The European dream was crushed today, when G2 Esports was mercilessly stomped by FunPlus Phoenix at the League of Legends World Championship finals in Paris. The LEC champions stood no chance against the aggressive Chinese team, built around superstar midlaner Doinb. Afterwards, G2 esports players (except for Perkz), coach Grabbz and G2 founder and owner Carlos Rodríguez sat down at the press conference to answer journalists' questions.
To Grabbz: How much of the percentage of your true power do you think you guys used today?
Grabbz: While I think that we played bad, I think it’s unfair to say that's the reason we lost. I think that they’re just a really good team and even if we played better it might have been rough. Also I think with the 3-0 there’s always a blame on the coach, especially me. I think today I failed my team. I think it was very clear to say that we did not play well, but again, we’re not gonna look at the series and what could have been, we lost 3-0 but we’re going to hold our heads high for next year.
To Grabbz: Before the games started it was mentioned that Perkz was not feeling so well, did you think it had an effect on today’s games?
Grabbz: Not really, I think FPX was just a better team today, probably of the entire year. I’m not going to blame it on a little sickness. And even then, on-stage with the adrenaline or coffee, and everything you have going on in your body, I don’t think it was impacted. But we're not gonna start talking about that. FPX was just better, and that's what it was today.
To any player who wants to answer: You won pretty dominantly against SKT, with a 3-1. People thought that you were going to win today, but unfortunately you lost 3-0. What went differently?
Wunder: First of all, I think the Chinese teams in general were just better than the Korean teams this year. I think we saw it with IG playing against Griffin. I think just in general, they had a similar style to us. And I think also, throughout the tournament, we didn't really progress a lot. I think in the last couple of weeks or the last week, we kind of folded a bit and our play was not as sharp or crisp as the other weeks. So I think we just performed worse throughout the tournament, and they had a really high level to begin with. We just couldn't keep up with them.
Why is Perkz not at the press conference?
Grabbz: He didn't feel too well. We don't want to force anybody to come to a press conference. After the loss of the match he wanted to be with his family, so we didn't just want to put him in a spot where he's uncomfortable.
To Caps: We talked to a lot of Danes yesterday, and they were really excited to see you, Caps and Wunder. What does it mean to you that so many came here to support you?
Caps: I think we're both really happy with the support we've got. Not just from Danes, but from all the crowds. They were cheering for us when we were losing and when we were winning. The support we've gotten is really crazy. Obviously it's disappointing to let everyone down with this final, it's also disappointing to us. We'll try our best to recharge in the offseason and come back with a better showing next year.
To Caps: The ending is unfortunate, but reflecting on the entire year so far, would you still argue that EU has improved overall, and in the future we can also see other teams do well at Worlds?
Caps: So, for international tournaments I can't say. But I definitely think that we're a really strong team. I think with time we'll only get stronger; I'm sure we can bounce back next year. I just think we need to work on a few more things, and then we'll be there.
To Grabbz: In the first game you guys went with Pyke mid versus Nautilus mid. Was that a counter pick towards Doinb's Nautilus? What led to that decision?
Grabbz: Of course we don't randomly pick something on stage, right? It's something we talked about beforehand. FPX in general has a clear, defined playstyle and we thought that with Pyke mid we could match them at some point. I think we kind of underestimated now much pressure there actually was from mid, and also how they worked with their jungler in those situations. [Inaudible] That game though was winnable afterwards, and I think no matter what we picked there, they get their style through with Nautilus mid. It was just about trying to match it somehow, or scale. Didn't work out.
To Jankos: What was the conversation like between the team members, and what was the team atmosphere like, especially between game two and three?
Jankos: I think that the team atmosphere was really good. We were still making a lot of jokes, laughing, even though we were getting smacked. It didn't really feel like we changed much at all. It didn't really feel like we started choking or being scared of them, changing our draft or changing our priorities. We still had a plan in mind, that we followed, and even though it didn't work out I was really happy with how we behaved as a team and how we played throughout this year.
To Carlos: Could you talk a bit about what you make of your team's achievements this year, despite them not winning Worlds? Also, you've said that your goal is always to win Worlds, so what needs to change to achieve that?
Carlos: Of course, ever since the team was put together I've been asked the questions this question probably hundreds of times: "What is the goal?" And it has always been to win Worlds. This is the closest we've ever been. It's true, it feels very bad to fall in the final, whether it's 2-3 or 0-3, it really doesn't matter. I think we have the right team to accomplish it. I think that we as an organization we also have to learn. Things like: Worlds is very long, how do we make sure that, as the weeks progress, we don't lose energy or whatever. I think we as an organization could've done better, and I take responsibility in that regard. Everybody here did their best. With competition in general there is always tomorrow. Whether you win or lose. So now we lose, but tomorrow is another tournament. We'll be ready for that, and when we win that day we'll be happy. That's the beauty of competition. We'll use this to progress and hopefully get there as an organization with the coaching staff and the team.
