From 2011 through 2015, Fnatic ruled European League of Legends. After winning the Season 1 World Championship, Fnatic won five of the first six EU LCS finals, making the title game in every split.
That streak ended with the start of 2016, as Fnatic has finished third, fifth/sixth and third, respectively, over the last three splits. In Fnatic’s place, G2 has risen to take its place as the top team in Europe and cement itself along side the old Fnatic teams as one of the most dominant in the region’s history.
G2 won promotion to the EU LCS prior to the 2016 Spring Split, and rocketed off to a hot start. The team went 15-3 in its first regular season and defeated Origen 3-1 in the final to win title No. 1. Two splits and two titles later, G2 Esports has done the following in just three splits of EU LCS play:
- Three EU LCS titles
- Three splits with the best regular season record
- Four international tournaments
- Two international runners-up performances (IEM Season 11, MSI 2017)
International missteps aside, G2’s dominance has been unquestioned, if not quite unparalleled (even Fnatic lost a title series during its run). And the team will keep its best starting lineup yet heading into this split.
Zven and mithy remain G2’s strongest lane on the bottom side, but PerkZ and Expect both saw improved play in the spring after relatively rough splits last summer. It was two-time EU LCS MVP Trick who struggled instead, but a changing jungle meta may be in his favor.
We’ll also see a slightly different jungle meta in Week 1. After a frantic midseason that saw G2 win the EU LCS final, go straight to MSI, make it to the final and go straight back home to prepare for the Summer Split, the two Korean starters will be getting the first week off to return home. During G2’s Week 1 series against ROCCAT (Friday, 11 a.m. ET), new substitutes Send0o and loulex will be filling in for Expect and Trick.
Not that that should make too much of a difference — sure, G2 lost to ROCCAT at the end of the last regular split, but the stakes were very different for those two teams. G2 had already clinched its spot on top of Group A, while ROCCAT was desperately trying to claw its way back into the playoff picture. Now with a fresh slate, it’s hard to expect anything but a clear G2 win in Week 1, even with the two substitutes.
It’s just as hard to expect anything but another G2 title.