Faker is already practicing Nautilus mid after G2 Caps MSI 2023 debut

Faker already playing Nautilus mid Caps MSI 2023Joe Brady/Riot Games

Rasmus Caps’ Winther picked Nautilus in G2’s first two games of MSI 2023, and players like Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, Yasin ‘Nisqy’ Dinçer, and Zeng ‘Yagao’ Qi are tinkering with the champion. He may end up being a pick that defines MSI 2023.

Nautilus mid is certainly a strange pick, but MSI 2023 isn’t the international event where the champion has been used in the mid lane. FunPlus Phoenix’s title-winning Worlds run in 2019 was partially defined by the same pick from Doinb.

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Almost four years later at MSI 2023, Caps played back-to-back Nautilus mid games to help G2 take down LOUD in a 2-0 fashion.

Now, less than 24 hours after Caps showed off the pick on stage, other mid laners in the tournament, like Faker, are already getting some time in on the champion in solo queue.

Pros trying Nautilus mid after Caps played it at MSI 2023

For those keeping track of Caps’ solo queue history as of late, his decision to pick Nautilus mid isn’t a huge surprise. After getting knocked out of LEC Spring playoffs contention, he hit rank 1 on EUW, with Nautilus being one of his most-played champions.

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Caps then banked on what was working in solo queue against LOUD and picked it twice, with strong results in both matches.

As a result, mid laners like Nisqy (MAD Lions), Yagao (Bilibili Gaming) and even Faker (T1), all of whom are also playing at MSI 2023, have been spotted practicing it. The same also applies to a few LCK mid laner who didn’t make the international event, like DRX’s Yoo ‘FATE’ Su-hyeok and Dplus’ Heo ‘ShowMaker’ Su.

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G2 support Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle explained their reasoning behind picking Nautilus in a post-game interview, giving a nod to Doinb and saying that the team decided to try it out after a fairly recent set of buffs to the champion.

Besides having a 92% win rate on the champion on his G2 Joker solo queue account, Caps also showed why he’s playing Nautilus through his itemization choices. With Martin ‘Yike’ Sundelin playing AP carry junglers, Caps rushed Abyssal Mask in both games for its AoE magic resist reduction.

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In other words, a team that wants to replicate G2’s mid/jungle strategy not only needs a mid laner that can play Nautilus but also a jungler who can play AP carries, like Nidalee and Lillia. Whether or not other teams opt to try out G2’s strategy in tournament matches remains to be seen.