Over this past weekend, 32 of the top rocket league teams in the world came together in Leipzig Germany for the Dreamhack Open. During the three days of thrilling LAN competition many teams surprised with performances both good and bad. To anyone who’s been paying attention for the past 6 months, G2 Esports’ eventual appearance in the finals—where they came within 12 seconds of victory in game seven—was not among those surprises. This is a team that exited RLCS Season 4 with fourth place honors, raised the Eleague cup in victory over the reigning RLCS champs fewer than two months age, and now found themselves in another final. And yet, the desk commentators and game casters at the Dreamhack event led into almost game featuring the fan-favorite with some version of the same question.
“Which G2 is going to show up?”
The implication of that question being that G2 has a reputation of inconsistency. That reputation stems from two factors, the history of their captain in Cameron “Kronovi” Bills and the team’s unceremonious exit at RLCS season 3 after a loss to a middling Denial Esports team. However, both of these points can be easily explained away and neither should have ever played a significant role in defining the team’s narrative in the first place.
No one is arguing that Kronovi has a storied history of ups and downs centered on RLCS season 2, including questionable decision making. However, the team’s performance in RLCS season 2 was much larger than him. The team had proven, outside of their Cinderella run to a world championship title in RLCS season 1, to be dysfunctional beyond just Kronovi’s doing. While his contribution to that team’s performance is undeniable, the blame cannot be placed only on his shoulders. In addition to that, frankly, his own personal reputation of inconsistency as built from the performance of that Season 2 team should not be taken into account when judging the potential of the current roster.
Proud of the guys that we made top 4, but I really want to place better than we did at the last dreamhack.
— G2 Kronovi (@KronoviRL) 28. Januar 2018
Following the dissolution of that team, G2 and Kronovi brought a new roster consisting of himself, Dilon “Rizzo” Rizzo and Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman together in advance of RLCS season 3. They were almost immediately hailed as a top team by fans and community leaders alike. After an underwhelming showing in league play—where the team did inconsistently show moments of promise—the G2 squad found themselves without an invitation to the world championship LAN after a heartbreaking and baffling loss to Denial Esports. This performance is where the vast majority of their reputation was born.
The narrative is unfair to the players
Once again, founding the narrative on the team’s Season 3 results is unfair to the players. Consider that G2 only officially announced the new roster on February 22, 2017. NA league play for Season 3 began on March 18th. The team was officially less than a single month old. Throughout the season, the problem that they faced time and time again was defensive double commitments, which is the hallmark mistake of a team that’s newly formed. Nevertheless, the reputation for inconsistency was further built atop the weak foundation previously laid by Kronovi’s shaky performance with a completely different team.
Consider now, that The Leftovers were formed on February 20th. The Leftovers were officially formed two days earlier than G2. That’s the team who everyone agreed had an impossibly clean run to even make it to LAN. And yet, where everyone was surprised that The Leftovers made it to LAN due to the recency of the team’s formation, they were simultaneously surprised that G2 missed it. The entire premise that they were an inconsistent team was built on the fact that they unfortunately had to be a new team before they could be an experienced team.
https://t.co/EfpnS4ECE7 But if there’s a team whose passing plays are the most hype, it’s gotta be the G2 boys. Props to @JKnapsRL for setting up Rizzo Twice, not everyone can make Envy look disorganized and disoriented.
— Alejandro Rosales (@Yandro_RL) 24. Januar 2018
G2’s performance following S3 has been anything but inconsistent, but it was too late to tear down the story. The team went 6-1 in Season 4 league play, and even that couldn’t topple the narrative. It was too easy for commentators and casters to seize. Weak performances in Season 4 playoffs and at the North American Rocket League Invitational (NARLI) that took place in the middle of Season 4 seemed to support the story further. However, filing those results under the inconsistency story is further insult to the players and what they’ve accomplished.
It’s just a loss against a top team in the world
In the Season 4 playoffs, G2 lost to NRG and Ghost gaming. First, they played cold against a team in Ghost Gaming that had already skated by a match against Flyquest that day, and would later go on to beat Mock-it in the LAN and force Cloud9 to play all 5 games to claim victory. Then they played against the North American powerhouse NRG. A loss to either of those teams during the context of Season 4 should not constitute inconsistency. It’s just a loss against a top team in the world.
In the middle of RLCS season 4, G2 also participated in NARLI with its RLCS peers, where the team exited early after their first two series. They first lost to the tournament’s eventual winners in Cloud9 in the first round and then to Ghost Gaming in their second series. Ghost Gaming went on to defeat Gale Force Esports that tournament (and literally no one said GFE was inconsistent afterwards).
G2 isn’t inconsistent. They’re just shit without major money on the line and godlike when it is.
— Mega Shogun (@CallumTheShogun) 28. Januar 2018
These losses in both RLCS S4 playoffs and NARLI simply don’t compare to the playoff loss to Denial in season 3. But the inconsistency narrative was already established, and at this point it wrote itself. Every missed game further supported the story’s theme. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Following the playoffs where G2 lost against two deserving opponents they moved on to place fourth in the world to finish out Season 4. Following that they defeated the reigning world champions in the Eleague Cup.
Casters fell right back into the storyline
Maybe that would put the narrative to rest but as if in effort to fuel the inconsistency story, the G2 Esports squad took some time off after their triumph at Eleague only two months prior to the Dreamhack event. Due to this they started day one of the Dreamhack Open with a single weak series. That series was a best of three by the way. The commentators on the desk and game casters fell right back into the inconsistency storyline once more and ran with it for the rest of the weekend.
I am so incredibly happy for you guys. You earned it. pic.twitter.com/ckCBlyjmhS
— Carlos – ocelote (@CarlosR) 3. Dezember 2017
Following that day one performance, G2 went on to the tournament finals and came within 12 seconds of winning Dreamhack Leipzig. Out of 32 two teams they finished better than 30. Those aren’t the results of an inconsistent team. Neither is fourth in the world at RLCS season 4 and neither again is Eleague Cup champions. So for the sake of the team’s collective sanity, and in respect of what they’ve consistently accomplished against the world’s best teams following their debut performance in RLCS Season 3, let’s agree to stop talking about it. Cameron, Jacob and Dilon have earned that from us.