new roster will take time to ramp up. The new team is as close to an all-star team as G2 can get in the wake of Perkz’s departure, but signing someone like Rekkles isn’t a plug-and-play move. There will be growing pains as the new team gels for sure.
Since his debut in the 2013 EU LCS Spring Split eight years ago, Rekkles has played all but one split with Fnatic. Up until this point — even in his quick stint with Elements in the spring of 2015 — his identity has been inextricably linked to the orange and black. It would be understandable for him to take some time to adjust to G2 Esports’ playstyle after being part of the same team for such a long time.
Take the case of Paul “sOAZ” Boyer as a relative example. When sOAZ joined Immortals for the 2020 season, he explained to Inven Global that his 2019 on Misfits was so rough because he essentially spent the entire year having to snap himself out of the Fnatic playstyle.
sOAZ had gotten so used to playing his part within the Fnatic system that it had simply become the way he played League of Legends. “Before joining Misfits, I played a very specific style within Fnatic for two straight years,” sOAZ said in an interview during the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split. "My time in Misfits was me trying to break out of the Fnatic playstyle so I could improve all-around. That's been my focus since last year.”
A signing of Rekkles by G2 Esports would not be without its challenges, and Rekkles’ addition to the roster would inherently change the team’s identity, but it’s hard to imagine anyone more fitting to replace Perkz. Rekkles might not end up being an individual upgrade to Perkz with G2 Esports, but he doesn’t have to be if the team reaches new heights with him in the backline for 2021.
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