G2 Esports Jankos joined Lara Lunardi at ASE2019 to talk about the team's performance at Worlds 2019, his personal thoughts on the event, and why Europe remains dominant over North America.
You guys just crushed NA - as usual - in the URF 5v5; what happened in that game?
I believe we had a good coach in Mikyx. He knew what to ban in terms of the handful of one trick champions the enemy influencers had, so they were absolutely out of their minds because they didn’t know what to do. That really showed in the game.
What’s is like to come out of something stressful like Worlds to then come the All-Star?
It’s different. I didn’t play League for a month, so this is my first Summoner’s Rift game since I got beaten up by FPX. I didn’t get to play my role; it was kind of boring in the early minutes when I was just shoving the wave with Ziggs. I wanted to play something else, but my team kind of forced me onto something with magic damage and waveclear. As soon as I started roaming and playing around the map, it became kind of fun. I’m really happy that we won, even though it was really irrelevant to win or lose this game. Some people can say that we were “tryhards”, but we played what’s good, you know? laughs
At Worlds, you guys didn’t perform as expected against FPX and lost. What was the first thing that came to your mind when you realized you might not be able to win the Finals?
I was sad, I guess. I don’t think about the result until the game ends, but when the nexus exploded for the third time, I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it was over, and it was over so quickly and so one-sidedly from FPX. Obviously, I regretted a couple of things in game and in draft as well, but I did understand at the same time that FPX’s fundamentals were very strong against our team. We were playing very greedy, and they were playing really well as a group of 5. Also, their Mid/JG was really, really strong in that series. I don’t know, they outperformed us in so many ways. We didn’t have the best ending to Worlds due to burnout and not having the best scrims. We all got sick one week before the Finals as well, so I would say that is pretty unlucky. Overall, the year was not too hard. I still regret what happened during Worlds Finals, but I also acknowledge that FPX was the better team.
What is more iconic: NA not making it out of groups at Worlds, or G2 losing in the Finals 3-0?
It depends, because people really thought we would win. Most people expected us to win 3-0 or 3-1, but we didn’t live up to the expectations and FPX kind of stomped us. NA not making it out of groups is something that happens kind of often. Last year Cloud9 made it to the Worlds Semifinals, which was pretty impressive considering they’re an NA team. This year, no one from NA made it out. Team Liquid was a decent team, but I don’t think Cloud9 was very good. In one game in our group against them, I was inting, but we won because they’re not a very good team. NA has one team at worlds, and EU had 3 since all of us made it out of groups. Both G2 and Fnatic lost to FPX, just like we both lost to eventual champions Invictus Gaming last year. China is pretty strong against Europe, but I think Europe is pretty good against South Korea. NA is not that great now, I guess.
What are the main differences between NA and EU at this point?
It’s very hard to say. I feel that NA players don’t play as much solo queue as we do, and the high ranks of EU Solo Queue consists of players who want to be professionals and want to be good. A lot of the high ranking NA Solo Queue players are wannabe streamers who are aspiring to copy the influencers. Obviously, that makes money and it’s fun, but if you just have fun and troll a lot, the quality of games are going to be worse. You can still spam and try your best, but I also feel like there aren’t a lot of LCS teams looking for new NA talent. They are just kind of recycling all of the old players, and it’s enough to win NA, but is it enough to do anything at Worlds? I don’t think so. I feel like looking for new talent is something NA should consider. I also don’t know how they do scrims in NA. I don’t have bad experiences with NA scrims; we scrolled with TL and they were pretty good scrim partners. I don’t have anything bad to say about their play or their attitude in scrims, but I think the overall quality of solo queue in the region, the amount of games played, and how the LCS season is treated.
With Broxah being imported from EU, do you think that will help the NA region as a whole, or just Team Liquid?
I don’t think it will mean much, honestly. I think Broxah is a really good player, but he can’t make a difference alone. I think Broxah will become worse, because that’s just how it is. I don’t want to assume that, because I hope he doesn’t. I like Broxah and I have nothing against him, but I assume playing in NA solo queue and with NA players will make him worse because we’ve seen that with every player who has gone to NA so far. I think TL will still be the best team; no other team in the LCS made drastic enough roster changes to challenge them. I would consider Broxah maybe even better than Xmithie, so I’m curious to see how they will do on the international stage if they qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational.
Would you ever come to the LCS?
Well, I’m getting old, right? I have a lot of experience and I could lead a team, so maybe someday. I’m not saying now, because if I close all my doors I don’t know what will happen if I become too bad to play with G2 *laughs* We will see how it happens. You have good food and good weather in LA; a lot of good things. So I felt like if I ever wanted to leave a team and try another challenge after being in a really strong team...and also if I wanted to get paid more, then maybe.
Lastly, any words to your fans?
I’d like to thank all of you for supporting us at Worlds. I’m still sorry about our performance with what happened in the Finals, but I’m not THAT sorry because we tried our best, and next year, we will try again. We are all relaxing before the LEC 2020 Spring Split starts, and as soon as it does, we will try our best to make you proud during the Split, Playoffs, and MSI. We are G2, so we will be playing a lot, fighting a lot, and trying our best.