Following G2’s victory at Six Invitational last weekend, it’s not surprising that they have garnered a reputation as one of the key teams to beat in the increasingly competitive eSports landscape.
This was borne out during the recent Rainbow Six: Siege Pro League Season 8 finals, which took place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro last weekend. With more than 8,000 fans watching on streaming platform Twitch (which was a record turnout, by the way), G2 ESports overcame Faze Cain 2-0 in the final to ensure that they end their year on a high.
This came after a solid but ultimately disappointing run in the 2018 League of Legend World Championships, when they dumped out at the semi-final stage following a 3-0 defeat against Invictus Gaming.
But who exactly are this team, and how has it evolved into one of the best performing entities in the sport?
Then and now: the history of G2 Esports
Founded in 2013 under the initial moniker of Games2, G2 Esports is a Spanish organisation that is headquartered in Germany.
Known commonly as G2, the team made its first major eSports appearance in the autumn of 2014, when it lined up in the League of Legends World Championship. It’s roster back then was led by Top laner “Jwaow” Strandgren, while players including: Sebastián “Morden” Esteban Fernández, Soler “Yuuki60” Florent and Hugo “Dioud” Padioleau also made their debuts here.
The team began to flex its muscles in the subsequent Spring Expansion Tournament, beating Reason Gaming in the seeding game and Team Strix in round one. While they were knocked out in round two, they successfully laid down a marker and highlighted the strength of their ambitions for the future.
In 2015, for example, G2 Esports moved to acquire the roster of Team Kinguin, before finishing 3rd at the DreamHack Open: Cluj-Napoca. This was a precursor for sustained success in 2016, with G2 placing 2nd at the ESL Pro League Season 3 in May. They progressed serenely through the early stages, before being edged out narrowly 3-2 by Luminosity Gaming in the grand finals.
They followed this up with a superb win at the ESports Championship Season 1 in the summer, while gaining swift revenge over Luminosity in the process.
Following a steady increase of player acquisitions, in 2018 G2 Esports made a splash in the Rainbow Six Siege community following their acquisition of title-winning Rainbow Six Siege team PENTA Sports.
The acquisition ahead of the 6 Major in Paris meant that G2 benefitted from experienced players and support staff including: Fabian ‘Fabian’ Hällsten, Daniel ‘Goga’ Mazorra Romero, Joonas ‘jNSzki’ Savolainen, Juhani ‘Kantoraketti’ Toivonen, Niclas ‘Pengu’ Mouritzen, Thomas ‘ShasOUdas’ Lee and Daniel ‘Ferral’ Rotheram
Since then, G2 has continued to compete at a high level across various tournaments, culminating in their semi-final appearance at the League of Legends Word Championship and their recent win at the Rainbow Six tournament.
Game specialties and top performers
Over the course of the last 18 months, G2 has also invested heavily in building new rosters to compete in a host of different games and tournaments,
As a result, they now participate in a wider range of tournaments across the globe, with the most commonly played games including: Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Fortnite, Rocket League, Clash Royale, Racing Teams, Paladins, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Super Smash Bros Melee.
This is in addition to the team’s staple League of Legends and Rainbow Six teams, which have brought the majority of G2’s success in recent times.
There are a total of 57 players featured across these 12 teams, with a few standout performers really catching the eye. Take the 24-year old Swedish born player Mikail ‘Maikelele’ Bill, who has been the bedrock of the group’s Counter-Strike team for years now.
A seasoned performer with a history of success, he enjoyed a particularly stellar 2015, when he won first place at the Assembly Winter and Gaming Paradise while being recognised as the best player in these tournaments.
He often plays alongside Kenny Schrub (keenyS), who’s now a veteran of 906 games during his career and has managed to win a hefty 503 of these. In fact, his win-rate of 55.52% remains one of the most competitive on show, while this improves to 61% when you consider his performances for G2 (he joined the group in February of 2017).
Another of the team’s more consistent performers is Richard Papillon (also known as Shox), who joined G2 back in February 2016 and has won 59.45% of his matches for the side.
He’s certainly renowned as one of the very best performers in the history of Counter-Strike pro leagues, winning the CS:S best player award in 2008, 2009 and 2011 as he competed for several French teams. An all-round player and leader with a reputation for making cool and collected decisions, he also happens to be one of the most coveted players in the sport.
Not only is G2 one of the best performing eSports teams in the world at present, but it’s also one of the most ambitious and fastest growing.
With 12 teams and a highly talented roster of players, it’s also one of the most active teams, with a recent history of success in games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Rainbow Six.
We reckon that the remainder of 2018 and 2019 are likely to bring more success for G2 ESports, with further titles surely just around the corner for the team!