Last Man Standing: caPs, the last of the MSI winning 2019 roster still with G2 cover image

Last Man Standing: caPs, the last of the MSI winning 2019 roster still with G2

G2 Esports has seen a lot of change since claiming the West’s first international title. And no change has been more drastic than only one member of the MSI winning roster remaining at G2 while the rest have left.

Since their 2019 MSI win, the G2 Esports League of Legends team has seen a lot of changes. With only one player from the original MSI winning roster remaining at the org, we are taking a look at why the 2019 roster was so good and where everyone is now.

The Glory Days of EU

For the EU region, international glory was somewhat of a passing fad. Teams often came close to winning titles competitively against the eastern teams but missed out when in touching distance.

Enter G2 Esports, the org who were going to change that and make sure everyone knew Eastern teams were beatable. G2 did what other EU teams had come close to doing but struggled to finish.

Joining the World stage in time for Worlds 2016, G2 gradually rose through the ranks. EU had been ranking highly against the eastern teams, but missed out at the last moments, often in the most crushing way possible. G2 Esports were there to change that, taking second place at Worlds just three years since their first appearance.

What Once Was

G2’s domination of EU has become a legend among fans, with split and whole season wins often flipping between Fnatic and G2. The rivalry of the two teams was notorious, and although Fnatic had won the first Worlds title in League history, it was G2 who won MSI for the west.

Leading up to MSI 2019, the title had previously always been won by eastern teams. Frequently boomeranging between LPL and LCK representatives, including the legend, Faker, G2 were set to change that. The EU powerhouse had proven already that eastern teams were beatable and to win the MSI title for EU was the next step in their legacy.

Enter one of the greatest rosters European esports had seen to date.

A super roster that wasn’t cursed by being named a super roster. That is the best way to put into words simply how good 2019 was.

The 2019 G2 esports roster consisted of Wunder in top, Jankos jungle, Caps (now caPs) in mid, Perkz in ADC and Mikyx support, with Promisq as an alt sub due to Mikyx having a wrist injury.

G2 Esports MSI and Worlds 2019 Roster image via LoL Esports Twitter
G2 Esports MSI and Worlds 2019 Roster image via LoL Esports Twitter

Why 2019 was the best EU could offer

So why was this roster so strong? Fundamentally the synergy among the players was solid, so solid, that other teams had no choice but to take notice. The top side was incredibly strong, with Wunder and Jankos having played together for over a season by the time MSI rolled around.

The rest of the players were also seasoned pros, who had been playing professionally for years on numerous rosters. And had amassed experience both regionally and internationally. This was a roster that could move EU forward in competition against the Eastern teams. This was a roster that the world had to take notice of and recognize were dominating EU.

And this was the roster that secured the West’s first MSI title win.

Having taken down the strength of the LCK, SK Telecom 1, a roster starring Faker at the heart of it, G2 were showing up. And while some may dispute that G2 were stronger than SKT1 or that SKT1 were having a rough patch, G2 fundamentally took down the LCK in a bo5, that went the distance and was a hard fought battle on both sides.

The final of MSI 2019 was a clean 3-0 for G2 against the NA representative Team Liquid, securing the West’s first win. Whether you think Eastern teams were weaker that year or western teams stronger, G2 Esports did what no one else had.

G2 MSI 2019 Winning Roster image via LoL Esports Twitter
G2 MSI 2019 Winning Roster image via LoL Esports Twitter

So Close yet so far

2021 saw a shake up to the traditional G2 Esports roster that had become known as the best the LEC could offer. Perkz left G2 and the LEC entirely, moving to NA to be a part of the new Cloud9 roster. This followed G2 Esports reaching third in Worlds 2020 and left the position of ADC open in G2 – a team notorious for winning against Eastern teams.

The new shake up was the joining of Fnatic’s ADC to G2, Rekkles. Known for being one of the strongest ADCs to ever grace the EU stage, Rekkles joined G2 to finally win a Worlds title, after coming so close so many times as part of Fnatic.

"My goal has always been to prove myself as one of the most successful players in the game, and despite having 4 EU titles and a Worlds silver medal, I am not satisfied. It is with this in mind that I have joined G2. They are a great organisation and a great brand. Winning Worlds is as much of an ultimate goal for them as it is for me. So, when they asked me to join, it was a no-brainer. I am incredibly excited for this opportunity and to see what we can achieve.”

