You may love and hate them, but you can't deny that G2 are one of the primary reasons why LEC is one of the major regions. With their long reign in Europe and successes in the international arena, they always bring excitement and unpredictability to their tournaments.
Way back, at the end of Winter Split, Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle told us that this roster of G2 would prove to be more successful than the MSI-winning one in 2019. After a questionable finish in the Winter Split and a dominating run in the Summer, he's said it again after qualifying for the LEC 2023 Season Finals in Montpellier.
We spoke with G2's returning support Mikyx about what they are cooking, being back on the road, winning all the awards of LEC and Winning Worlds.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX: Hello and welcome, Mikyx! Thank you so much for being here after your 3-1 victory against MAD. Before we talk about you being MVP and expectations on G2 and stuff like that, I want to talk about the series because it was interesting. It felt very close, especially during the third game. How did it feel for you guys while you were playing it?
Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle: Yeah, it was definitely a bit of an interesting one, especially after game one, which was like a mega stomp, and then game two, we kind of got stomped. And then game three was a bit closer. I think they had a good idea about countering the Braum-Kog'Maw combo. Not many teams had great solutions, but I think Zilean was kind of decent. If they had better champions to pair with Zilean to actually benefit more, it could have worked. And also, we fell mega far behind because we failed the bot lane dive. When they returned to the bot lane, they failed the dive themselves, so we kind of came back.
Game four, I mean, that game felt like kind of a free win, just in general, from the draft already. I don't think they had much. I guess we lost one fight, but even after losing that one fight, I felt like we were still going to win no matter what because they didn't have Teleport on Rumble. So we can just play on side lanes, and they can't really react too much. And they tried to force fights so they could try to force Baron, but I think we had good enough champions that we couldn't really get engaged on, and we could just slowly poke them. And if they collapse, they just all die. So yeah, it didn't really feel that close in the last one, even though one fight went kind of very wrong. It was still kind of a free win.
BLIX: Yeah, it happened exactly the way you described it. The pressure was very high, essentially, in that last game. But during the series, we've seen many interesting picks, like Lissandra support, Swain, Zilean, and Nilah being in the bot lane. Were you expecting the series to have many of these not-pocket but interesting, rarely-seen picks?
Mikyx: I expected it because, well, we prepared them. I was expecting us to pull out at least one or two for the series. Like, for example, we played Lissandra, we played some Fiddle, we played Swain. What else was there? Yeah, I guess that was it. I mean, we practised them a lot, these champs, so I kind of expected us to play them. We didn't really expect them to play Nilah; that was a bit of a surprise. But yeah, that was about it. Otherwise, it kind of went as expected.
BLIX: I know you can't go into too much detail about this, but how you're talking about it makes me think that there are more surprising, interesting picks you have trained coming this way. Will we see something like that in future matches, in Montpellier?
Mikyx: Maybe. I guess you'll have to wait and see. But there is, for sure, some stuff. Maybe not that much. I think we kind of showed a lot already, but there's some more.
Back on the road, awards in the back
BLIX: The G2 kitchen is cooking. And speaking of Montpellier, who do you think you'll see against you in the finals?
Mikyx: I would probably say MAD Lions, to be honest. I think they were pretty decent. I don't feel like Fnatic looked that promising. I think their drafts were a little bit weird, even though today was also a bit weird. But I think their priorities were a bit weird. So yeah, I'm not sure. I'm probably expecting MAD.
Actually, no, let's say Fnatic. I'm hoping I get to play Wunder in the final. It'll be fine.
BLIX: A bit of a G2 reunion in the finals sounds sweet. And how do you think the atmosphere will be in France, in that arena?
Mikyx: Well, I'm hoping that it's going to be crowded because I haven't been to an actual very big stadium, or at least not in, well, I've been to MSI, right? So that was really big. But other than that, I haven't been to many, or at all, since two years. Like, in 2021, we didn't really make it anywhere. And then, in 2022, I didn't really make it anywhere. I guess then we had MSI, but other than that, I didn't really have any road shows within the EU, so I was a bit sad. But, yeah, now that we're going there, I'm quite hyped, and it should be fun.
BLIX: It's good to hear you're hyped because everyone else is also hyped about you. We've seen it in the all-pro team votes. We've seen it in the coaching staff votes. With Yike being the rookie MVP, you being the regular MVP, and, you know, like, were you expecting all these awards, for all of the awards of the year, to be on G2, or were there any other candidates you had in mind to get these awards?
