G2 Are One Series Away From Capturing Another LEC Title

With a convincing 3-1 victory against KOI today, G2 Esports earned a spot in the 2023 LEC Winter Split finals. In the repeat of the 2022 Summer Split final, G2 triumphed with ease, handing KOI their first defeat since the beginning of the group stage this split.

The history between G2 and KOI seems to repeat itself since the two teams continue to meet in the LEC’s upper bracket semifinals. But unlike their last face-off in a best-of series, this time it was G2 who came out on top in what was the LEC match of the week.

During the first game, it was KOI who had the upper hand—until they didn’t anymore. After a great early game dominated by Malrang’s ganks, G2 turned the tide of the game by capitalizing on KOI’s mistakes. In particular, Hans Sama’s performance on Miss Fortune was pivotal to G2’s victory as the champion’s damage shredded through the KOI lineup.

The turning point was a teamfight around the Baron pit, during which G2 took down KOI’s back line and after which conquered the Baron buff. KOI kept on fighting their opponents across the Rift, but with the Ocean Soul and the Baron buff, G2 pushed in the bot lane, taking down KOI’s inhibitor and then their Nexus. The early game went in favor of KOI, but their opponents found several crucial fights and got back in the game, then snowballed it until the end.

Screengrab via LEC
The second game of the series was G2 dominance from start to finish. Being present all over the Rift with proactive plays, G2 kept on taking down members of the enemy team over and over again. The Samurais widened the gap between them and KOI by 14,000 gold before the clock hit 25 minutes and had 10 more kills than KOI. After taking objective after objective on the map, crushing all of KOI’s members multiple times, G2 brought the series to match point.

— LEC (@LEC) February 20, 2023
But what was “one of the most convincing games seen in a long time,” according to caster Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain, was actually the trigger point for KOI’s attempted comeback.

Thanks to Malrang’s ganks, KOI gained significant advantages in the early stages of the third game, thus having the resources to face G2 head-on and win several crucial fights. G2 initiated several objectives and fights around them, but it was KOI who over and over again crushed their opponents and snatched the prize, whether it was a dragon or Baron. But ultimately, neither of those was needed for KOI to take down G2. Comp collected a pentakill in G2’s base right before destroying their Nexus.

PENTAKILL for @CompGRE ! #LEC pic.twitter.com/RasxDxxzcJ

— LoL Esports (@lolesports) February 20, 2023
The fourth game of the match was the most hard-fought of the series, both on and off the Rift. The two teams exchanged blows from the very first minutes of the game, but every time either team gained an advantage, the other struck back immediately, equalizing the situation. This back-and-forth was accompanied by several pauses due to foreign problems with the game, which undoubtedly raised the tension in a match that had a lot on the line.

Even the fights around the Baron buff kept on being initiated and solved without either of the teams actually obtaining the objective. It all came to a conclusion when G2 decided to step away from the Baron and commit to the Dragon Soul, taunting KOI to contest the objective. The game was decided in a single fight, where G2’s positioning and teamwork were a step ahead of KOI’s. With the Chemtech Soul and the Baron buff in hand, G2 besieged KOI’s base and tore it down until nothing was left.

The Samurais are now locked in for the 2023 LEC Winter Split finals and are one step away from making it to this year’s MSI. But much like what happened during last year’s Summer Split, KOI might still come back and snatch the title for themselves. Before that, KOI will have to wait for SK Gaming and MAD Lions to play on Feb. 24 to see who they’ll have to go up against to try to reconquer a place in the split finals.

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