G2 Esports has been the talk of MSI this week, as we question major themes regarding League of Legends and teams' mindset heading into the Mid-Season Invitational. A few timeline things of note here, if you're just tuning in to the headline.
- G2 Esports starts off MSI looking really sloppy, including an 0-2 start in Day 1
- G2 players talk about lack of practice heading into tournament, and being out of sync
- LoL analysts, writers, and others including MonteCristo criticize lack of practice
- G2 releases statement regarding all the criticism
Quotes From G2's Statement
"Following a rigorous Spring Split with practice, scrims and official games for 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week for 3 months straight, it was important for the mental state of our players to be allowed to take some time away from the game, visit their families and reset for MSI and the following Summer Split."
First and foremost, taking a break is no big deal. Everyone understands teams need days off, which you can take. G2 had over 20 days between the end of Spring Split and MSI, which gives ample of time for rest. This isn't a back-to-back event.
"While staying in our gaming house in Berlin as a unit could have offered some team practice, the quality of that practice would not have done anything to help improve our team play leading up towards MSI and the level of teams attending here. Planning a bootcamp in China / Asia before MSI proved difficult, due to the VISA application process and the uncertainty of knowing whether we’d qualify or not."
Fair enough. The VISA application process may seem difficult for the team. That is an understood point, but staying as a unit and practicing couldn't have done anything to improve play? This sounds like a "We're not going to win MSI, so there's no point" idea.
"Between the final day in Rotterdam and the start of the summer split the team have 23 days. 12 of those are before MSI, so spending that time practicing against Challenger level teams would have been detrimental towards our level of play for MSI, leading into to the Summer Split and the ultimate challenge; the World Championship."
Are Challenger teams good competition? No, of course not. Is it better than no practice at all? Well, G2 has started out two days into MSI going 0-4, how could it have gotten any worse? They're getting completely dominated in a tournament in which they had no practice leading up to. If you practice with Challenger teams and this happens, then maybe you pull that excuse that you thought it hurt your team.
"Instead we allowed our players to take some time off, see their families and go to MSI re-energized and with high motivation to do good. Obviously our results throughout the first two days of MSI didn’t attest to that fact, but rest assured that we will do everything in our power to come back stronger as the group stage progresses."
Here's the issue here: MSI isn't some fun tournament anymore, it has intense Worlds implications for not just your team, but your entire region. The better you do at MSI, your region is favored in the seeding at Worlds.
It's fine if G2 wants to take a break, and that idea is not the criticized point, but if you aren't going to put 100% into MSI, don't show up. Forfeit your spot prior to the tournament and let another EU team take your place who will take it seriously.
For recap, sights, and sounds from Day 2 of MSI: