There are many different opinions of G2.
One, they're seen as the best of Europe. Since 2016, they have won their regional league 4 consecutive times - there is no other team in the entire world that has achieved this feat. The new champions that broke down the fort once built by Fnatic, is G2, and they made their name known to the world.
In the past, some fans have considered that G2 was a bad team to represent the European region as a whole; as in MSI 2016, G2 had a 2-8 record, only having 1 more win over the wildcard team. And during the World Championship of 2016, G2 was the very first team to have been disqualified.
"We're here to be a better team."
In preparation for Worlds, G2 came to Korea for boot camp, and they all spoke in one voice: that the team was improving and that they will prove their worth once more; just like how they did during MSI 2017. G2 has once again come to contend at Worlds as the champions of Europe, and our crew was lucky enough to run into an opportunity to hear from them.
Q. Congratulations on yet another EU LCS victory!
Perkz: We’ve won four times in a row now, so it feels pretty special. I’m the first Western player and Trick is the first Korean player to win four times in a row. It feels like I’m leaving behind some kind of legacy, and I hope we continue winning.
Mithy: It feels nice to be a part of that “legacy”.
Zven: I was thinking about how winning this split was worth more than the others because we struggled a lot during the regular split and the Rift Rivals. Even though we did win on the last week of the Split, we still weren't looking very strong. Overcoming all of this and winning 3-0 in both semifinals and finals... I think it was a good victory for us.
Q. How did you guys manage to overcome that struggle?
Mithy: Before the Rift Rivals, we knew we weren't really up-to-date when compared to other teams. Once RR came around, we had a team talk, and we expressed our feelings - what is going well, what is going wrong, and what we want to change. Ever since then, we tried to be more open and just be more hardworking. We were also more careful towards fixing mistakes. Overall, everyone started putting more thoughts and work into the game… so that helped the team to be more productive.
Towards the last month of the EU LCS, people probably felt that we were coming back to form, and once we hit the playoffs and especially after we played our five games against Splyce, which was a very hard match, we realized how we wanted to play in this metagame and what we wanted to work on for the next two weeks. I think no other teams really had a chance to defeat us after that.
Q. You guys have mentioned that scrimming against strong teams during MSI have made you guys a better team. Do you think you guys will see a similar effect from this boot camp?
Perkz: Yeah, I believe that’s the reason why we're here. Also, not only do we come here to improve the team, but Solo Queue practice is also much better here. There are lots of one-trick-ponies here in Solo Queue, and they are very profound in specific champions, which makes it very hard to play against them.
There are lots of pros here too… ones from LMS, LPL, and LCK, and they all play on the same server. The games here are a lot more fastpaced and have a lot more fighting, which allows you to test a champion’s limits proficiently. The meta here is also different to EU in regards to champion picks. It makes you well-aware of those picks and allows you to improve more easily. Like MSI, we are here to improve - to take things for ourselves and to learn from everyone else.
Trick: We were eliminated in the group stage last year [during Worlds], so through this year's boot camp, I hope our team becomes good enough to make it through. Well, our long-term plan is to hopefully grow competent enough to go as far as to reach the semifinals at a World Championship tournament.
Mithy: We've been together for a year and a half now, and this is not our first boot camp together. So, we know a lot about each other, and I think that also helps with how we give feedback to and understand each other. There still might be some things that others do which you may not like, but it will be easier to accept them. So, I think this year's boot camp will be really special because we are 'veterans' now and we understand how we want to work and improve.
No matter how well or bad we do, I'm sure that this year's boot camp will be more productive than - probably - the other two that we've done in the past. That's something that we've been achieving since our first Worlds - to get better results after each year. So I think we'll make better results this time. I'm sure our results will show up on the group stage and going forward.