Rekkles on joining G2 Esports via G2 Esports News

For G2 fans, this was a super roster. Even stronger than the MSI 2019 winning roster. caPs and Rekkles had played together previously on Fnatic, and already had strong synergy, and with a strong if impulsive support like Mikyx by his side. This was a tournament winning roster to so many fans.

A Legacy Missed

Except it wasn’t.

G2 Esports missed Worlds 2021. This was the first time in the org’s LEC history, that they failed to qualify for Worlds. And after creating a named super roster, there were a lot of questions.

For fans and players alike, the disappointment of missing Worlds 2021, was huge. G2 had never missed Worlds, and without them there to show up against Eastern teams, it was wondered who would fill their shoes?

G2 Esports miss Worlds 2021 for the first time. Image via Riot Games
G2 Esports miss Worlds 2021 for the first time. Image via Riot Games

G2 not making an appearance was felt by EU fans.

The MAD Lions who had secured a place at Worlds 2021, and beaten G2 to split winners, failed to place above 7th spot. No G2 Esports to many EU fans was a reminder of just how strong the team were, and how needed they were for the West to compete successful and convincingly against the East.

As a direct result of the shock of missing Worlds, Rekkles’ contract was sold from G2 to an ERL team, Mikyx was left team-less for a time, while Wunder’s contract was also sold off. Leaving only two of the original 2019 roster at G2.

And spoiler alert – it’s now only one.

A Chance for repeating history

2022 was a chance for redemption for the EU powerhouse, to prove that MAD Lions and Rogue would not be taking split titles off them once more. To prove they were still the kings of EU, and that 2021 had been put behind them.

G2’s new starting roster for 2022 included Brokenblade who was previously at SO4, who sold their LEC spot in 2021. As well as a new starting bot of Flakked from MAD Lions Madrid (academy team to MAD Lions LEC), and Targamas from the LFL (French ERL) team Karmine Corp.

G2 Esports 2022 roster image via G2 Esports Twitter
G2 Esports 2022 roster image via G2 Esports Twitter

With a roster including academy and ERL players, there was speculation if this was the team to put G2 back on top. But put G2 on top they did…

Back on Top

G2 Esports hit the Spring split of 2022 hard, taking only three losses throughout the regular season. Before reaching play-offs where they 3 – 0 every team they went up against, including the Summer champions Rogue. This decisive domination of the EU region had fans believing G2 was back on top for good, and their appearance at MSI 2022, securing fourth place after missing Worlds 2021 cemented this domination for fans.

Summer 2022 saw G2 secure themselves second place after the end of season as Rogue got revenge and 3 – 0 the powerhouse, but G2 had still secured their ticket to Worlds 2022 as the first team from any region.

Only One remains

But Worlds 2022 was not meant to be either. Following a poor Worlds run (compared to expectation) G2 finished internationally in 12th place, behind two of the LEC’s seeds. Including Fnatic who had fought through play-ins to make it to the group stage. After going 1 – 5 in groups, G2 crashed out of Worlds 2022 and rumours of roster changes immediately hit Twitter.

October 22nd saw Jankos (who had been with the team for over five seasons) leave G2 Esports, to what team is currently unknown. So where did the rest of the 2019 super roster end up in 2022? Wunder had his contract transferred over to Fnatic, and appeared at Worlds 2022 with the team, where they placed ninth behind Edward Gaming from the LPL. caPs is at current still with G2 Esports and this is expected to carry over into 2023, with the potential for a new roster to be built around him once more.

While for the bot side, all three of the 2019 team left. Perkz spent 2022 on Team Vitality in a super team that failed to make it to the world stage. While Mikyx was without a team at the start of 2022 he was eventually picked up by Excel Esports where he replaced Advienne. Promisq is at AGO Rogue in the Polish ERL, Ultraliga. And Rekkles who was part of the 2021 roster, is currently at Karmine Corp in the LFL.

caPs - the last of the 2019 MSI roster at G2 Esports image via caP's Twitter
caPs - the last of the 2019 MSI roster at G2 Esports image via caP's Twitter

caPs remains the last man standing from all the changes G2 Esports has seen across the last few seasons. Headed into 2023, the future is unclear for G2’s LEC team, but one thing is for sure, we haven’t seen the back of G2’s League of Legends domination. Not by a long shot.