G2, the samurai of LEC, have led their fans into a year with interesting results. Finishing Winter Split as 4th and winning the shield in playoffs, finishing 3rd in Spring and playing finals against MAD Lions and losing only one game in Summer Split and none in Summer Playoffs as of now. We don’t know how they will conclude the year, but if the steady improvement of their placements continues, G2 fans will have a good year to look back on.
Aykut "Kots" Sapaz of BLIX spoke with G2’s top laner, Sergen “BrokenBlade” Çelik, about their consistent improvement over the year, how fun facing Adam in the top lane is, blazing the trail to Worlds and much more.
Aykut "Kots" Sapaz, BLIX: Thank you so much for being here today after your series against BDS. Before we get into the rest of the topics, I just want to ask how the top lane matchup was for you?
Sergen "BrokenBlade" Çelik: I've been playing against Adam, especially. It's always a bit weird because he plays the weird champs, but I'm also the one who plays weird champs. In the second game, at least, I had really big advantages in the early game, and then he came back later and he killed me. Those kinds of matchups are always very thrilling to play because anything can happen with a small advantage anywhere you get.
For example, when he had the flash advantage he just flashed my W and then killed me, and when I had the flash advantage over him I just killed him on the tower when he had no TP and his whole game was very difficult. It's always nice to play against Adam. It's like a challenge, you know? It's like, "Oh, you're for sure going to get something really weird." So you need to be up for the challenge.
BLIX: And it's very fun to watch for the fans as well!
BrokenBlade: But I think overall our team is just very, very good. We play very good together, and I think that's where it's key for us in a lot of matchups. I think we're just way better at playing the game as a team. There have been some games where we fall behind in the early game, but we still manage to make really good plays and play the game well. That is because we're very synced, there’s a nice rhythm in the team, everybody knows what’s up and on the same page. It's a nice feeling to have.
The G2 Way
BLIX: You guys are very connected both on and off the rift. Do those relationships interact with each other a lot? Does your in-game performance affect your outside connections and vice versa?
BrokenBlade: That's always a tough topic in being in a team. I think if it works well, it will always be good. But if it's bad, it can snowball very badly as well. The good thing about our team this year is that we have a lot of people outside from players that handle those kinds of things. If they see someone acting wrong or different, it's brought up. Doing well in scrims and on stage makes you more happy. If you win, it's just nice. I personally never had a split where I only lost a single game, so that's a very good feeling. We're undefeated so far this split, and it's a very good feeling because you can go into games knowing that you're probably going to win, but it's still a challenge to overcome.
It's still a challenge to overcome the feeling of not getting too cocky or letting our ego get in the way. That has happened actually, that has happened a lot especially in the Spring Split. We lost and got fourth place because our egos got in our way and we lost. I think we showed a good performance in some of these games but it was not enough. And now we right from the get-go want to show that we’re here to not only EU but also go far in international tournaments. Right now, we're showing an attitude of determination to achieve more.
Paving the way to Worlds
BLIX: I guess that's very G2 of a player, to both be cocky and not be cocky at the same time, because you're good but you also don't want to overstep because there's also international. Yeah, it's a very good feeling to hear that you have your eyes on the big prize, and you're already hyped for that. But let's take a step back first because we're still in the summer split's playoffs, and the next big trophy is the Season Finals. Are you excited for that big year-ending tournament?
BrokenBlade: I'm very, very excited for that because that tournament will decide whether we go to Worlds or not. Having a lot of pressure games is very nice, especially for me. I like that feeling that if you lose, you're just out, you're on vacation. It's a feeling not a lot of people have, and not a lot of people can handle. The best players can handle the pressure. Right now, even in the playoffs, we're in the upper bracket, but you still have that feeling that if you lose, we're just out. It's still very, very exciting.
For the Season Finals, it's still a bit further away, and that’s not what we’re focusing on right now. I do think, though, that being able to go somewhere to play like a roadshow is something that was missing in the previous splits. Even though it was not as big of a tournament, which is kind of sad but we have to accept it as players. So, mostly, I'm looking forward to traveling with my team, adapting to the environment, maybe trying some local foods, and just winning a tournament in a big stadium. The last time we went on a roadshow as G2, we lost 3-0 against Rogue last year. I obviously don't want that to happen again.
BLIX: And now we can replace the Malmö memories with Montpellier memories if you win.
BrokenBlade: Exactly, yeah.
BLIX: It's very interesting to hear that because for you guys, the LEC finals are in scope and Worlds is also in scope, because G2 is a team that's very well-established in internationals as well. Does that create conflict, having both big goals and small goals at the same time?
BrokenBlade: Our big goal as a team is to make it far at Worlds, but I gave a speech to my team that I want us to visualize us winning Worlds, and everything we do along the way is our path to victory. We are the ones who make that path. We're the ones who put the stones on the street. It's just very interesting because we want to make it far at every international tournament, but we also need to look forward to what's next.
Right now, what's next is to beat Excel, and then after that, it's whoever is in the finals. We had some challenges in previous splits with keeping our egos in check and not being too cocky. I feel like sometimes we are too cocky or careless with the plays we do and stuff. and really disrespecting the opponent. But now It feels like we're just really in the present moment. If we want to achieve Worlds or whatever it is, I feel like we’re just really in the present moment.
BLIX: Even I’m very inspired by your speech, you know, paving the way to the victory at Worlds, you're visualizing it. It's very thematically beautiful.
Broken Blade: Thank you.
Making them learn (for once)
BLIX: And I also want to ask, with such a broad talent and a list of very good seasons and victories, and even an MSI trophy in your pocket as an organization, do you feel like you are the ceiling of LEC, and you know, what EU can do best? Is that in any way pressuring you?
BrokenBlade: I think we are for sure the best in Europe right now. I think that is fair to say. Fnatic was getting close to it, but unfortunately, they lost. I was very happy that Fnatic was a team that could put up a fight, especially being 7-2 in the regular split. Having a healthy rivalry between G2 and Fnatic, with all the legacy, can really push a player to the next level. I still expect Fnatic to make it far, I think they will bounce back and make it far. Hopefully, we'll get to meet them at some point in the tournament. If not, that's okay for us as well.
We set the tone of how we want to play. We want to go into an international tournament not thinking we have to learn from the Asian teams, but they have to learn from us. For that to happen, we need to have that attitude as Worlds champions. We have players and coaches who went far in worlds, Caps, Mikyx, Hans and Dylan. They went far in this tournament so their experience matters a lot. Yeah, I went twice as well but I didn’t make it too far which is obviously the next big step for me. And I think if it’s a year, it’s got to be this one and I'm very confident in my team. It's just a joy to play with every single one of them.
BLIX: 2023 could be the year of G2, the year of BrokenBlade.
BrokenBlade: I would like to believe that.
BLIX: Hopefully, we will see it in action. We will see you blaze the trail and get to Worlds, and maybe even lift the trophy. I had more questions about the game in League and such, but we don't have more time. I'll just ask you if you have any messages for fans who are very excited to see you perform well.
BrokenBlade: I'm always grateful for fans that support me and my team. Right now we don’t have many bad games but If we ever have bad games, the fans are still supporting us. It's just joyful to see people making memes and being supportive after we win. You wake up and you see those things or they make fan signs or really special fan gifts… It's very special for players because you notice that people care about you and they want you to be happy and they want to put a smile on your face as well. It does put a smile on someone's face if they're being nice and supportive, cheering for you and your team. I'm just very grateful.