Despite putting themselves in the record books with an incredible 24-0 record since being sent to the lower bracket of the LEC playoffs by Fnatic, the team with the second-longest winning streak in professional League of Legends history has seriously faltered. With two statement victories over both T1 and RNG, the favorites to win the tournament, on day one of the rumble stage and a similarly dominant showing over EG and SGB on day two, G2 were in a position to take it all; however, days three and four brought the LEC champs back down to reality.
The End of the G2 Win Streak and the Rise of RNG
While G2 has demonstrated themselves to be an extremely talented team, many analysts believe that they are a third place contender at best. With reigning MSI champions RNG and the LCK’s decorated champions T1 in the tournament, there simply is not room for G2 on the upper echelons of the podium. While their incredible winning streak brought hope to the European community, G2 was bound to fall. Unfortunately, they fell very far.
Day three set the LEC’s finest up against the PCS’s champions: PSG Talon. Despite the versatility of Jankos in the jungle and caPs in the mid lane, PSG’s scaling composition made any minor gains acquired by G2 negligible. Where G2 had drafted primarily for the mid game, their confidence, and win streak, was shut down by PSG’s ability to survive and adapt
Unfortunately, PSG was not the only team eager to send G2 packing. RNG, who lost to G2 on day one, were also out for blood. While the match was largely even in gold and kills, a critical fight over Baron gave RNG the edge they needed to close out the match shortly after.
With G2 now 4-2, RNG claimed the rights to first place 5-1. Now leading the tournament, the LPL champions are nearly unstoppable. Trouncing both Saigon Buffalo and Evil Geniuses on day four, RNG have guaranteed themselves a spot in the rumble stage with a 7-1 record. G2, on the other hand, have continued to lose.
They opened day four against PSG, followed by T1. With PSG seemingly having the blueprint to beat them, G2 once again fell to the PCS champions. T1, fresh off of a loss to G2 on day one, were quoted in multiple interviews stating that they wanted revenge. Long story short, they got it. While G2 dominated the early game, T1 found themselves on the winning side of multiple fights over objectives and lane control.
Converting a winning fight over third drake into a mid push, T1 handed G2 their fourth loss in a row. Now sitting at 4-4, G2 are tied with EG for fourth place. With the two set to face one another tomorrow, a victory either way will send them to the knockout stage. A loss, however, threatens their spot with a tiebreaker against a successful PSG.
T1 Too Quiet?
After winning the LCK with a flawless season (18-0), T1 was the heavy favorite to win MSI and carry their winning streak into record-breaking territory. While both G2 and EG had similar winning streaks (12 for G2 and 11 for EG), neither team was seriously considered to keep their streaks alive.
EG quickly lost theirs in their first group stage matchup against G2; however, the LEC champions went much further and eventually broke Fnatic’s 2015 Summer 21 game win streak record. Where did T1 go wrong? It’s difficult to tell. While they went 6-0 in Group A, the rumble stage seriously shook things up for the LCK champs. Opening the stage against G2, it was clear that one team would come out losing.
At this point, T1 were still the crowd favorites. This was mostly due to the fact that G2 had very little competition in Group C to compare against the competition T1 found success against in the LCK. With the LCK being considered the most difficult/competitive region in the professional League of Legends scene, viewers and analysts were hard-pressed to find any reasons to back G2. As fate would have it, G2 narrowly dismantled the three-time world champions to keep their streak alive.
Since then, T1 have not done anything particularly exciting. While they currently sit just below RNG in second place, they have some serious issues that have resulted in seemingly guaranteed wins turning into losses.
Particularly, their failure around securing Baron in teamfights at the pit are pivotal to the losses they have suffered. It is the reason they lost to G2 and EG. Although the G2 game was close, their loss to EG was egregious. Clearly outclassing the LCS champions, T1 managed to let not one, but two Barons slip out from under them, leading the young NA roster to a confidence-boosting victory that never should have happened.
Having only lost the predicted 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams, T1 has yet to give up a victory that puts into question their seeding; however, it does raise some concerns about how teams can beat them in the knockout stage. The final day of the rumble stage kicks off tomorrow. With T1, G2, EG, and PSG still able to qualify, it seems likely that either EG or PSG will find themselves facing elimination. Stay tuned for the latest news about MSI 2022!
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