It’s a wonderful day for some League of legends at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Reigning EULCS champs G2 Esports are up against the consistently strong Unicorns of Love. The players are at the ready, with glory on the line. For G2, this is their chance to secure their third straight title. For the Unicorns, this is their chance to prove that they’re not just a playoff team, they’re a championship team, too. And for both these squads, this is their chance to represent Europe at MSI.
UOL Manager Romain “Khagneur” Bigeard comes out in, as expected, his usual UoL costume. But this time he’s geared for war.
— Peter Adultman (@Pete_Volk) April 23, 2017
G2 answer with a mascot of their own, with their Brand Manager Jakub “Lothar” Szygulski in a G2 Samurai outfit, ready to lead his army.
I’m an anime character nao 🖤 pic.twitter.com/eEs6QuZsaF
— G2 Lothar (@LotharHS) April 23, 2017
The stage is set. The fans are loud. The players are ready.
The two teams start out pretty standard, both establishing vision and getting farm. Both have late-game team comps who want to scale and snowball from the mid-game. 11 minutes in, Trick’s Rumble is just a tick faster at the rotation, getting to the bot lane before Xerxe. Between the CC from Zven’s Ashe and Mithy’s Thresh, and the global presence from Perkz’s Ryze and Expect’s Gangplank, G2 pick up the first blood onto Hylissang’s Tahm Kench, despite the Stand United from Vizicsacsi’s Shen.
G2, known for taking early leads and snowballing to the victory, are just as aggressive today. Their aggressive is controlled, however, as they disengage the Unicorns’ advances and seem to escape their clutches.
A big teamfight in the Unicorns’ jungle 31 minutes in sees a 3-for-2 trade in favor of G2. The damage is too much from the Gangplank and the Rumble.
Although they wanted it to be a little cleaner and faster, G2 close out the game after 47 minutes.
G2 shake it up a little and try to play the Unicorns’ game, with Perkz picking up Swain in the midlane. Unicorns go for a pick comp to try to catch out stray G2 members, with Poppy, Rengar, LeBlanc, Varus, and Malzahar.
After a shaky early game for G2, the game is tied 15 minutes in at 5-5 in kills. But the Unicorns have the reigns now, with Exileh’s Leblanc getting 2 early kills, and UoL with the tower advantage.
The lead is shortlived however, as a teamfight in the Baron pit sees G2 standing tall, picking up the buff, and breaking open the Unicorns’ base at 25 minutes, getting two inhibitors with the empowered siege.
G2 destroy the Nexus in 30 minutes, and are up 2-0, looking to close the game out.
The Unicorns are backed up into a corner and have to take this game. G2 throw another curveball, with Mithy on a support Fiddlesticks.
After a sneaky ambush by Trick, Hylissang goes down to Zven for first blood at the 7 and a half minute mark. He gets revenge 3 minutes later after a gank by Xerxe picks up Mithy, which they then translate to the first turret takedown.
The game is pretty neck and neck until the 15 minute mark, where G2 get three unanswered kills.
Both teams start playing safe, respecting the damage that they can still bring out, with half-hearted engages and teasing pokes from afar. The time bomb explodes when Unicorns go for an iffy Baron call, threatening to take it without being in a proper position vision-wise and teamfight-wise. The Unicorns are the first to pull the trigger, but G2 come out on top with a 3-for-1 trade. G2 prepare the vision, prepare the lanes to push, and prepare to take the Baron. In a sort of reverse déjà vu situation however, Unicorns creep up on the unsuspecting G2, and Unicorns ace the defending champions, with only Exileh losing his life. They take their spoils of war, the Hand of Baron, and keep their championship hopes alive. G2 manage to defend against the Baron siege, but eventually lose their bottom inhibitor for a mid inhibitor turret in a mini base race.
Another Baron pit fight results in 4 dead G2 members, and 2 dead Unicorns. Vizicsacsi’s Shen teleports to the base, ushering in super minions. The two other Unicorns follow suit, kill off the remaining Gangplank, and take down the base to get a notch on the scoreboard.
Backs against the wall. No room for errors. No possibilities for mistakes. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They pick up Talon and Gragas like the last game, but opt for more damage in Rumble and Caitlyn. G2 pick up the trifecta; Camille, Rengar, and Leblanc. A big mistake leaving them open, the Unicorns would soon learn.
4 minutes in. Both midlaners are at level 4. Exileh leaps onto Perkz, but Perkz sends him away while latching on Ethereal Chains. Xerxe comes in to help. Exileh marks on the Ignite, and Perkz Distorts to safety. Both are at 10% health. Exileh flashes in, Perkz flashes away, and jukes the Noxian Diplomacy with the Distortion. Perkz inevitably falls to Ignite, but not before the turret ends Exileh. Perkz comes up with the first blood.
The Croatian midlaner seems to rally his team, with G2 members picking up kills all across the map (including a solo kill onto Exileh). By the 25 minute mark, G2 are up 11-4 in kills, 2 turrets, a dragon, and a 5k gold lead.
True to Unicorns fashion, they go for a 50-50 Baron. Expect had died in a 2v1 earlier, Unicorns take the 4v5. They start the Baron, but they’re up against a very organized G2. Perkz flanks and almost instantly blows up Samux. Both teams are pretty low, but Expect revives in time for a Teleport flank. G2 get the ace, get the Baron, and get the win.
Emotions run high all over the Barclaycard Arena. Tens of thousands of fans roar as they cheer on G2 Esports as they build their dynasty and reclaim their kingdom, the European LCS. They’ve conquered this part of the globe, and the next step is MSI in sunny Sao Paulo.
Feature photo from Riot Games Flickr.