Q. So all of you guys have been playing on the Korean server. Were there any memorable moments?
Zven: I've been getting a couple of death threats in Solo Queue... that was quite memorable. (Laughs)
Mithy: I went for some chicken and beer with a friend, and I came home a little bit drunk. Then, I decided to play a 'Solo Queue' game... which I ended up inting really hard. And so, I decided to play a 'Flex Queue' game... and I inted even harder. My MMR is really high, so everyone knew who I was. I began playing mid, and everyone was cheering me on at the start. When I started playing badly, however, they were saying things like, "MID???" but didn't really flame me. I kept on writing to them that I was sorry... but it was actually still fun --
Perkz: People care about Flex Queues too...
Mithy: But I wasn't really getting flamed! I was constantly telling them sorry and I also asked the other players to help me with my Orianna combos... they all responded with "I'm coming!". It didn't work out... but it was still fun.
- How about for the rest of you guys?
Perkz: For me, I haven't had any fun experiences...
Trick: I went 15-1 on Ezreal jungle in Solo Queue. The winrate started declining now, but that's still something.
Expect: In Solo Queue, toplane seemed to have the least amount of impact in a game. Ardent Censer is too strong!
Mithy: Well, at least I had a lot of fun pressing shields to win. (Laughs)
Q. Were there any "fun" experiences from outside of the game?
Perkz: Trick was trying to cook for us in a Korean BBQ place, and the lady who was working there came over and told him how bad he was at cooking and how he won't find a girlfriend if he cooks like that. Then she took over and we had a really good barbecue. (Laughs)
Mithy: We came to Korea a few days before the actual boot camp schedule so that we can get used to the timezone. With Perkz, some LCK casters, and some players from Misfits, I went out with them to talk over some drinks. It was this pizza place at Hongdae and it was really good.
Expect: I also happened to be at Hongdae during that time, so I joined them and ate pizza together.
Q. We didn't see a reaction video from you guys regarding the Worlds Group Draw. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Mithy: It was actually during the Group Draw when we had our pizza at Hongdae. And about the actual draw itself... it's going to be hard because every team is actually very good... and even the team [coming from play-in] that we don't know yet, will probably be good too. It's going to be interesting and be a test for all of us.
No matter what, I think the boot camp will go well, and I hope we are able to show the "real" G2 during the tournament, which is something that we couldn't really show during last year's Worlds. This year, whether we win or lose, I hope that we can show everyone what we are capable of and make it tough for everyone else in the group.
We wanted to find out what each individual on G2 was thinking, so we prepared something special. We call it, 'The Brain Map'. Each member of G2 will write and fill in the empty parts of the brain. Using this method, we were able to find out what was on the players' minds.
- We prepared a special activity for you guys. All of you will receive a picture of a brain, and on it, please write down what's on your mind - it can be anything!
Q. Times up! Whatever it is that you guys may have put down on your papers, you will have to share and explain why. Let's start with Mithy!
Mithy: For me, the most important is League. I also wrote down "personal growth" because I have a lot more to learn about life and philosophy. I then wrote something down for my teammates. I also wrote "Girl and Relations" because of all the crap that has happened to them in the past. (Laughs) I also wrote down "Family/Friend" but it's kind of sad because "Girl" has a bigger spot on my mind than my family... but it's the truth, you know.
Everyone: (Agrees in laughter)
Mithy: The smallest part of my brain is about my "branding" and about how the fans think of me. Ever since I was banned, I tried to be a different person... so nowadays, I'm trying my best to be myself and not care too much about others' opinions.
Q. You're up next, Expect! Please explain in detail.
Expect: League is also the most important for me - because I'm a pro gamer! I also bleached my hair at Hongdae, but I didn't really like the colors... so I did it again. This happened 5 more times until I finally got the color that I wanted. And now, My hair is really damaged because of it...
Expect: I also want to have a relationship, but I can't. I'm working overseas [from Korea] and I don't know what will happen to me next year. So it would be really irresponsible of me to date someone right now.
- Does that mean you have someone on your mind right now?
Perkz: He likes sleeping.
Expect: Shut up!
- Okay sorry, please continue.
