A new era of G2 Esports is upon us. The newly-tooled roster is so far one of the highest ranked teams in the LEC. One of the only remaining pieces of the team is legendary jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski. Jankos is very optimistic about the team and has been happy with the progress they've made. Inven Global had the chance to speak with Jankos, to discuss his opinions on G2, how Smite Top laning affects the game, and his opinions on Lost Ark.
In a recent interview, you stated that at during the offseason you reflected on what you wanted to do differently this year compared to 2021. What have been some of the things you’ve wanted to do differently?
I just wanted to be more together — if that makes sense — as a team. I think that last Spring Split, we struggled to do things together. We struggled to be a team inside of a team. But this year, it feels like we are actually doing many, many things together. All of us are on the same page and we have a lot of fun playing. we are very wide-open towards champion suggestions, towards meta suggestions and we are willing to try pretty much any playstyle. So I'm really happy that we could find this roster of five players that are willing to put their egos behind and actually focus on what is the proper way of playing the game. How do we actually win? What's the best way of playing for us? What's the best way of playing the game at this moment?
I spoke with caPs about the emotional perspective of last offseason. What was it like for you?
For me, it was quite disappointing, of course. We didn't make it to Worlds. I think it was a very big hit, considering how successful we used to be back in 2019 and 2020. I think that it was a huge, huge failure — especially that people had such high expectations of us. I don't mind what the expectations are. But I do mind that with such a talented roster, we couldn't make it. And I felt like all of our five players were good. But we just couldn't make it work as five. And that happens sometimes — you don't fit in sometimes.
Even though we had success before, maybe that year was just not the year that we could like pull it off still. And I'm hoping that everyone in the separate rosters now can grow even more. But for me personally, I was quite devastated and I was definitely looking forward to next year, because I knew I wanted to still keep competing for at least a year. So I didn't want to give up. I was focusing on next year as soon as the bad emotions disappeared.
When you look at the roster changes of G2 over the last few years, this is the first time in years you’ve competed with players that are fairly unproven. What has this been like?
I think it's it's nice. I actually don't mind if my players are proven or unproven. I just want to play with people that want to play the game, want to be better, want to learn, and want to listen. Because I'm the kind of person that does the same thing, I just want people to be open-minded. I want people to tell me if I'm sh*t a the game. Because if I feel like someone's not playing up to the level... Okay, I don't have high expectations, but I want people to try their hardest. And I feel like it's something I do as well — I try my hardest. So I think in this roster, we are trying our hardest. I think in the previous years, we were also trying our hardest, and it doesn't always work.
But if you're asking about Flakked specifically, for example, or maybe Targamas, or even Broken Blade — I feel like everyone's very hungry to win. And having players that are quite new — I think the biggest difference is that they play a lot of soloqueue, and all they see really is soloqueue. Right now, maybe Targamas plays a lot of Lost Ark, and maybe Dota 2, I believe. But besides that, we play a lot of games. And this roster — also one of the reasons we actually are playing together is because everyone likes the game and everyone likes to play the game a lot. Because we believe that also helps you to grow as a player, that kind of muscle memory. So yeah, I think overall, I'm pretty happy where things are right now. But I also understand that we need more to be good in playoffs.
In the past year or two, G2 had some problems with drafting well. Has Targamas contributed well in that regard?
I think I like both Targa and Dylan because I feel like players like caPs and Broken Blade actually need people like Targamas and Dylan. The thing is, Targamas is quite stubborn when it comes to drafting. And Dylan is quite stubborn as well, because they don't always have the same idea but both of them believe that their idea is the correct one. And players like Broken Blade and caPs are, on the other hand, very open-minded. And they wind up playing a lot of troll picks, or a lot of champions that are unproven, and they believe they can make them work.
And I feel like the balance is important. Of course, I'm super down. And I'm super happy to play champions that are not optimal and we can look for these crazy, crazy counter picks. But at the same time, I also want to prioritize the strong champions — because they are strong for a reason. Either their stats are busted or they're just busted in the meta.