To Caps: In the previous press conference that you needed to keep Doinb in the midlane, and that you couldn't let him roam. But Doinb was roaming the entire map in the three games—what do you think you guys did wrong, that let Doinb be free?
Caps: There are a lot of reasons what went wrong. I mean, it's one of the things we're gonna look at in the offseason. [Inaudible] I think, at the end of the day, I tried my best to hold him but obviously it was not working. That's why I had to roam bot and he took over the game. The plan failed, and hopefully it will work next time.
To Carlos: You managed to put together a great team, but you also managed to give it a great image. How do you create such great PR for a team?
Carlos: So first off, in terms of putting the team together, yeah I finally sort of... signed a contract. [Chuckles] But ultimately it's a joint decision. It's not my decision, it's everybody's input and at the end a team like this comes together. It's a joint effort with other people invested. It is true that we like to have fun, and having fun feels better when you win. But we are courageous enough to make fun of ourselves when things don't go right. That's pretty much our brand. Easy-going, we like to have fun, competitive... and hopefully when people look back they'll say that they're proud of the players, proud of the support, proud of the organization, and they make us laugh. That's the goal, and hopefully we'll accomplish it.
To Caps: Your dad has been such a visible supporter of yours throughout your career. Have you talked to him yet, and if so, what did he say?
Caps: I have not yet talked to my dad. I have my family, and I'm probably gonna go straight to the hotel with them and, well, not celebrate, but be with them and go over the year I've had. And just recharge, because obviously we've been to MSI, we've been to the finals at Worlds... I just need some time now to get ready for the next season. I just need some time.
To Carlos: What was the key to success for G2 this year?
Carlos: I feel like the key is a combination of having really good players, of course, having support staff... Grabbz and Mitch have done an incredible job understanding how to make the best out of the team. Also, when you really have some kind of mood—I've had probably 350 players in G2 in the last 6 years, and I've never seen any team with this kind of team spirit. It's impossible to find. It's by far the best. You hear voice comms in game two and after game two, and it's like: if there is a team that maybe could have made a comeback from the catastrophic series, this would've been the one. Having great players, having a great support staff and having great chemistry within themselves, make a lot of jokes and trying to have fun all the time... at the end of the day it is a game. It is an important game, all our lives depend on this game, but it is a game after all.
To Grabbz: The offseason is gonna start very soon now, and a lot of teams are talking about bootcamping in China because of the region's success, instead of bootcamping in Korea. Is that something the team has considered?
Grabbz: Eh, we only ended the season one hour ago. So I think nobody of us actually thinks about bootcamping. We're all going to go home for two weeks, talk to our families, and then we can talk about it. It might be an option. I think in hindsight bootcamping here, staying in Europe, was a mistake. I think for the bootcamping situation, we should've went to Asia, just because the teams are way better. We played against seeds from weaker regions while they all had DAMWON, Griffin, SKT, IG, RNG and FPX. So I think that's one thing we learned for sure. But if you go to China, I don't know. As Caps said the season was really long, so I'm not gonna burn the guys.
To Jankos: You played against Tian, who was crowned MVP, and in the round before you played Clid. How do you feel the matchups were against those two players?
Jankos: Both Clid and Tian are talented and skilled. They are also kind of young, I guess, so they have their whole careers ahead of them. I think that, against SKT, the early games were a little bit easier, since they wouldn't invade as much. It was more standard. I would say it was harder to read Clid's movement around the map. With Tian, I think he is very good as well, but a lot of the games started with us getting invaded on level 1, and even though we knew what they would do around the map, we couldn't really prevent it.
We basically had to choose who to put behind: either me, Wunder or Perkz. One game we chose me, one game we chose Wunder and one game we chose Perkz, and each game was very difficult. We, as G2, do get those games. I think for next year we'll try to step up our level 1's, our early game, because I feel like we're a really strong team after 10, 15 minutes. But sometimes we fall too far behind in the early game.
To Mikyx: You've had a massive year. You moved to a new team, you've won domestically, internationally and you recovered from a wrist injury. What do you make of your year, and what was your highlight?
Mikyx: Thanks for the question. Overall, I would say I'm pretty happy with the year. Especially because the past three years were not very successful. Even though losing the final was kind of a failure, I'm still pretty happy with the year overall because we basically won everything else. I guess it just feels bad today, but in a few days I'll probably look back at the year and be happy and hopefully go even further next year and try to win the whole thing.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.