Mikyx: I mean, for Rookie of the Split, I think it was pretty clear that it was Yike. I think for MVP, it was probably someone from our team because we kind of were the most consistently winning team. And then, I guess for the coaching staff, usually, people give it to teams that have improved the most, or, you know, from bad to good. So, I was expecting maybe, like, Excel or BDS or something like that would get it. But I think our coaching staff for sure deserves it. So, I am pretty happy that we got all of them. I think it was deserved.
The Mikyx international hit list
BLIX: I agree. With all the picks we've seen and your performance throughout the year, and now you're heading into Worlds, how do you think that will be after your performance in MSI this year?
Mikyx: Well, I'm kind of looking forward to Worlds the most. Like, as soon as we qualified, I was very happy. Like, I didn't actually care too much about the whole Season Finals as long as we made it into Worlds. So, now that we made it, I'm very hyped because it's what I've been working for for the whole year. And I think we have a lot to show since MSI. I think at MSI, we were not very well-prepared. But I do think that right now, we are much better than we showed at the last international tournament. And I think we can beat all the teams that are attending there. And I want to show it to everyone else because everyone else is a little bit more pessimistic in the West. But I think we will show them that we can win against all these people, and they should be optimistic instead.
BLIX: Yeah, it's always G2 versus the pessimism of Western fans in many tournaments. I think one thing you said is very interesting, and that was like, after we qualified for Worlds, the LEC season finals weren't that big a deal. Do you think the LEC format change of this year was not hype enough or impactful enough?
Mikyx: Not... I mean, for sure, I didn't really like that when we were in summer. It didn't actually mean anything. But I think, besides that, I really liked the format. Like, I guess maybe the break was a bit long, but besides that, I didn't mind. The main reason I wasn't as hyped for the finals for Worlds is because I just want to go there as soon as possible and prove that we're actually really good.
We do have some strategies that we were saving for Worlds, so I just kind of want to go there as soon as possible and show it to the world. Yeah, that's why I'm looking forward to it. It would be the same if it was like any other format. I would just only be looking forward to Worlds because, in the end, that's kind of what we're working for. So yeah,
BLIX: Now I'm even more excited to see you guys in Worlds. Is there anyone, or are there any teams or players you want to face off against, particularly at Worlds?
Mikyx: From NA, C9, got some friends over there. T1, as well. I haven't played against Keria so far in any official matches, so I want to play T1. And then JDG, because they're the best team in the world. So, I want to beat them and show them that they're not actually the best. So yeah, those three.
BLIX: The G2, the Mikyx list. We will see how you guys do it at Worlds and how you do at Montpellier. I'd say one step at a time, but you seem hyped. Lastly, do you have anything to say to fans who are excited to see you in Montpellier, maybe, or very excited for your big performance this year, or hoping you're not cursed by all these awards and predictions?
Mikyx: Yeah, well, I would like to thank everyone who actually wrote me nice messages after I got the MVP. Because for me, at least, it didn't feel that deserved. So, I was actually reading some comments, seeing that people actually were agreeing with the decision. I was like, "Okay, that was pretty nice", you know? So I appreciate all of that. And I appreciate everyone who spread the propaganda from the start of the split about me being the MVP because I think that had a big influence. I think if people actually watched our games, I wouldn't have gotten it because gameplay-wise, I'm not sure about it. But yeah, other than that, I hope I get to see a lot of people in Montpellier and then look forward to Worlds because I think we're gonna do very well. So don't be too pessimistic about it, because I think we will, for sure, win a lot there.
BLIX: I thought for a second you would say, "We're gonna win Worlds," and I was like, "Oh…"
Mikyx: I mean, we will, for sure.
BLIX: Oh, wow, okay.
Mikyx: I think, okay, if any year, it's this year.
BLIX: I remember you said that to me at the start of this year, too, and you're still in the same mindset after all this time.
Mikyx: That is true. I mean, I'm just actually very hyped because there's something cool being cooked. And also, watching other regions, I didn't feel like they were that impressive. The level's not very high in the EU as well, but watching other regions, they are also a bit low ELO, so I think we have a pretty good shot if we stop being, like, low ELO. And I think going to Korea at the bootcamp will help us a lot, so that's why I'm looking forward to it.
BLIX: Oh, it's anyone's game, and we'll see if G2 lifts the trophy this year. Thank you so much for being here, and good luck in Korea, winning Worlds.
Mikyx: Thank you.