Expect: I'm also thinking about my future because my contract is going to expire after Worlds. I always think about my family as well, especially since we live far apart.
Perkz: Why didn't you put "sleeping" on the biggest part of your brain? Isn't it the most important for you?
Expect: Sigh. The reason my teammates are constantly talking about "sleeping" is because I've often shown up late for scrims in the past... Anyways, next up is alcohol, because it's great. I've also gained a lot of weight because I've been eating too much - especially on my cheeks and belly. And lastly, in the corner of my brain, things that are NSFW... but it's a common thing that everyone thinks about, right?
Q. How about you, Zven?
Zven: League is the most important thing in my life. And I also wrote down "friends" because it's been about 9 months since I've seen them last. The reason I have family written down is that I haven't seen them for a long time - last time I've seen them is in May. They will also have a one-year-old kid soon, so I constantly think about them. I'm also thinking about my future in regards to what I'll be doing then. I also think about Solo Queue. Death threats here and there; it's tough, you know?
It's also Worlds soon, and well, it's pretty important. In 2015, we reached the semifinals, so everyone had high expectations of me and my team, but in 2016, we had disastrous results at Worlds. And this year, we have a tough group, but I think we are a better team than before at the moment - so I have more hopes this year.
I also have KBBQ written down because I really enjoy eating meat with rice. And in the corner of my brain, are the thoughts of interviews, features, videos, and media.
Q. Give us a share, Perkz!
Perkz: To begin, the reason I wrote "Kimchi" is that I really enjoy eating it. I also wrote down "KBBQ" because we're going to get some as soon as we are done with this interview. The reason I wrote "Melona ice cream" is because we're going to get some as soon as we're done with the KBBQ. And then, I wrote "SoloQ" is because that's what I'm going to do as soon as I'm done eating my Melona ice cream. Then, during the middle of it, I would want water, because you definitely need water. Then after Solo Queue, I'm going to be wondering if my mom is alive because I haven't seen her for a long time. Then, at the bottom of my brain, is SSG and RNG, because they're the least of my worries. (Laughs)
Q. Next is Trick!
Trick: The biggest thing in my mind is Worlds. Also, I need to finish my streaming quota, so that I'll be paid. Then, SoloQ, because I want to receive the Challenger Jacket. I also think about my mom because at the moment, she's ill. I also need to lose weight.
Q. Coach YoungBuck, you're up next!
YoungBuck: I put down "So-Bul-Gogi" (Korean BBQ dish) because I really like it. Also, I'm thinking about "Worlds" and how to beat SSG and RNG - but I'm also thinking about other groups and how fun it would be to watch those games. I'm always thinking about "drafts" as well because we need to figure out the new patch - although it was a rather small change - because we need to figure out the different metas of the different regions. I also have family written down because I haven't seen them in a long time. I also have jetlag at the moment - despite sleeping for 15 hours yesterday - because I only arrived yesterday morning. Then, on the two smallest parts of my brain, there are "G2" and "Ezreal Jungle" --
Perkz: G2 on the "smallest" one? --
YoungBuck: And then there is "Hyuna" (K-pop star), and I don't think I have to explain that one.
Thanks to the Brain Map, the players of G2 have started opening up to us, and in turn, started being honest. But have the players been honest with each other? For the next activity, we prepared an 'OX Quiz', to find out a little bit more about them. Does Expect carry a lot of expectations from his teammates? What are the opinions of Perkz, the guy that calls his lane, 'The Lane Kingdom'? Let's dive in.
- Guys, we'll begin the 'OX Quiz'. When asked a question, please raise 'O' if you agree, and 'X' if you disagree. And please, be as honest as possible.
Q. First 'OX' question: "As long as there's no jungler interference, I'm confident in winning lane against anyone [1 vs 1]."
- Uhm... YoungBuck?
YoungBuck: I can beat any coach.
Trick: As long as I can play jungle Ezreal, I can beat anyone.
Perkz: Without ganks, I can beat everyone.
- Even against Faker?
