After G2 Esports defeated Gen.G in a clean 3-0 sweep at the 2020 LoL World Championship quarterfinals, former Cloud9 head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu shared his thoughts about the game. On a live stream, Reapered spoke for nearly three hours about the clash and analyzed the intentions of the teams while communicating with the viewers.
Disclaimer: This article is a direct translation of Reapered’s own analysis and was translated from his stream and edited for brevity with his permission.
Game 1"It was as if they were an old stubborn hermit from the countryside, insisting that LoL’s a teamfight game."
Camille, Nidalee, Twisted Fate? They [Gen.G] gave up three trendy meta picks at this Worlds. Yes, that’s alright. You can give them such. But to do so, you have to counter it. Gen.G’s fourth and fifth bans were Ashe and Senna. This was to strengthen the bot lane. When G2 picked Pantheon, they picked Taric to counter that.
Gen.G’s last pick was Azir, a champion that was nerfed severely before Worlds. The problem here was that they didn’t ban the trendiest picks — Camille, Nidalee, and Twisted Fate. I’m not sure why this panned out like this. The most reasonable answer I came to was that maybe they prepared only their own picks. Looking at the big picture, I might be able to say what they intended: they could have wanted to fight from long range.
There’s a term called “wall-draft”. It’s picking whatever we want regardless of what the opponent picks. For example, the draft we did against Afreeca Freecs in game 3 of the quarterfinals at Worlds 2018 was a wall-draft. As soon as we picked Nocturne, all the remaining picks were fixed for us. Wall-drafts aren’t bad, but to do so, you have to ban whatever that’s threatening to your prepared composition. Gen.G didn’t do that.
After watching the game, I felt that Gen.G actually made it quite far by getting to the quarterfinals. I’m not trying to diss Gen.G. During the three games against G2, I felt that they had only one pattern to win and were far from the meta.
It was as if they were an old stubborn hermit from the countryside, insisting that LoL’s a teamfight game. You know what really gave me goosebumps? Gen.G almost won with that draft. Game 1 was more winnable than the following two games. That hermit turned out to be a self-isolated martial arts master.
"I’m not trying to diss Gen.G. During the three games against G2, I felt that they had only one pattern to win and were far from the meta."
After watching game 1, I felt that Gen.G could win it if they continued to push their style. They seemed very self-objectified. If they kept their style, maintained their strengths while improving the draft just a bit, I thought they would win. Game 1 went really well for Gen.G. They picked what they wanted, did what they wanted to do by taking Shelly and the drakes. Game 1 was the game that they played best by playing in their own style, without thinking about the meta.
The problem there was that they did what they intended well, but they gave up too much to G2 in the draft. They gave them something that was too strong. What G2 did was lay low until they could strike hard. That strike was a critical punch, and they took Baron.
If Gen.G just modified their picks and bans just a bit, they could have won. I wouldn’t say that they lost game 1 because of the draft.
Game 2"Do you know what happens by giving up that single Tahm Kench?"
Game 2 was what made me really mad. The bans were the same, but the picks were different. Wow, Gen.G took Camille, Nidalee, and Twisted Fate! They’re god champions. They got three good picks from the start. I was concerned that G2 could pick Jax-Sylas or Jax-Galio to counter Camille-Twisted Fate, but they picked Shen. The later the game goes, the more favorable Camille is over Shen.
As I said earlier, I wouldn’t say that Gen.G lost the first game because of the draft. I seldom say a team lost because of the draft. Losing because of the draft is a very rare situation. But... Why on earth did they give away Tahm Kench? It really doesn’t make sense that they gave up Tahm Kench. Tahm Kench making it through the fourth and fifth bans does not make sense.
"All picks and bans have a win condition, a win plan. That Tahm Kench blocked all of Gen.G’s win conditions, all the plays that Gen.G could do to win."
Do you know what happens by giving up that single Tahm Kench? He can absorb Ashe’s ult, Twisted Fate’s ult, cover Camille’s split push, absorb Gold Card-Nidalee spear combo… Everything could be countered just with Tahm Kench. This was the first time I blurted out loud while watching the draft that it’s absurd.
I work in the same industry. It’s not that I always win the draft. Obviously, I make mistakes too. But this is a no-no. Giving G2 Tahm Kench was an insane move.
On the other hand, picking Tahm Kench was also kind of unpleasant for Gen.G. If they picked Tahm Kench, G2 could last-pick Bard or Blitzcrank, something that makes Tahm Kench uncomfortable. This would probably be why they didn’t take Tahm Kench for themselves, but if not, they should have banned him.
Gen.G also thought about picking Ezreal. If they picked Ezreal, the value of Mercury’s Treads would go down, so Twisted Fate’s value would go up. But they picked Ashe, which made Mercury’s Treads a very good item. When I saw them lock in Leona, I literally doubted my eyes.
With a single pick, all of Gen.G’s champions were countered. Ashe, Leona, Twisted Fate-Nidalee combination, Camille’s sidelane priority… Everything was countered by Tahm Kench.
"I’m not criticizing Gen.G’s coaching staff, I’m criticizing Gen.G’s draft. The draft isn’t done solely by the coaching staff. There are seven people on that stage and everyone has a say in the decisions."