So I feel like Targamas and Dylan are quite stubborn, but they have good ideas. Broken Blade and caPs are more open-minded, but too open-minded I would say sometimes. Me — it's like the most chill. I just give my output because I also think that I just know how to win. So I kind of say what I want. [...]
Do you think having no de facto best team in Europe is better for the region regarding international competition?
I think for the level of the region, it's good to have a lot of good teams, right? The better the teams are, the better you will do at international competition. Even though G2 used to be dominant back in the day, the harder the playoffs are, the harder the regular season is, the stronger we can be in international tournaments. So I'm personally happy that there is a lot of competition in Europe. And I actually feel like a lot of teams are quite good.
There is Rogue, there is Fnatic, there is Vitality. There is of course MAD Lions that are not as good now, but they can definitely bounce back. Misfits are trying to prove themselves. So I'm pretty happy with the competition. I think a lot of teams can still place first, especially with Rogue going 0-2 this week. I mean, I thought Rogue was gonna actually make it because they had a very, very good early season. Now they kind of slipped a little bit.
Maybe they got a little bit complacent with where they were, and they didn't prepare as much this week. And maybe they had their wake-up call and they will still play very, very well going into next week. So definitely looking forward to the battle of who will get the first seed. And I'm super, super happy that we can have so many good teams — so many even teams.
And well, if we are not good, and we are just even — then we are all sh*t. Which is fine, because we are still even. But I do think that we are not playing bad. I overall think Europe right now is okay.
Smite solo laners has been something that has seen increasing popularity in solo queue and now in pro play — where you can basically deny all gold and experience to the jungler. What's your experience with this and how does it affects the jungler?
Well, personally, I really dislike it and I hate when I have it in soloqueue and it was really big in European soloqueue. I cannot speak for any other regions, but in Europe, we had Smite Janna top every single game, just roaming. It's so toxic and I hate it. I really, really hate it, actually. I really hope it's fixed. I think it ruins the game. The game is not supposed to be played this way and it's just bullshit.
That being said, in competitive if I'm playing against it — I'm super down. I think it's toxic for soloqueue. I think in competitive it's way harder to make it work. I think unless you play against tanks and the Janna can roam and the tanks just cannot take the tower, I think that's fine. I think if you have any carry top laners and the Janna is roaming the map, and you just cover the dives bot lane — sure, your AD carry might fall a little behind in farm, but your top laner should be 2, 3, 4 levels ahead. The jungler doesn't get that much gold because of the Monster Hunter thingy that you cannot just get the gold. You cannot catch every wave, enemy top laner will get multiple levels ahead and a lot of gold ahead. He can go Hullbreaker and he can just end the game. So, I wouldn't be scared to play against it in competitive, definitely not. But in solo queue, I think it's super toxic and I hate it.
With all the jokes of Wunder ruining G2 with his World of Warcraft playing, we have you now playing Lost Ark! How long will it be until you ruin G2?
Wait, I mean, I think it's again, just some jokes, right? I mean, definitely play Lost Ark but since the game started a couple of days ago, I'm level 23, which is quite low actually, since you start at level 10. And I'm level 23 after like a week, which means I actually didn't get to play much. I was mostly streaming playing League. Definitely looking forward to tomorrow, though, maybe I'll be able to play a little bit more.
And yeah, I mean actually, Targamas is the one who played a lot of Lost Ark. In two to three days, he's already level 50. [laughs] He really grinded a lot. But I think it's all fine. I think you need to take time off and you need to relax. And if it's Lost Ark, or if it's reading manga, reading books, if it's watching anime or watching series, going to the gym — anything really. I think reset is important. We have to keep in mind that even when we say that we play Lost Ark or even when we do other things in League, we still play 12 hours a day, four times a day. It's not something common. It's not something that happens in normal work. So you know, we also need to let the steam out from time to time.
What have been your general impressions of the game?
I already played a little bit on Russian servers and I had a lot of fun. The game is super fun. I like games that don't require too much brainpower. Because when I play League, I have to focus a lot. I have to think about the game. When I play games like Lost Ark, I just turn off my brain and smash the button. Which is super, super fun considering that I normally have to do the exact opposite thing. So definitely I enjoy the game.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.