Perkz: ...Maybe. (Laughs)
Zven: If it's a bad matchup, then it'll be hard to win. But I'm confident in winning good matchups and confident in doing better than others while playing against bad matchups --
Perkz: Well, I can beat bad matchups too.
Expect: There are too many crazy players in the toplane, and I'm a pretty ordinary laner...
Mithy: Some supports have better mechanics than me, but I think I can outsmart them - but not always.
Q. Next question: "G2 couldn't have won the EU LCS without me."
- Can you tell us your reasons?
YoungBuck: I trust my players [more than anyone].
Trick: I've never lost before [in the EU LCS]. I think we can keep on winning as long as I'm here.
Perkz: I agree with Trick.
Zven: Uh... Yeah. (Laughs)
Expect: It's kind of complicated... but to be fair, during the Summer Split, I could've performed better.
Mithy: If I was not in G2, then I would be on a different team. So G2 would've never won.
Q. Next question: "In League of Legends, mechanics are the most important."
- Please explain!
YoungBuck: I think mentality and using the brain is most important.
Expect: Even if you don't have great mechanics, you can reach the top with brains alone.
Perkz: Both are important in my lane. But I still think using the brain is way more important - to avoid ganks and learn from your opponent.
Zven: As long as your mechanic is really bad, your IQ usually ends up being more important.
Expect: Although using the brain is indeed important, in my current position, I find mechanics the most important. It's because my teammates take care of the "brain" part for me, and I just need to do what I need to do in my lane.
Mithy: Unless you're super below your opponent in terms of mechanics, using your brain is probably the most important. For example, I think there are players who are better than Faker mechanically... but Faker's in-game senses are just way, way too good.
Q. "Although we lost the Rift Rivals to NA, I honestly think we're still better than them."
YoungBuck: Best team in the west is G2. I would agree that TSM and IMT are number 2 and 3, but being no.1 is more important.
Trick: NA was way better than us during that time... but I think we're better than them now.
Perkz: You know EU has been better than NA for like six whole years [before Rift Rivals]. But I think right now, NA is better. We'll have to wait and see how we perform at Worlds.
Zven: I think G2 is the best team, but on a regional level, I think NA is overall better than EU.
Expect: When we lost at Rift Rivals, I had something big in my mind, so my playing conditions weren't at the best. If I was at my best, I think we could've beaten everyone.
Mithy: Personally, I have high expectations for Europe, but as of now, NA is better.
- We're going to ask questions about each individual now. Let's start with Expect. Can we please have Expect stand aside for a moment?
Q. The question is: "When Expect first joined the team, I didn't know what to expect of Expect."
Expect: Oh come on!
- Take a look!
YoungBuck: All I knew was that he was high in Solo Queue (Challenger). So I was expecting someone with good mechanics, but I didn't know what to expect of his in-game senses. So it's a middle answer.
Trick: I'm the one that recommended and brought Expect to G2. So I had to expect good things from him.
Perkz: At the time, people were praising Koreans for their toplane talent. When Expect first arrived, he had great mechanics, but his team play wasn't that great at the time. So I had high expectations of him.
Zven: I expected someone with great mechanics. When Expect first came, it was the 'lane swap' meta. Mechanics didn't really matter at the time and using the brain was all that mattered.
Mithy: I didn't really expect much out of Expect because he played in the LSPL. I just assumed that he wouldn't be that good.
Q. Next question is on Expect again: "Expect's performance has surpassed my expectations."
- Expect, any predictions on who raised what?
Expect: My performance during practice and my performance on stage are really different. Being honest with you, I try a lot of different things during scrims and in a way, troll. But I think everyone will raise 'O'.
- Well, take a look!
Q. Next question will be on Trick: "I don't think, Trick isn't cute."
- By the way, there's a hint: "O doesn't always mean correct."
Trick: Was I correct?
Everyone in unison: No.
Perkz: Guys aren't supposed to be cute, girls are... Oh wait, actually, I've seen a picture of Trick eating burgers, and he was really, really, really cute in that picture.
