G2 Caps explains why he’ll never stop fighting for a Worlds title: ‘I’m done with excuses’

Carver Fisher
G2-Caps-MSI-2024

G2 Esports is the team many have heralded as the one that can put the West on the map internationally in a League of Legends landscape where the LPL and LCK dominate. I caught up with Caps after their decisive win over Top Esports at MSI 2024 to ask how he plans to change LoL history.

Other than the first-ever Worlds title that went to Fnatic, that history has been unwavering. G2 themselves came close to a title in 2019, though a loss in the Grand Finals robbed them of taking the first Golden Road ever.

The so-called “Golden Road” is when a team takes every title possible, both domestic and international, in a year. Both G2 and JDG have come close and just narrowly missed it, but Caps hasn’t given up on that dream just yet. Even if it’s been 5 years.

When he spoke with me, Caps claimed to have shed those doubts related to his 2019 loss a long time ago. Caps isn’t just here to win MSI 2024, but to pick up paving the Golden Road where he left off and cement G2’s name – and his own – in the history books.

G2 has become a shining beacon in a pit of Western despair

While G2 haven’t been a perfect team over the past five or so years, especially considering their loss to NRG in 2023, they’ve always been one of the best teams in the world. While that’s due in large part to Caps and his standout performance with the team over the years, it’s not just him on this roster.

Hans Sama can carry, BrokenBlade can carry, Yike can carry, Mikyx can play certain flex picks so well that he draws bans every draft and still finds something crazy to play. This team is borderline unbreakable when drafting, and Caps gave a lot of credit to his teammates for G2’s success.

“I’m definitely super proud of my teammates. JackeyLove has been popping off recently, and… to see my bot lane just show who’s the better Draven, I think that was important for Hans for sure. And also talking about BB, he had an amazing Game 3 and a good series as well. They were… (laughs) Tian was very much so bullying him in the second game, but then Hans was allowed to do whatever he wanted and take over the game. I’m very, very happy with everyone’s performance.”

Caps also shouted out G2’s extensive support staff, saying they’ve built a strong team over the past year and a half that feels like they’re all working toward the same goal. He sees these qualities in LPL and LCK teams and said he wants to emulate that effort and commitment within G2.

“I’ve in the past thought about, ‘Oh, it’d be fun to play in the LPL or LCK.’ It seems very – at least from the outside in my point of view – they put a lot of effort in. That’s what I’ve always wanted, a team that’s very all-in on this. I feel like I see that from LPL and LCK teams, but, I think what we’ve been doing for the last year and a half is very, very good. I’m super proud of everyone for putting in the work, it definitely showed today. It definitely showed over the past year or so, we’ve been improving so much.

“But now, of course, there’s still a huge mountain to climb. I think the best LPL teams, the best LCK teams, Gen.G and BLG of course, are very strong. If we want to stand a chance against them, we will need to improve from even where we’re at right now.”

G2 has the approach of holding the West accountable, proving that success is possible. Their drive to win is to prove that other teams must stop making excuses or finding ways to justify losing to LPL and LCK teams every year.

There’s a lot of talk about the widening gap between Western and Eastern teams and whether or not there’s a way to fix it.

Caps’ solution? Work harder.

G2-Caps-contemplating

“Looking toward the past, [the LPL/LCK] have been a lot stronger than we have. But… I think we need to work harder. People don’t even – a lot of pro players, I don’t want to say everyone – a lot of pro players and a lot of fans in general, they may not have the dream of winning MSI or winning Worlds because of how hard it looks for us every year. I think people give up, and that means maybe you don’t watch that extra VOD, play that extra solo queue game, or try that extra bit harder because you don’t have the drive.

“It’s less about the confidence on the day and more so about the confidence throughout the whole year. Just having the motivation. And for up-and-coming players as well, you know? I think a lot of the people who are like, 15-16, trying to grind ranked right now, of course, if they think there’s a future for them where they can actually compete internationally and do well? It’ll be a big boost to them compared to, ‘Oh, I could go pro and maybe do decent in Europe and then get smashed in every MSI and Worlds.'”

However, this doesn’t mean that Caps hasn’t had his doubts and dips. From Craps to Claps and everything in between, he’s had enough ups and downs in his career to have a whole set of nicknames just to point them out.

But right now, Caps is locked in. He spoke with me at length about how the trials and tribulations of his career affected him mentally, and why his perspective has changed over the years.

It’s never too late to make history

Caps has been playing for a long time at this point. Most pros last a few years at most before they move on for one reason or another, but he has truly stood the test of time. What’s more, G2 have built a legacy around him.

Most of his time on G2 has been headlined by domestic success and several MVP awards, a level of individual success not likely to be matched by an LEC player any time soon. G2 Esports has a grip on the LEC like no other, with the team having won 10 domestic titles during Caps’ tenure on the roster alone.

This experience and tenure, both domestically and internationally, is a key part of his success up to this point. He’s still trying to make the most of every tournament he plays.

“I think last MSI was a huge wake-up call for me. I think I saw so many things I was like, ‘Wait, if I just do this instead, it will help us.’ It’ll help me and it’ll help us as a team as well. And I was very excited for Summer Split, we improved a lot for Worlds. Sadly it wasn’t enough. But, it started a good process, I think. We definitely know how we get better, and that’s the first step to becoming the best.”

Caps-Worlds-2023
Worlds 2023 didn’t go the way Caps wanted

Considering that G2 have bounced back from their loss to T1 at MSI 2024 by taking two 3-0 wins in a row, they clearly know how to adapt on the fly and fix issues with the team as they arise. All of Caps’ past experiences, both wins and losses, have helped shape the player he is today.

However, with that time invested comes the ever-looming thought that someone will come along and usurp you, the thought that your body may give out on you. Even Faker has those thoughts and had to overcome his own mortality in the wake of a wrist injury, something he’s still dealing with.

Caps has had a few moments where his faith in himself faltered, where he felt as if he was starting to age out of pro play. But, after his resurgence with the current G2 roster, he’s more motivated than ever.

“After Season 10 Worlds, I was devastated. I felt like, ‘Wait, I still can’t win? I’ve tried for so many years now.’ It was my fourth Worlds and I lost in Semis, I made it even less far than the other [Worlds] where I made Finals. It just felt very bad. I definitely think I lost some hope, in a way, but I think that’s a big part of why I was not as committed. In Season 11, part of Season 12 – somewhere in Season 12 playoffs, I think when we lost to Fnatic, was a big wake-up call to me. I was like, ‘Ok, I just need to do better. I know I can do better. It doesn’t really matter that I haven’t won Worlds yet, it doesn’t matter that I’m getting older.’

“Back then, people were retiring very early. Even me being 20 back then, 21, it was considered very old, right? And most people were retired by that time. It felt a bit weird that I hadn’t won Worlds, or it felt like, ‘Oh no, I’m not good enough.’ But I’ve lost that as a weakness. I think age is… It’s not gonna make me worse or better. I think the effort I put in every day decides how well I’ll play. And, if I win Worlds? It’s all up to me. Making excuses like, ‘Oh, we’re from Europe,’ or making excuses like, ‘Oh, I’m too old.’ I think it is what it is, just excuses. And I’m done with those.”

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About The Author

Carver is an editor for Dexerto based in Chicago. He finished his screenwriting degree in 2021 and has since dedicated his time to covering League of Legends esports and all other things gaming. He leads League esports coverage for Dexerto, but has a passion for the FGC and other esports. Contact Carver at carver.fisher@dexerto.com