Not many teams worldwide have achieved the success G2 Esports has throughout their years, including an MSI trophy and Worlds finals appearance alongside countless international wins. But that G2 of old is gone with only two of the players from that roster on the current team. But not to worry as the current squad of G2 is excited to surpass their predecessors, starting with MSI 2023.
We spoke with the new jungler of G2, Martin "Yike" Sundelin, about their regional competition, being part of LEC, adjusting to the meta and MAD’s problems, watching international competition and more.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Hello Yike. Thank you so much for being here and congratulations on your win against SK. Before we get into other things, do you want to talk about the game? How was it for you?
Martin "Yike" Sundelin: Yeah, I think the game was pretty clean from us. I think we made like one or two mistakes around bot lane with the first one I died and then I died on dragon and at bot lane. I think that was a stupid mistake for me but overall, I think we played really clean. We played really well, and it was kind of an easy game.
BLIX: Yeah, you guys secured the victory and secured your spot in the playoffs. Not that anyone thought you couldn’t do it. But it’s very close, anything might happen. In fact there are still six teams who haven’t secured a spot in the playoffs. Who do you think will make it?
Yike: BDS probably made it now. It’s BDS, us and Vitality, I think that’s for sure. I think SK’s gonna make it. Astralis is gonna make it. I can’t remember all the teams. The teams I don’t think will make it are Heretics and MAD Lions. The other eight teams are probably KOI and XL.
BLIX: This turned into the LEC pop quiz all of a sudden. But yeah, no need to worry about them because you made it. You’re back to Bo3’s. Are you excited about being back to Bo3’s?
Yike: Yeah, it’s gonna be nice to play those again because then there can be more freedom for us. We can afford to lose a game and still win the series. It’s gonna be much more fun for us to play it.
BLIX: And it’s gonna be much more fun for us to watch it. You’ve been in the league for quite some time, more than a split now. How have you adjusted to the LEC?
Yike: I guess I feel like I belong here. It was really good for me personally and we won it so I’m really happy, it feels really good. Going to the studio the other day, the atmosphere outside and inside the game is still really good so there’s nothing to complain about. To me, it’s all good.
Expectations of and from LEC
BLIX: It’s been a good first split too, for a debut performance. Have the expectations from you changed since the start of your LEC career?
Yike: Yeah, I guess so. In the beginning I was much more scared, and I thought the other teams would do much better than I expected. I think I overrated the other teams. I thought about the level between LEC and the events when I played in ERL’s was a bit bigger but I don’t think it's that big of a difference from the games I’ve played at least.
BLIX: You guys have two more matches this week, one against Fnatic and another against MAD Lions. What do you think those are going to go like?
Yike: I think the Fnatic one that’s tomorrow is going to be a bit weird because we will play from home since I guess Razork is sick or something, I don't know what’s up with them. But they’re sick so we’re gonna play from home which is a bit weird but I think we should have that game, we’re in first place so we want to maintain that. We want to end in first place [in the regular season] this time, because last time we had fourth, it was a bit sad.
So yeah, I think I’m looking forward to playing with Fnatic because it’s also the match of the week and I think it’s always fun to play vs Fnatic because of the G2-Fnatic rivalry. I’m just excited to play with them and I guess it’s the same with MAD Lions, even though both these teams are kind of doing bad right now. I think we played against MAD Lions last split and I don’t think they’re that bad. Something just feels off with them. I still think they could make it to the top eight and keep improving maybe.
BLIX: Now that you’ve brought it up, what’s changed, in your opinion, in MAD Lions? What do you think is causing their problems recently, as an outsider with no pressure of answering?
Yike: Maybe the new meta, after the split has been a bit different realm, I guess it’s different champions, trying to play both jungle, mid and bot lane and maybe it was hard for them to adapt and draft around it? I would probably say that’s the biggest weakness for them right now. It’s a bit harder for them to draft, for example today, I thought they might pick Nautilus and they just picked Braum and it was game over. So I guess something like that is probably messing with all of them.
BLIX: Maybe. We’ll see in their next matches. But we’ve seen you in this meta as well and I’ve also spoken to Dylan Falco about this. He said this meta was good for you because all of you, as G2 players, were born to be aggressive, you naturally wanna go in on a fight. Is that still true? Is this the meta for you guys?
Yike: I think it’s still true. Even though we might play some more scaling comps now, later on I think we'll still play aggressively. Sometimes we can make mistakes. Overall though, I think we can play it really well. I think we’re good at adapting to the meta so probably our favorite thing is to play aggressive but I think we’re really good at playing scaling comps and just defensive early game and all that.
“Oner from T1 has the same champ pool as me.”
BLIX: Since you locked in for MSI, are you checking out the international competition? Are you excited about any potential rivals?
Yike: Yeah I’m really excited to play versus the LPL and the LCK teams. We’re watching them a bit and the one I was most hard to play against was Canyon but now he lost, they are not even going to MSI so that's really sad.
So after them, I think one of two is T1, the team we all want to play against. I’d be really happy to play against T1 and I expect them to go to MSI like they should really do that. Also Oner from T1 has the same champ pool as me. From LPL I’d be really happy to play versus another player who has the same champ pool as me, Kanavi. I’m not really sure how it’s going in the LPL right now but I hope I can play versus Kanavi and Oner.
BLIX: We will see. I mean the T1 vs G2 rivalry is also a big thing as well. Absolutely very exciting to watch. Thank you so much for being here, this was a very fun interview to do. Do you have any words for the fans out there?
Yike: I’m really thankful, really grateful to have all you guys for helping me. Some people write to me after my games stuff like, you know, congrats. It’s really amazing to me to have the support after I joined this team and it was really stressful. I feel like I got a lot of support from everyone so it’s really amazing.
Cover image & credit: Martin "Yike" Sundelin. Image taken by Michal Konkol/Riot Games