G2 Esports was the favorite to win the first-ever Winter season of the 2023 League of Legends European Championship, and they lived up to the expectations and then some by capping off a dominant start to the year with a clean sweep of MAD Lions in the finals of the Winter Playoffs.
Throughout 2023, G2 has stood a head taller than its peers in the LEC due to the deep champion pools of its players, which has allowed the team to execute upon a variety of gameplans with unmatched versatility. Let’s take a closer look at all of the unique picks G2’s players locked in during LEC Winter 2023.
Top: BrokenBlade – Karma
Despite one of the most bot lane focused competitive metas in recent memory, G2 found success by often playing around the colorful, carry-centric playstyle of Sergen “BrokenBlade” Çelik by utilizing the flexibility of their other players to best support their top laner’s strengths. BrokenBlade was best-in-class when it came to shared champions like Olaf, but his one unique top lane pick was one that took the focus away from him.
In a triple marksman composition against Astralis, BrokenBlade’s Karma gave G2 all the support and follow-up required to mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s pocket Zac (more on that later). When played again with a less definitive form of engage, BB was unable to get a second win on Karma, but the first game showed that the carry top laner was more than willing – and able – to take a backseat to his teammates.
Jungle: Yike – Lillia, Bel’Veth, Udyr
Being the only rookie on a decorated G2 squad did not discourage Martin “Yike” Sundelin from putting himself in the center of many compositions, and oftentimes, it was with picks no one else dared to lock in. While his Udyr was unable to get a win against Team Vitality, his Lillia went 3-1 throughout LEC Winter to the tune of a 7.5 KDA. Similarly, his Bel’Veth record of 2-1 with a KDA of 4.0 stands as more proof that the rookie jungler is not afraid to take risks.
Mid: Caps – Zac, Sejuani, Kled, Swain
Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s aforementioned Zac mid was only the first unique pick he played in LEC Winter 2023. Traditionally a hard-carry mid laner, Caps, knowing that anyone on G2 Esports can carry a game, stopped KOI in their tracks during the LEC Winter Playoffs with a Sejuani mid.
Caps’ Swain was less fortunate, losing to MAD Lions in a previous round of the tournament, but in the finals of the Winter Playoffs, Caps’ huge performance on Kled mid was a stalwart reminder that, right now, no team can be completely prepared for what G2 is able to play on stage.
ADC: Hans sama – Kai’Sa, Miss Fortune, Samira
AD carry, traditionally, is a less flexible role than the others on Summoner’s Rift because of its responsibility to be the primary DPS threat within most team compositions, but that didn’t stop Steven “Hans sama” Liv from sprinkling his own flavor into the meta melting pot. Hans was the only AD carry in the LEC to pick Kai’Sa, Samira, and Miss Fortune. G2 Esports won all three of the games in which Hans sama picked a unique marksman, and his performance in those three games needs no further explanation after looking at his triple-slash line of 28/3/21.
Support: Mikyx – Jarvan IV, Taliyah
Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s unique support picks throughout LEC Winter 2023 tell a tale of two champions. His Taliyah was the only time the Stonweaver was picked in support globally throughout 2023, and after seeing his 1/5/1 performance in a loss to MAD Lions, it’s easy to see why.
Mikyx’s Jarvan IV, on the other hand, was a revalation alongside the Samira of Hans Sama Opting for a Radiant Virtue -> Zhonya’s Hourglass item core, Mikyx provided the spacing and reliable engage necessary for Hans sama in laning skirmishes and in teamfights. G2 was able to win the game against MAD before the support even completed his second full item.