For complete League of Legends recaps, standings and stats, click here.
G2 Esports buried Misfits on Thursday in the second 2-0 victory in a row of Week 9, Day 1 of the European League of Legends Championship Series.
G2 (8-3, 19-9 match record) banished all previous questions about the team's form going into the Summer Split playoffs. For most of the split, there have been lingering questions about where G2 Esports fits in the EU LCS: They've never quite had the talent to challenge the stranglehold Fnatic (9-1, 19-4 match record) has had on the League since Rift Rivals. G2 Esports was perceived, for the first time in its history, as a mid-tier team.
It's safe to say that is no longer the case. G2's been trending upward over the past couple weeks, and that culminated in this crushing victory over its rival.
Much of G2's renaissance has simply been because of a return to its roots. Ki "Expect" Dae-han has opted to play more engage-heavy tank picks like the Gnar he took into both games of this series, while Kim "Trick" Kang-yun has found the new tank jungle meta to be to his liking, as it allows him to focus more on his mid and late game, where his true strengths lie. The team has also been far more willing to trust the man who was once its primary carry, Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen, which we saw in Game 1 of the series as all of G2 picked up items to support him, even Luka "Perkz" Perkovic. Zven definitely repaid their trust, as he ended the series with a perfect 9/0/11 KDA with his Kalista and Tristana.
Zven turned in a clinical performance across the series. He did the most damage in the series while earning the most kills and without a single death. His performance was the very definition of an MVP-worthy, as many fights hinged entirely upon Zven's ability to outplay Misfits -- the final fight by Baron in Game 1 particularly stands out, as does the Misfits' final, desperate teamfight at the end of Game 2-- which he did without fail.
Misfits (5-6, 12-15 match record), on the other hand, once again proved that it's not quite ready to tussle with the top teams in the EU LCS. Its failure was one part strategic and one part tactical, as poor drafting decisions saw Misfits fail to get the early game leads it needed in both games. While drafting an early game composition is not in itself a mistake, it's certainly a risk against a team like G2 Esports, which often earns its leads via the individual skill of its players, not by playing together as a team. Choosing to attack G2 at the point in the game where it's at its best was an odd choice from Misfits, and one that obviously failed to pay dividends.
G2 Esports will go on to face Fnatic at 2 p.m. ET on Aug. 10. Misfits' next challenge is against the Ninjas in Pyjamas at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday.