With G2 Esports through to PGL Major Stockholm’s semi-finals, Nemanja ‘nexa’ Isaković confirmed that his team are a completely different beast on LAN.
G2 advanced to the semi-final stage of the Stockholm Major with a convincing 2-0 victory against hometown favorites NIP. The win was decorated by an imperious display from Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač, who posted a series-high 1.44 rating.
It has been a stunning run from G2 in Stockholm, where they have yet to drop a map after four matches.
Such results come in sharp contrast to their poor online form, adding more fuel to the notion that the team is benefitting from a LAN buff.
Teams play differently on LAN
(Timestamp starts at 4:45 for mobile viewers)
When explaining G2’s spike in form at the Major, nexa alluded to the fact that opponents are taking fewer risks on LAN, while his team also benefit from being in the same location.
“The LAN buff is real,” he told Dexerto. “We had disastrous results online, but when we come to LAN it’s just different. I feel like all of our players are made to play on LAN, we feed off this energy and the fact that we can fist-bump each other, push each other and cheer each other on.
“We just make things way simpler. It’s easier to play on LAN. People are not making the same plays and are not being overly aggressive. They always give you space and there are opportunities for you to win 3v5s, which we have won multiple times.
“They have to respect you on LAN because it’s way different. Online, you have the help of the coach, he can speak whenever he wants. It’s a completely different game.”
Embracing the villain role
As G2 won the first map against NIP, Nemanja ‘huNter’- Kovač triumphantly cupped his hand to his ear and was greeted with boos from the Avicii Arena crowd, who were heavily in the Ninjas’ favor.
It was a move that caught everyone by surprise, including nexa himself.
“It was funny that he reacted like that,” nexa said. “I’ve been playing with him for many years, and it was the first time I’ve seen him show this kind of emotion.
“I knew after that round that Mirage was going to be another comfortable win because the Kovač cousins were on, and it’s very hard for us to lose when that happens.”
Nexa also admitted that fighting against the crowd gave his team an extra boost of motivation.
“I think we prefer it like this,” he said when asked about being the villains on stage. “I think there’s a special kind of pressure when you’re playing in front of the home crowd and everyone is cheering for you and expecting you to win.
“It may have put additional pressure on the guys from NIP. Even though I think we played pretty well, I think they didn’t play up to their usual standard.
“It could be nerves, it could be pressure. I think them being the favorites and playing in front of their own crowd kind of added to it, so I’m glad we were in this position where the crowd was against us, it felt like another opponent for us to fight and we were glad to shut them up.”
DJ Esports odds: G2 are backed at 1.640 to beat Heroic in the semi-finals
Odds correct at the time of writing.