G2 owner and CEO Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodríguez took to Twitter Spaces on December 13 for an AMA regarding the team’s offseason – and he had some interesting revelations regarding Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković’s move to North America, and the supposed blocking of negotiations between the mid laner and Fnatic.
Contract negotiations between players and organizations will always be tense. With the growing salary numbers in League esports, player contracts are becoming more and more lucrative as the scene continues to grow.
In recent years, salaries have begun to hit the million-dollar mark – and that means offseason negotiations are only getting stricter.
With these negotiations can come controversy – as was the case for Perkz’s move from Cloud9 this offseason. According to a report by Dot Esports, Perkz’s 2020 buyout agreement contained a clause that stipulated the player could not be sold to Fnatic after leaving Cloud9.
Although the clause was initially agreed to by Riot Games, a statement by Global Esports Operations director Tom Martell in November 2020 confirmed that they would “prohibit future restrictions in transfer agreements.”
Carlos speaks out
G2 CEO Carlos shed some light on the entire situation on December 13 via an AMA session through Twitter spaces. He explained that, before Perkz left G2 for Cloud9, he expressed a desire to stay in Europe and play for Fnatic.
“I essentially told him that it was never going to happen,” Carlos explained in the AMA. “Anywhere in the world but Fnatic.” The teams have had a long-standing rivalry in the LEC, which came to a head in 2019 when then Fnatic star mid laner Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther left for G2 after his team’s 3-0 defeat to Invictus Gaming in the 2018 World Championship finals.
Carlos has always had a close relationship with the star mid laner, describing himself as “not a father figure, but a mentor figure” for Perkz during the player’s time at G2. Allegedly, the pair had often joked about Fnatic in private conversations, but Carlos explained that he always considered it “an understood fact that Fnatic was never going to be an option” for Perkz’s next career move.
This apparently angered Perkz, who, according to Carlos, “punched a table” and left the meeting with the CEO and the organization’s esports manager and team manager. Shortly afterward, he asked to remain with G2, but Carlos decreed that he was no longer “100% committed” to G2 as an organization.
G2 were in talks with multiple LEC teams looking for a spot for Perkz, but ultimately he ended up joining Cloud9 in the LCS.
The Perkz effect and G2’s motivation issues in 2021
Losing a star player is going to affect any team’s performance- and Carlos attributed some of G2’s motivation issues in the 2021 season to the loss of Perkz. He explained that the team no longer had the “hunger to improve” after the Croatian’s departure and that the loss of the mid laner’s “innate urgency to not be s**t” was a huge blow for the roster.
It was this lack of hunger that led to the departure of Mikyx and Wunder in the 2021 offseason. “It no longer worked,” said Carlos regarding G2’s all-star roster. “We won everything, and the hunger for this team was no longer there.”
Changes to the support and top lane positions were considered the solution to this lack of motivation, with Sergen ‘BrokenBlade’ Çelik and Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé being signed for those roles in addition to AD Carry Victor ‘Flakked’ Lirola.
G2’s new roster will have a long way to go to pick up from the failures of 2021, but this AMA from Carlos has at least offered some of the transparency fans have been asking for.