G2 Esports emerged as the fourth and last team to advance into the 2019 League of Legends World Championship semi-finals, after a dominant 3-1 win over DAMWON Gaming on Sunday, October 27.
With that, the European champions earned an MSI 2019 rematch with SK Telecom T1, which is seen by many as the “finals before finals”.
While the score line suggests the quarter-finals fixture between G2 and DAMWON was a one-sided affair, it was anything but.
In game one it was Rasmus “Caps” Winther who was under the spotlight with his near-perfect performance on Syndra, which left Heo “Showmaker” Su’s LeBlanc without a response.
G2’s lead slowly grew and by the time 34th minute rolled around, the Europeans were already swinging towards DAMWON’s Nexus, which blew up at precisely 34 minutes and 16 seconds, giving G2 a well-deserved 1-0 lead in the series.
But DAMWON decided they won’t go down without a fight and drafted an extremely dangerous AoE “wombo-combo” composition, which helped them win every single 5v5 team of game two.
The turning point of game two came at the 44-minute mark when DAMWON decimated G2 in the dragon pit, secured the Elder Drake and made one last push to end the game and tie the series at 1-1.
In game three, it was time for G2 to switch out their strategy, and they did so in their own fashion. The LEC champions revived an off-meta Yorick pick, which was handed to Martin “Wunder” Hanssen, whose job was to cause as much damage as possible in the top lane, while his teammates focused on making DAMWON’s bottom lane a warzone.
Surprisingly enough, the strategy worked perfectly, as G2 made sure Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon struggled on Yasuo, who had no answer for the tower dives, which left him at 0/2.
The pressure on DAMWON’s bottom lane resulted in their ADC and support remaining kill-less for the entirety of the match, whereas Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic’s Kai’sa accumulated more and more gold as the game progressed.
G2 decided they had enough at around the 30-minute mark, when they entered the DAMWON’s base with the Baron buff, took down the enemy Nexus and got ready for game four.
Game four was not much different in terms of which team dominated. Once more, we saw Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski put up an incredible performance with his Gragas pick, which played a pivotal role in G2’s success.
Just over six minutes into the match, G2 were already 4-0 up, with Jankos holding onto three kills, two of which he got on Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, who was struggling to keep up the tempo set by the Polish jungler.
The highlight of the match was undoubtedly the 3v1 top lane tower dive at the six-minute mark, which secured Jankos’ third kill of the game and got Wunder in an unassailable position, seeing how Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon took the fast way back to the Summoner’s platform for the second time in less than five minutes.
While top lane blossomed, G2’s bottom lane struggled slightly. The incredible synergy between Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and Perkz was not enough to crush their lane opponents but proved to be enough to keep them relevant throughout the game as they made sure to not let Nuclear’s Kai’sa get out of the control.
The deciding fight of the game happened just before the 30-minute mark when G2 secured an ace next to the Baron pit and made one last push to claim a spot in the semi-finals.
G2’s win over the South Korean outfit marked the end of the LoL World Championship quarter-finals, meaning we are left with only four more teams, who will enter the semi-finals at the start of November.
The semi-finals will take place at the same venue on November 2-3, featuring an all-Chinese semi-final between FunPlus Phoenix and Invictus Gaming, followed by a heavily anticipated 2019 MSI rematch between G2 Esports and SKT T1.