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After the disappointing season in 2021, G2 Esports had a decent season this year, winning the LEC Spring, participating at MSI, and finishing second in LEC Summer.
Even with those accomplishments, G2 haven’t been the dominant force we have been used to seeing back when they were the best team in Europe, especially when Worlds came around. This year, they were only able to win one game in groups, going 1-5, and they never seemed like they could fight against the Asian powerhouses.
The disappointing ending to the season forced G2 to make major roster moves. Here are all the changes that G2 are likely to implement to its squad for the 2023 season.
Before the end of the League of Legends 2022 World Championship, there were already rumors that G2 were going to change things up in 2023.
Some fans pointed at what was considered the weakest lane in the lineup, the bot lane and especially ADC Victor “Flakked” Lirola Tortosa. Aside from him, the jungle position also seemed to be weaker than expected and it became visible when facing top teams like JD Gaming and DWG Kia.
Investigative journalist Brieuc Seeger reported that both Flakked and veteran jungler Jankos were allowed to explore their options before the Worlds quarterfinals began. A few days later, Jankos confirmed in a YouTube video that he would leave G2 at the end of the season. He had been hoping to find a new home in the LEC, but it looks like he will not be playing in the 2023 Spring Split due to the size of his contract buyout.
“My contract is expensive and get to a decent salary plus a buyout from G2 will not be simple for me this year, I think,” Jankos said.
Flakked, while not joining an LEC starting roster, reportedly reached a verbal agreement with Team Heretics Academy to play in the Spanish LVP.
While both the Flakked and the Jankos moves were expected, Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé leaving for Excel Esports came as a surprise. The Belgian support player had a strong season considering he was a rookie in 2022. He was among the best supports in Europe, but G2 still decided to part ways with him.
G2 will be counting on experienced players…
To fill up the vacant spot left by Targamas, G2 made quite an intriguing move by looking to bring back their former support player Mikyx, according to Brieuc Seeger. The Slovenian player was given the opportunity to look for new options at the end of the last offseason, but no team was in a position to pick him up due to the same reason Jankos has encountered this year: a high buyout price.
He was then later picked up by XL before the beginning of the summer playoffs and he’s now swapping with Targamas to make his return to the team. Mikyx will be joined by former Team Liquid ADC Hans Sama, who decided to return to Europe after a disappointing season in North America.
The French player left Rogue at the end of 2021 to join what was supposed to be a super team, with the likes of Bwipo, Bjergsen, and CoreJJ. Liquid not only were unable to win a domestic title in the two splits, but they also failed to qualify for Worlds, which was hosted in TL’s home region.
The organization thus decided to drop the super team. As a result, Hans Sama left the organization in September and became a free agent. Now, according to Brieuc Seeger, he will be playing for G2 as the starting ADC.
And a new rising superstar
With BrokenBlade and caPs appearing to be confirmed for 2023, the only position left for G2 to fill is jungler.
Losing Jankos and the leadership that he has always brought to the table might be a huge loss for the team. Based on Brieuc’s report, G2’s top choice was MAD Lions’ Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla, but the Spanish organization rejected G2’s offer of 800,000 euros to buy his contract. While G2 wasn’t able to get one of the best jungler in the LEC, the European org probably got the best pick-up possible from the European Regional Leagues (ERLs).
According to Seeger, Martin “Yike” Sundelin, a player for the French team LDLC OL, will be coming in as G2’s new starting jungler. The Swedish player comes from a great year in the LFL, having won both splits and finished at least top four in the two editions of European Masters. He’s a flexible jungler who showed the ability to be both a utility and carry player in a team and has been one of the greatest ERL prospects.
If the rumored roster ends up becoming reality, Yike will be the only rookie that G2 will field in 2023. Just like for Flakked and Targamas at the beginning of this year, Yike will have to face an enormous amount of pressure since he will also have to fill Jankos’ shoes and deliver in what should be a team that will compete for the LEC title.
That being said, G2 will also have four of the most experienced players in the European competitions, giving Yike the golden environment for him to take his level of play to another peak.
While the rumors are likely going to be true, these moves will not be confirmed until the free agency period starts. In order to know whether G2 has made all the right moves for the 2023 season, we will have to wait until Nov. 21.