G2 Esports has defeated FC Schalke 04 3-1 in the 2021 League of Legends European Championship Spring Playoffs. G2 will continue on to play its second match in the upper bracket against the winner of Rogue and MAD Lions, who will face off tomorrow.
As the 1st seed in a matchup against the 4th seed, G2 Esports came into the series favored to win, but at 8-11 all-time, no other team has a better record against G2 than Schalke. That didn't stop G2 from winning games 1 and 2, with another career accolade for Martin "Rekkles" Larsson to boot.
FC Schalke 04 found success with a superior draft in game 3. The Jinx and Orianna of Matúš "Neon" Jakubčík and Felix "Abbedagge" Braun outranged and outdamaged the Sivir and Twisted Fate of Rekkles and Rasmus "Caps" Winther, allowing Schalke to capitalize on the strong engage play shown by jungler Erberk "Gilius" Demir and support Dino "LIMIT" Tot.
Crucially, Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik's pocket Darius was excellent against Martin "Wunder" Hansen's Sion, and his strong play culminated in a game-winning Pentakill to secure FC Schalke 04 Esports' first win of the series.
Schalke 04 got out to an early lead again in game 4, particularly in the form of superior execution for LIMIT's Alistar and Neon's Vayne, but G2 Esports was able to even up the gold lead and began to take control heading into the mid game. A Baron Nashor was all G2 needed to lock up the series, but a steal from Abbedagge and continuously phenomenal play from LIMIT brought the series to silver scrapes after a 40-minute back-and-forth bloodbath.
G2 pulled out to an early lead against a late-game focused composition from Schalke 04, but the composition came online for the royal blue after the 20 minute mark and a strong fight in mid lane turned into a securing of the Baron Nashor. It looked as if Schalke was going to complete the reverse sweep, and it had all the tools to do so, but G2 cannot be counted out until its nexus is gone.
G2 continued to find ways to not only stay in the game, but began to edge out teamfights despite an inferior scaling graph and damage spread due to the healing from Rekkles' Seraphine. Schalke wasn't able to get a kill on Neon's Jinx to began resetting her passive, and so, the superior damage didn't matter. G2 would eventually secure the Cloud Dragon Soul and the next Baron, and after nearly 43 minutes, won the game and the series.
G2 Esports will wait to see if it is facing Rogue or MAD Lions in its next match, but FC Schalke 04 has fallen to the lower bracket and will now face Fnatic in an elimination match, the latter of whom already eliminated SK Gaming in the first lower bracket match yesterday.
All images by: Michal Konkol for Riot Games