Winners of the first-ever Winter Split of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), G2 are and have been for some time, an admirable force. With their creative takes on the meta and individual skill, they claimed first place last time and are aiming for nothing but the same spot once again with their first win against Team Heretics.
We spoke with the head coach of G2, Dylan Falco, about their first victory of many in Spring, the state of this meta for G2, his guesses on who will do better or worse, and early inklings of preparation for international competition, as well as his thanks for the support of G2 fans.
Read more: VIT Kaiser on Upset: "He makes plans, he talks about wave, he really likes to improve."
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Hello and welcome Dylan Falco, thank you so much for being here and congratulations on your win against Team Heretics today. Before we get into the match, and we will because it was a good match to watch, how was your off-season?
Dylan Falco: The off-season was very short and given the new format, we only had two weeks after the championship so we took the first week as a break and everyone tried to rest up as much as possible. We tried to prioritize actually actively resting and using as much of the time as we can for that and we basically just scrimmed this week, we scrimmed four days on the new patch in preparation for this week. So it was a short break but I did feel like we did get at least a good reset and we got a good amount of scrims before this week.
BLIX: I'm glad to see G2 as an organization being able to take a vacation without the memes. How did the scrims go? Without any specifics because I don't think we can write those.
Dylan Falco: We're always a very, very strong team in scrims. I think this is the strongest scrim team I've ever had in my very long career so they're going quite well. This week we had to adapt to moving multiple patches forward in the span of just four days so that was challenging and took a lot of preparation and a lot of work but I think it still went very well.
BLIX: I am glad to hear that and it really showed here today because that was a very convincing win against Team Heretics. Did the match go according to your expectations?
Dylan Falco: Yeah, we had a pretty good idea that we could be running against the Jayce flex from the way that the drafts are often working as well as our scouting and we had a counter-strategy prepared for today.
It’s a bit tricky, it's hard for enemies to kind of see it coming if they haven't seen us do this before because it basically requires flex picks on the blue side which is a bit harder. So we managed to get that off and that went really well. I was a bit surprised by the bot lane matchup that we managed to get a huge advantage in. I didn't think that one would happen but Hans Draven, of course, is well-known, we were happy about that one.
Finally, an exciting meta
BLIX: Besides the draft, I want to talk about the meta because as you said since the last season, the season you won the shield, a lot has changed with the new patches. What do you think about your team in this patch? Is this a good meta for G2?
Dylan Falco: I think there's a lot of very active Champions that are very strong. There are buffs on, for example, Rakan, Jarvan, and Thresh that were all seen in this game that we played. And I think these are all great champions for us, we like playing actively, we like playing aggressively, and we like being able to make plays. I think they're also very highly skilled champions, so it lets a lot of the skill of our players come through than some of the more stale, boring metas, so yeah, we're loving it. I think there's a lot more to discover when it comes to how to draft these champions, how to play the early game, and how to counter-pick them and we'll see in the rest of the split but so far I really like it.
BLIX: I love that word when it comes to League of Legends meta, discover. I'm sure that you guys have discovered many, many interesting picks. Is that true? Without any specifics again, no leaking.
Dylan Falco: Yeah, it feels like we have a never-ending supply of creative ideas on the team. Some of them I feel are more reliable than others, so I try and keep it more on the reliable end but yeah, we're a team that's not afraid to experiment but we don't experiment to be fancy, we actually try and create things that we think are overtuned on the patch or matchups and stuff that we think are actually strong.
Read more: Sources: Some LPL players were earning over 4,000,000 USD annually in the past. LPL salary cap and the league's regulations explained
BLIX: I wanted to have your take on a certain pick, what do you think about the new Aurelion Sol because we've seen Caps’ Aurelion Sol before and now it's a whole new champion that the meta might be suited for. What do you think about that champion?
Dylan Falco: Perkz played Aurelion Sol today, it looked very strong. I definitely think you will see this champion being played competitively. I know the results so far in the competition have not been too great. It is a champion that relies a little bit more on scaling which is something that can be punished if teams are playing very well and very aggressively. I also think it is a bit overtuned on this patch, but I do believe it's I think it's getting nerfed for the Playoff set.
Predictions for as far as time goes
BLIX: I think so, I'm not sure. Speaking of Playoffs, you guys made it last time and I think you are poised to make it this time as well. Do you have a prediction for us, a shot in the dark?
Dylan Falco: I think we're definitely the favorites for the split. I think we won the last split and we're still looking strong. We want to try and maintain the title and be the best team in Europe going into MSI.
BLIX: G2 being a good team, that’s a really easy prediction to make.
Dylan Falco: My guess would be that I think MAD and KOI will do worse.
BLIX: Than the last split or when compared to you?
Dylan Falco: Than the last split. I think they will do worse than the last split and I think that Vitality and SK will do better than the last split.
BLIX: Vitality and SK, they've also made very good progress since last season so we'll see how much better they can get this season.
Dylan Falco: I also think Excel will for sure do better than tenth without a doubt. I think they had time to work through some of their issues and refresh themselves. I don't know if they'll be near the top. That, I think remains to be seen, but for sure they'll invert.
BLIX: We'll see. With all this “G2 is the best team in Europe” vibe, do you guys ever think about the international matchups you may potentially face this early? I mean you’re going to MSI for sure.
Dylan Falco: The goal of this team is to be international. We understand that internationally, teams are much stronger than the teams in Europe. I mean, it won't be easy for sure, but we're trying to push ourselves to be able to play on that level. That is what we think about aspirationally. As far as strategies or approaches to specific teams or who we think we're going to face, I think we don't think about that at all, at least not yet. We will have to at some point.
BLIX: We'll see. I hope to talk to you then as well. We'll see how that goes, but for now, let's talk about tomorrow. You guys have a match against Astralis, how do you think that will go?
Dylan Falco: I think I'm the most confident that we'll probably win. I think Astralis is a team that people underestimate a lot, actually. I think they have a lot of talent on that team. I think it's a team where maybe the players don't seem like the biggest names as far as being first or second place in the league, but nobody on that team is a weak player and they're not afraid of playing aggressively. I think that's very very important. Especially against a team like us where if you play or draft afraid, there's a chance you just get run over, right? But if you're willing to actually match us, there's a chance that you can win and things can go wrong so we need to be definitely aware of that and have good preparation but I think we'll be fine.
BLIX: That is a glowing recommendation from Dylan Falco, I would hang that up on my bedroom wall if I was Astralis. Lastly, before we go, do you have anything to say to G2 fans out there, in Berlin, in the world, everywhere?
Dylan Falco: I just love having the support from all of our fans. It's really amazing to be with G2, with so many people who are used to supporting you, and I just hope they understand that we're doing the best we can, you know, to try and compete in Europe, compete internationally and we just really appreciate it.
BLIX: Alright, thank you so much for those insightful words, and thank you so much for your time, and good luck in your future matches.
Dylan Falco: Great, thank you so much.
BLIX: Thank you.