G2 Esports bit the dust in their first best-of-five of the year. In the upper bracket of the 2022 LEC Spring Split playoffs, they were defeated by rivals Fnatic with a 1-3 score. Now, G2 must fight through the gauntlet of the lower bracket in order to reclaim the throne that was last theirs in 2020. Coming Friday they’ll face their first opponent: Team Vitality, spearheaded by former flagship G2 player Luka “Perkz” Perković.
After the loss against Fnatic, G2 mid laner Rasmus “caPs” Winther spoke to Inven Global and reflected on the series. He evaluated his own performance in 2022 compared to previous years and explained how his mindset has changed. caPs also spoke about the atmosphere in the revamped G2 lineup heading into best-of-5s and how his role as a teammate shifted to meet the needs of the team.
Welcome, caPs. An unfortunate loss against Fnatic today, but it was a hard-fought battle. How do you walk away from a series such as this one?
Losing always sucks, right? Today it'll be a boring evening for us, probably. But the games were close—a lot of them, at least. There were definitely openings for us to win. So I think, the goal for the next few days is just to review those openings and make sure that we make the better play next time. We now have a week to practice, and then we'll have a lot of best-of-5s to play. We're just gonna have to be clutch in those series. It's all about resetting mentally, I think.
You had such a long break after the regular split as well—almost three weeks. I can imagine that it takes some of the momentum out of the team.
It's always boring when it's only scrims. [Laughs] It's always more fun to play stage games. But it was fine. I think, when there are too many scrim games, sometimes the meta just gets to a "scrim meta". There are different champs that are viable. Maybe we got baited a bit too much by some things. But now we have a clear view of what every team plays. We have just seen them try their hardest in a Bo5, so we'll look out for what they're gonna do next week.
"I think our mood is still really good. Even though we were kind of getting destroyed in some of the games, we were still staying positive."
I get that you don't want to reveal too much of your own strategies, but Fnatic, for example, played a lot of LeBlanc this series. Is that something you miscalculated?
Yeah, I don't want to give away too much information about what I think. [Laughs] But I don't think they really caught us by surprise. When we scrim so much, certain champions just become stronger, but then maybe there's not as much priority for them on the stage. That's the gist of it. I think we had a pretty good read of Fnatic. And hopefully, we'll get a good read of Excel or Vitality tomorrow, who'll be our next opponent.
Fnatic was well-respected at the end of the regular split and many thought they were the strongest team, based on the last few weeks. How did you view them?
I think it's probably fair to say that they're the strongest. It's them or Rogue, right? They're gonna fight out who is the strongest in the upper bracket next weekend. It doesn't matter much to me, honestly. We now have to beat every team except whoever loses between Vitality and Excel. We have to take it one team at a time. We're not playing against either Rogue or Fnatic until the last playoffs weekend, so they'll be very different teams when we play against them. Hopefully, it'll also be a very different G2 then. For the better, of course. [Laughs] If we make it there. But that's definitely the plan, and we're just gonna take it one day at a time.
G2 brought on three new players with Broken Blade, Flakked, and Targamas. During the regular split the mood was great within the team, but best-of-5s are a different beast. How was the atmosphere during the series?
I think our mood is still really good. Even though we were kind of getting destroyed in some of the games, we were still staying positive. Maybe in some games, we were a bit unsure how to proceed. Sometimes we did know what we were supposed to do, but we'd get greedy. We wanted more than we could do. No one was there to call us off. It happens on stage. I'm sure that, if we play a few more Bo5s and get more comfortable, we remove a few of those bad fights. Then suddenly, we're playing a lot better.
You've been very critical of your own performance in the past year. Personally, I was excited to see you pop off in some games again in the regular split this year. Are you finding your shape again, with this new G2 iteration?
I don't know if you can say something like "I'm back". I think I'm just a different player. I evolve. I'm obviously not too happy with my play right now. But I think I can see the mistakes that I'm making and I think, when I fix them, I can get big advantages. That's what I'll be looking to do in the next few weeks. I definitely just need more practice and the right read on the meta and the right read on the game plan.
"There might be things that I valued highly in the past that I don't value as much now. (...) At the end of the day, whatever wins is the right thing to value."
You mention you're a different player: how do you compare your past self to yourself as a person, as a player, at this point in your career then?
I think it's a lot about mindset, right? When you reach a very high level in League, you are very conscious of your decisions. It's not necessarily for better or worse, but you're just more conscious about if you want to play certain ways. They kind of change over time. Last year I was valuing certain things very highly. This year I'm valuing different things.
Can you expand a bit on that?
Hm, I don't really want to.
Ah, it's tied to strategic stuff?
It's not necessarily strategic stuff. I mean, it is also, I guess, when it comes to my mindset. But I just don't want to give away anything. [Laugh] It's basically the decision-making. There are many different things you can value. Whether it's from a team perspective or an individual perspective. There might be things that I valued highly in the past that I don't value as much now. Maybe it's wrong, maybe it's right. At the end of the day, whatever wins is the right thing to value. We'll just look to win the next few weeks and prove ourselves right.
With this revised G2 lineup, have you had to take on a different role as a teammate? In the sense of being a bit of a mentor, perhaps, to your peers who don't have as much experience.
There is just a different dynamic, so I take a different approach. Maybe I'm less of a prankster and I don't make as many jokes. [Laughs] Flakked and BB are joking a lot especially to keep the mood good. So maybe I don't always need to be the clown to keep the mood good. I think that's one of the big things. In terms of playing our first Bo5, I think everyone was doing quite well. We were very conscious of the mindset we wanted to be in. We were very conscious of how we wanted to play. We were very conscious of the issues or advantages we might face on stage. But of course, there can always be new ones.
As I mentioned earlier, this time we were maybe too greedy and maybe too bad at calling each other off. It's definitely something we'll look out for next weekend. What I like about the team is that we're really good at snooping at something and then fixing it. I think, even within the series, we actually did it kind of well. It wasn't good enough, but now that we have a week to prepare, I'm hoping that we can do it to the extent that we'll win Bo5s.
"What I like about the team is that we're really good at snooping at something and then fixing it."
I remember, the week after you so memorably lost with a big lead against Misfits, you were joking in the voice comms about overcommitting. But the team actually held back. Is that one of the cases you're referring to, where G2 adapted quickly to the mistakes made?
Yeah, that could be an example. That one is maybe a bit more specific because we were really greedy. It was extreme. [Laughs] But for sure, today against Fnatic we took it slower. Maybe at some points slower than we had to, but we knew that we couldn't lose if we did so. So that's not a bad thing. Some of the other situations we could for sure have played differently, but we got caught up in the moment. Everyone got excited and sometimes bad things happen then. Sometimes great things happen, but this time it was a lot of bad things. Maybe we think more and feel less next time. It's important, especially against a team like Fnatic, who are very instinct-based and very aggressive.
To round up the interview: you're playing against either Excel or Vitality next. It's either Mikyx or Perkz. Any preferences between those two?
[Laughs] I probably would prefer Vitality because it's more hype to play against Perkz because I lane against him. Compared to Mikyx, who'll probably try to come mid as well, but not as much. In terms of who I think will win: I think it's a bit up in the air, honestly. I'm not sure who will win. I don't want to choose between my old teammates. [Laughs]
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.