G2 Jankos: "Rogue is the team that will actually be able to compete against the Eastern teams."

G2 Esports’ Worlds 2022 run came to an end on day 6 of the group stages, as they failed to pick up a single victory against their group B opponents. DWG KIA and JDG were the two teams to move onto the quarterfinals of the tournament from group B, while Evil Geniuses was the other team that got knocked out from group B, alongside G2.


After their matches ended, G2’s jungler, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, joined Inven Global for an interview.


Unfortunately, G2 ended their week 2 with a 0-3 record, failing to qualify for the quarterfinals. Talk to me about some of the problems that ultimately led to G2’s shortcomings in today’s matches.


I feel everybody tried their best but it just wasn’t enough. I don’t think the blame falls on anyone specifically; we simply just got gapped individually and as a team. This was evident against JDG today, where we had a lead, but couldn’t turn it into a win. We also lost against EG, the team that was technically considered the worst team in our group. Along with us, I suppose, because we tied with them 1-1. There isn’t much to say, other than to say that we didn’t deserve to advance with the way we played. 


I want to talk about two matches in particular, the first being G2’s match against EG. From your perspective, what were some of the main issues?


I think we had a decent draft, with a lot of winning lanes. However, as soon as they dived us bot lane, EG snowballed and had a sizeable lead against us. Maybe we could’ve been more aware of them picking Hecarim as their last pick, but it’s hard to say because not many players have played Hecarim in this tournament. Inspired did showcase his Hecarim quite a bit in the play-in stages, but we were more worried about Gangplank and Mordekaiser as a counter pick to Ornn.


The same goes for our game against DWG KIA, where we had a dive top that went one for one, they bounced the wave, and got the Herald. Tempo wise, they already had a lead, and just snowballed that small lead into a much bigger one.


I think it also ties in with confidence a bit, because as soon as you start losing matches, you start losing confidence that you’re going to win. And this was very evident in our match against JDG, where we had a lead but couldn’t capitalize on it. I truly believe that we just got gapped, and we were the worst teams, with the worst players.


After G2’s loss against DWG KIA and it was confirmed that you guys were knocked out of the tournament, the viewers saw Flakked being really demotivated in the waiting room. What was the mindset heading into G2’s last match of this tournament against JDG?


We wanted to obviously end our tournament run on a win, because it was much better than losing, of course. We were still sad and depressed, of course, but we wanted to show that we can compete on the Worlds’ stage. We gave the fans hope in the early game, but in the end, we were just the worst. That being said, I’m happy that we put up a fight in the end against JDG.


In the end, I do feel that we weren’t worse than Evil Geniuses. If we played more matches against them, I’m sure we’d win against them. However, it doesn’t really matter in the end, because we were worse than DWG KIA and JDG, and I wish them nothing but the best of luck to both of them. 


My followup question then leads into the topic of the Worlds format, where many are hoping that it changes. If groups wasn’t a Bo1, do you think that G2 would’ve been able to showcase their actual skill level?


If I’m being super honest, I’m not sure. Maybe we would’ve beaten EG today if the match was a Bo3, but I think it came down to the meta not suiting us that well. We couldn’t play the meta champions that are strong, and that made us weaker. Or maybe our team identity doesn’t suit the current meta. Do I think we would advance if groups was Bo3s? I don’t think so.


I think this is why Rogue is doing so well right now. The same drafts that they showcased the whole year are working for them at Worlds; they’ll put top-jungle on tank duties, have a winning bot lane matchup, and have a mage in the mid lane, with the occasional mix up of Akali/Sylas. I wish good luck to Rogue as well. It’s their meta, so it’s their chance to hopefully make the European fans proud, which is something that G2 Esports couldn’t do for three years in a row.  


A lot of the Korean pros’ have provided their two cents on the gap between the East and the West, and the one reason that they provided is due to the finite details within the laning phase that makes the biggest differences within the big picture.What’s your opinion on the reasons behind the ‘gap’?


As a jungler, it’s hard to exactly figure out what they meant by those laning phase comments, but I do feel that the laning phase itself isn’t too difficult to play against the Eastern teams. I don’t think it’s a matter of getting outlaned or outjungled. The reality is that Western teams get outmapped, or outmacro’d often as a team. Sometimes, you get outclassed in the laning phase or as a jungler, but I feel that it’s more of a team thing, at least this year.


Of course, there are ways to make it work, where you can have a ganking jungler influence the winning lane and snowball that way. We didn’t always have these winning lanes that we can snowball from, but it also tied in with the way we drafted and the way we wanted to play the game. 


Again, if we look at Rogue for example, they’ll draft winning bot lanes like Lucian-Nami or Kalista-Soraka as counterpicks to get leads. I think that Rogue is the team that will actually be able to compete against the Eastern teams.


And then, there’s 100 Thieves, the other Western team that’s still left in the tournament, but if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think they’ll be able to survive. I’m sorry to all the NA fans and 100 Thieves for saying this, but I just don’t think they’re good. Which goes the same for us.  


Your 2022 season comes to an end tonight. How do you reflect on the team’s season, as well as on your personal performance throughout the season? Which aspects are you satisfied with, and what do you wish you’ve done differently?


I’m definitely not happy with the results. I was supposed to be the veteran that leads the younger players of our team to greater heights, and yes, we did win the Spring split, we went to MSI, and we finished second in the Summer to make it to Worlds. We definitely did better than last year as a team, so if we compare the team’s achievements to last year, some people may even call our season a success and call us a strong European team.


However, a strong European team doesn’t mean that they can compete internationally, and this year, apart from getting single Bo1 wins against RNG and T1, we weren’t able to keep up mainly against the Eastern teams. I’m not disappointed in myself from that perspective, but again, I feel there was much more I could’ve done.


A final question for you: What’s the biggest takeaway from this year’s Worlds that’s different from your previous appearances on the Worlds’ stage?


It’s hard to tell what the lessons were at this very moment, because we literally just got fisted and haven’t had a chance to take it all in just yet.


I think burnout is definitely a factor that affects your performance. It’s good that we got to play a lot of matches both in our region and internationally, but there were days at Worlds where we didn’t feel as happy as we did before. I realized once again that mentality is super important. It’s always different each year, with different players on the team. If I do end up staying with G2 and keep competing, I will definitely look to implement the things I learned for the future years. 

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