When G2 Esports hinted that their Mid Laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther and Bot Laner Luka "PERKZ" Perković would be swapping roles, many thought it was just a joke. Another meme from the European League of Legends meme lords. It wasn't. Since the start of the Spring Split, the two star players traded places, hoping to give G2 an edge over their opponents. The transition has had its ups and downs, perhaps as expected. But the upward trend of G2's new bot lane cannot be denied.
G2's Support player, Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle, sat down with Inven Global's Tom Matthiesen to talk about his new bot lane partner. The Slovenian shed light on the early difficulties he and Caps faced, and how they worked to overcome them. Additionally, he evaluated his bot lane's strength, comparing it to other top tier duos in the LEC.
I want to talk to you about the development of G2's bot lane duo over the course of this Split. At the start of the season, what was it like to be paired with Caps?
The communication was...different in the beginning. We didn't really play towards our bot lane much, because neither Caps or I took initiative with playing around in our lane much. We were mostly playing around the mid lane. But recently we've started to talk a lot more, so now we can play towards our bot lane too. I would say that that's the biggest difference between the start of the Split and now.
What was the biggest hurdle for you two to overcome? When Caps played as Mid Laner, you two also had to orchestrate plays together occasionally.
Mostly, we had difficulty communicating what the state of our lane was like. For example, if the enemy was stacking a wave, whether we can dive the enemy, if we needed to push out the lane, stuff like that. We weren't really good at that until, like, a month ago. It started going a lot better recently.
I think I didn't really step up in that regard. I didn't really teach Caps about these things, but we learned along the way. I guess we learned the most after playing scrims against good teams. When we lost the best of five against MAD Lions, we realized that we had to step it up. So we worked hard to fix it.
"[PERKZ] explained what he thought of certain plays, and offered his perspective. It was definitely helpful."
You say that your communication improved as the Split progressed. Did you have any particular training exercises to improve the synergy between you and Caps?
It was mostly about playing scrims and going through replays. We didn't really do anything special. We played scrims, solo queue, and reviewed VODs.
PERKZ also helped out a lot in the beginning. Every time he would have a few points for Caps and me to improve on, and he watched replays with us. He explained what he thought of certain plays, and offered his perspective. It was definitely helpful. Recently we watch games with the team, and everyone just talks about it together.
If you compare your synergy with Caps now to the synergy between you and PERKZ at the end of last year, how far off reaching that level of synergy with Caps are you?
Hm...I think right now we're at about seventy percent. I think we're pretty decent at the moment. There still is a way to go, but I think we're on a good trajectory so far.
I'm curious to learn about the differences between PERKZ and Caps as bot laners from your perspective. Could you shed light on that?
I would say that going for risky plays stands out most. Caps goes for more risky trades, I'd say. *laughs* Sometimes it backfires, but other times we get a really good trade and it opens up an opportunity to dive the opponent or something like that. Other than that, I think their play styles are pretty similar. I don't see too big of a difference. At the moment there are a lot of different AD Carry champions that are being played, especially compared to last year. It's difficult to compare it directly when they're not playing the same champions. If they were, then I could probably say who was better.
"In the Summer Split, we might experiment with swapping Caps and PERKZ regularly to get more advantages in the draft phase."
Do you see a future where Caps and PERKZ swap roles on a game-by-game basis?
I think, for the time being, the roles will be fixed. But in the Summer Split, we might experiment with swapping Caps and PERKZ regularly to get more advantages in the draft phase. If we could make it work, that would be good for our draft. Right now we're just learning, I guess. We're seeing how it goes. Nothing is set in stone yet.
As a bot lane duo, where would you rank yourself and Caps among the other bot lane duos in the LEC?
I think Rekkles and Hylissang are probably the strongest bot lane duo, at least of the three teams that are left in the Playoffs. I don't think we're far off, though. I think their drafts were pretty one-sided, from what I've seen. They played a lot of Senna.
The MAD Lions bot lane is also solid, I think. They tend to go for riskier plays, especially online. In Fnatic, Hylissang is the crazy one in the bot lane. I suppose it depends on matchups a lot, but when Fnatic played Senna in the bot lane, they weren't doing much. They were just farming. Of course, they were playing well, but I don't think they're that insane. They're the best now, but they're beatable. I think it's pretty close between the three teams that are left. MAD Lions, Fnatic, and us.
Obviously, MAD Lions have been performing above expectations. It's still interesting that you'd put them so close to your team and Fnatic, though.
Yeah, just their bot lane though. Their bot lane is really good, compared to the other bot lanes in Europe. It was surprising—I didn't expect them to perform that well. They're really aggressive in their lane. They punish you immediately if you make a mistake. When we played against them we made many mistakes. *laughs* And we got punished for it a lot. They're very solid all around. I think their support, Kaiser, is a lot like me in terms of the champion pool, how he plays his champions et cetera. When I watch him play, it reminds me of myself.
I would still give us the edge over them in the bot lane, I think. I think we had an off-day against them. Next time we play them, we should be better.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.