It’s seven defeats on the trot for G2 after their loss to Fnatic on Wednesday which led to their elimination in joint-last place at IEM New York 2020’s European division. With only three maps won throughout this dismal run, alarm bells seem to be ringing throughout the fanbase. Though a deeper examination of the losses shows that the situation isn’t as awful as the topline numbers would suggest, there are definitely questions worth asking because the team no longer feels more than the sum of its parts like it was just a few months ago when they were one of the best teams in the online era.
Seven losses in a row, with just the three maps won across them: that looks pretty horrible no matter how you slice it. And yet, perhaps the closeness of most affairs should serve to assuage at least some of the concerns of G2 fans. Of the fourteen maps lost, they’ve reached at least thirteen rounds on seven of them – four of which went to overtime –, and only the Na’Vi loss really counts as a blowout from their slump in the Pro League. The fact that G2 lost each and every overtime encounter during this streak, not to mention the fact that two of their precious few map wins ended up with a 16-14 scoreline, sometimes after dropping large leads before eventually finding a way to close things out, seems to suggest that map choices and mental blocks are at least partly to blame for this downturn in form.
The map on top of the skyscraper slowly ended up overtaking Nuke as G2’s most-played map, with a pretty decent winrate to boot until the last month. However, a 55% winrate on a map you like to float and occasionally pick into is not good enough, and the Fnatic game has clearly shown that teams are beginning to figure out their tactical setup. Perhaps more importantly, the team’s Inferno stats are abysmal, with just one win in six attempts in the last three months (against AGO with a 16-14 scoreline). It’s worth noting that G2 are actually putting up decent numbers on the T side but their defense is simply woeful on the map, and that might have something to do with the sad downtun in kennyS’s form as of late…
Though it’s JacKz’s nasty -73 K/D that grabs the eye first from the team’s stats over this poor set of results, there’s also a sacred cow on the team who has also fallen on tough times in the last few months. Look, we all love him and it is always annoying to watch as the bastards kill Kenny, but it has to be said that it’s an occasion which happens more and more often nowadays, and the once indomitable AWPer has hit a career-low HLTV ranking of 0.92 off the back of a consistent drop in his three-month rolling average since May. He’s also one of the notable underperformers of the recent G2 loss streak, with a combined K/D of -46 across the seven matches, five of which saw him in the red. Of course, AWPers sometimes just don’t get going in a heavy defeat because the team doesn’t have the economy to supply a regular stream of the big green across the rounds, but the previous point about the close maps invalidate this oft-used excuse for his performances.
This one is only half in jest. No doubt the FaZe marksman would represent a big firepower upgrade (as long as you keep someone else around to IGL), but it also has to be said that the team lost every single match they played since the reports broke about their interest in acquiring the other Kovač brother, many in incredibly close fashion. Such rumors, regardless of whether they’re substantiated or not, will inevitably have an awful effect on team cohesion and morale, if only because everyone is trying to ascertain who’s the odd man out of the lineup.
The fact that no one came out to squash the reports was pretty telling, but such a steep downturn in form (especially once you consider that the opposite seemed to happen in the FaZe camp) with seemingly no end in sight should prompt a swift reaction from the G2 camp, even if Banks and co. are notoriously difficult to negotiate with when they’re the ones with the asset. For an org with such a strong meme game as G2, no doubt they would be able to spin the story effectively either way.