Although G2 Esports underwent a massive overhaul in the offseason, the team is sailing smoothly in the LEC. With three new players and an entirely new coaching staff, G2 sit in a shared second place after five weeks of competition in the 2022 Spring Split and are improving each week. But the solid record didn't come out of nowhere — the team already started practicing before the offseason even began.
Inven Global spoke with the captain of G2's League of Legends ship, head coach Dylan Falco. He spoke about the progress he has seen within his team, how Rasmus "caPs" Winther has changed since the last time the two worked together, and if the champion pool of Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé is truly infinite.
Congratulations on another 2-0 weekend, Dylan! It's been looking good so far with G2. From an outside perspective, there seems to be progress every single week. How do you view it?
From my perspective, I actually expected to go into the Split quite strong. We prepared very, very hard in the offseason for this Split. We were showing very good scrim results both in our tryouts against Worlds teams and against other European teams. Although some on the outside didn't have super high expectations for our roster, our expectations were actually quite high.
Our first weeks were not as good as we expected or wanted—I think partly because of COVID issues. But it was also partly adapting to the official games and how our players played, which is a bit different than how we're playing in the scrims. So, I'm just happy that we've managed to improve since our first couple of weeks and come closer and closer to where I think we can and deserve to be.
You talk about the scrims during Worlds. This has been discussed in the community a bit — I think Perkz said he scrimmed against you when he was in Iceland. Can you talk more about starting that early, and what that has done for the team?
It's quite funny, actually. During the offseason, when I was talking to teams and spoke to G2, it was very different. I asked the timeline on the project for 2022 and it was like, "We want to start tomorrow." [Laughs] It's unbelievable how tryhard and how motivated Carlos and the management at G2 were to rebuild the team. So, starting early and making sure we scrim against the best teams in the world was all about: We want to be as good as possible. It's a very, very tryhard environment. I think it's an advantage for sure. We have a lot of synergy built through the months that we've been practicing and we understand each other. It has definitely helped us.
“Last year, the G2 lineup was a lot more dysfunctional than what we have now. (...) A lot of burden was often on caPs to carry”
One of the players you're working with is someone you're very familiar with: caPs. How has it been to work with him in the past months?
It's really amazing, working with caPs. I had a lot of success working with him in the past—we won some Splits. And then he won some Splits afterwards as well. [Laughs] I think he's still the same fun, happy, and passionate person. It's part of why I think he has been so successful. I think it has been great.
It's good to hear he's still the same fun person, but I want to ask: how has he changed since you last worked with him? People have been critical of his performance this Split, and he wasn't happy with his shape last year either. What do you think is different?
I think that last year, the G2 lineup was a lot more dysfunctional than what we have now. They didn't have a clear lane to play through. A lot of burden was often on caPs to carry in the games. It was not as functionally complete as what I feel like what we have now, this year. caPs, outside of the game, is still kind of the same person I knew from before. Except that he's maybe a bit more responsible and professional. I guess that's something that comes with age, right? But he's still just as goofy and fun-loving and crazy as before.
Do you think that this online era has affected him?
I can't speak for how it was for caPs last year. But I think having people like Flakked around really helps caPs a lot. He's so new and he is experiencing everything for the first time, he's so excited and positive. It kind of brings back that energy that I think he thrives on. And actually, I do as well, I thrive on that too. I think that helps a lot for sure.
I asked you how caPs has changed since the last time you worked with him, but I also want to ask: How have you changed, compared to the last time you worked with him? What differences do you notice?
I think I've improved a lot when it comes to bringing strategical leadership to a team. I think I was always very smart about improving my team in the game and I think drafting has always been one of my strong points. But I feel that when I was on Schalke 04 for three years, for all three years I was the leadership figure of the competitive side of the organization. For the players, I kind of controlled our direction, what we do and how we do it. I think working there for three years has really let me improve that aspect of my coaching. That's something that I can bring to the G2 roster as well, now.
Speaking of drafts: There's another player I do want to talk about and that is Targamas. He has played a different champion each game in the Split so far. At this point, is it still all as strategical as it was at the start? Or are you playing into the meme a bit as well?
Maybe it's suspicious sometimes, how we get to the drafts that we decide on. He really, really likes the drafts and it just somehow ends up with him playing another champion. I think it will stop at some point. I don't think we'll go with eighteen different champions. But in the last two games, I think, he had the last pick. So, I think, if you have a huge champion pool and you're last-picking, it's good. Just like when Broken Blade is counter-picking sometimes, at the end of the draft, sometimes we're gonna see some spicy picks from him. If the drafts work out for Targamas in that way as well, it just gives him the opportunity to pick stuff that's a bit more creative.
He definitely has a lot more champions that we've practiced in scrims. There are at least four, five, six more picks that he’s played in scrims and not on stage. [Laughs] But if the scenarios do not come for those champions, I really hope they don't get locked in just because of the memes!
“There are at least four, five, six more picks that [Targamas] has played in scrims and not on stage.”
So, if he at some point says "Dylan, we have to go Vayne" then it's not gonna happen?
Vayne support is not allowed, I'll say that.
Bummer, bummer. Well, Dylan, to round it up: You said that people didn't have the highest expectations of this G2 lineup, but that you do. What are the next steps of progress you want to see your team make?
I very strongly feel that we're a team that is capable of winning this Split. So, I think setting our goal to be anything but that is selling ourselves short. I do respect the fact that we have young players and that this is a bit of a rebuild. But at the same time, I think everybody kind of feels that this is the direction we want to go in, and that's where we want to end up.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.