Q. Okay another one on Trick: "There's a champion that I wish Trick wouldn't play."
Trick: I expect four O's and one X.
Perkz: There's zero 'X' my friend.
- What are those champions?
Zven: Kayn... and maybe Maokai.
Perkz: His Jarvan two months ago. (Laughs)
Zven: Trick, please don't ever play Maokai jungle.
Expect: Kayn and Jayce. (Laughs) I just want him to play strong early-game junglers that can aid toplane.
- Let's give Trick a chance to argue guys.
Trick: These guys are only remembering the "bad" things. Like for example, I only had one day of practice on Sejuani before actually playing her on stage, and we won. Why not remember the good things too?
Perkz: But we do remember. (Laughs)
Zven: Yeah, your Sejuani is fine.
Mithy: But your Jax isn't - and Jayce - and Maokai. (Laughs)
Q. Next is Perkz: "I don't think Perkz's personality is normal."
- Any predictions, Perkz?
Perkz: Five O's, because like, I'm not normal.
- Take a look!
- Care to explain why?
YoungBuck: Someone else start.
Mithy: I think it's self-explanatory, to be honest.
Trick: To be fair, I don't think I've ever met a "normal" pro player.
Q. Another one on Perkz: "Perkz calling his lane, 'The Lane Kingdom', is honestly lame and/or embarrassing."
- Perkz, can you give us your prediction?
Perkz: Well, first of all, Trick probably raised 'O' because he's super jealous. I think Zven also raised 'O' because he's also jealous. And I think Mithy raised 'X' because he thinks it's cool.
- Take a look yourself.
Zven: He cheated.
Trick: He cheated! I'm sure.
Perkz: Zven probably changed his answer, because he's disgusting. (Laughs)
YoungBuck: I think it's really creative and funny because he's a really cocky guy. So calling his lane, 'The Lane Kingdom' really fit him.
Trick: I think 'Solo Queue Machine' fits him better. (Laughs) It's freaking good, isn't it?
Q. Okay, Zven is up next: "Zven is the hardest working person and puts in the most amount of practice within the team."
-Take a look, Zven!
Trick: I used to play for a Korean team, and I can vouch; Zven practices harder than Korean players.
Expect: I've never seen someone that only plays games... He never rests. It's almost strange...
- Wow, we didn't expect this kind of answer. We honestly just asked the question because he looks like a hardworking-looking person.
Perkz: Just "Hardworking-looking." (Laughs) That should be his new nickname.
Q. Okay, next question: "We often build late-game team comps because of Zven."
- Take a look!
Mithy: It's actually nice to have someone to carry in the late-game, but that's not why we choose late-game comps. We're just afraid of playing other comps... as with a late-game comp, you can make a lot of mistakes and still have a chance to win.
YoungBuck: If the question was asking if Zven is the best late-game ADC in EU, we'll have raised the 'O'. But the reason why we didn't is that we prefer late-game comps for other reasons. You can make mistakes in the early-game and still win [with late-game team comps].
Q. The final question is on Mithy: "Mithy is the only player on G2 that made it onto the 'ALL-PRO Team' in the EU LCS, right? So... I think he's the best support in EU."
- Perkz... are you trolling...?
Perkz: Only YellOwStaR.
Trick: Actually, yeah, only YellOwStaR. EU's support pool isn't really that great.
Zven: Yeah, everyone else is really boosted, that's why.
After the light-hearted interview, our crew packed our things to join G2 for dinner. As told earlier by Perkz, our menu consisted of KBBQ, Kimchi, and Melona. While eating, everyone started having deep conversations about how to improve KBBQ cooking skills.
First of all, I'd like to apologize to Perkz and coach for lying to them, as they took it to heart when I told them I have a '1st-Class KBBQ Cooking license'.
Through this interview, the players of G2 showed dedication and the motivation necessary to make it far. I truly hope G2 will accomplish the results that they want at Worlds.