When the composition value is lower, you have to pick a champion of higher value. Sylas fit that exactly. The first draft phase was quite alright. The second phase ruined everything. You could argue that Thresh could do a similar role with Tahm Kench, but it’s not as much.
All picks and bans have a win condition, a win plan. That Tahm Kench blocked all of Gen.G’s win conditions, all the plays that Gen.G could do to win.
Would it have been better if Gen.G picked Tahm Kench in game 1? No. They were on the blue side, so G2 could counter it with the last pick.
I’m not criticizing Gen.G’s coaching staff, I’m criticizing Gen.G’s draft. The draft isn’t done solely by the coaching staff. There are seven people on that stage and everyone has a say in the decisions. Criticizing the draft doesn’t mean that I’m criticizing the coaching staff; it means that I’m criticizing the draft itself.
After the first two games, Gen.G seemed really like a teamfight one-tool team. The problem is that their picks weren’t teamfight champions. Camille ult damage 0, Nidalee 0, Twisted Fate 0. These champions aren’t teamfight champions, they’re champions that could teamfight. For these guys, gold is their weapon. The moment they could flash out the $100 bill, the moment they could hit their opponents with a check, that’s when they get really strong. But Gen.G didn’t do that. They didn’t try to gain priority in sidelanes and just tried to engage in teamfights.
Aside from Gen.G’s faults, Caps’ Sylas was nuts. If Tahm Kench was a problem with the draft, Caps’ Sylas was far better than expectations. If Sylas’ performance was just a bit less good, Gen.G maybe could have won.
Anyways, to conclude game 2, Gen.G should have banned Tahm Kench, or played Ezreal to lower Tahm Kench’s value, but they picked Ashe-Leona which raised the value of Tahm Kench and Mercury’s Treads. Plus, Caps’ played Sylas out of his mind.
Game 3"This isn’t Bdd’s fault. There was nothing he could do since there weren’t any lanes that he could roam to help penetrate."
So I was saying, I could understand what Gen.G’s intention was in the first game. Game 2’s problem was Tahm Kench. In game 3, my question was… Why the hell did they play Twisted Fate? They were pounded to death by Sylas just a game ago with Twisted Fate.
This isn’t only about Sylas. If you pick Twisted Fate, you have to draft a strong lane whether it’s top or bottom. You need to have a lane where you can push in the waves and penetrate, but there’s nothing like that. This isn’t Bdd’s fault. There was nothing he could do since there weren’t any lanes that he could roam to help penetrate.
There’s a pro to this kind of composition; you can do anything — the plays can be very flexible. But on the other hand, you can’t benefit from Twisted Fate’s strength. It’s not that the composition’s difficulty level is too high. It’s just a draft that eliminates Twisted Fate’s strength.
When Twisted Fate plays against Sylas, the more time you give, the better Sylas gets. In that matter, Twisted Fate has to make kills somewhere, get items, help a teammate get ahead to snowball. That’s what’s supposed to happen.
"Overall, it’s not that Gen.G lost because of Caps or someone underperformed or anything. There wasn’t a chance for any of them to do well in the first place."
Twisted Fate did get three kills, but this wasn’t because he got somewhere and hit hard. It’s from some skirmishes in the river, and he just fought well. There were no aggressive picks in this comp.
Gen.G showed teamfight one-tool performances in games 1 and 2, but they picked Twisted Fate who isn’t good in teamfights. Plus, they didn’t even pick a champion that could snowball along with Twisted Fate. I really couldn’t understand that. Maybe they didn’t want to give up Twisted Fate? Look. Which was better, Caps’ Twisted Fate in game 1 or Caps’ Sylas in game 2? Which should they be more afraid of?
Okay, they said that the results during practice were good when Twisted Fate was in the game… That’s the problem of practice and scrims. So many kills come even if you pick a draft with no strengths. But since they said the results were good, I’ll step back. Okay.
Overall, it’s not that Gen.G lost because of Caps or someone underperformed or anything. There wasn’t a chance for any of them to do well in the first place.
I’d like to say again, that I’m not trying to criticize the coaching staff or the players individually. The draft is done by all of the seven people together. No one individual should be responsible.
Do I always win the draft? No, I don’t. There were many times that I didn’t draft well either. We had draft issues, performance issues, so we didn’t make it to Worlds. But does that make me responsible for everything? No. It’s an issue with all seven people involved.
I always cheer a lot for T1 and Gen.G. Basically, I rooted for all of the NA teams, since I work here, I cheered for the LCK teams since I’m Korean. I cheered for DRX too, but they went up against DWG. It doesn’t make sense for me to root for both. Since DWG was stronger, I rooted for them. For leagues that aren’t related to me, I always cheer for the underdogs, so I rooted for Suning and Fnatic. When Fnatic was up 2-0, then I rooted for TES.
How do I predict DWG vs G2? I’ve always known that G2 is a high-tier team, and that they’re really strong in best-of-5’s. I know that their performance today was really good… But right now, there doesn’t seem to be a team that DAMWON would lose to.