League of Legends

Jankos reveals how Rekkles was key to G2’s new Perkz and Caps role swap

Published: 17/Dec/2019 1:28 Updated: 17/Dec/2019 5:23

by Isaac McIntyre


G2 Esports shocked the world when they revealed Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther and Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković would be swapping roles in 2020, and now Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski has revealed why Rekkles may be partially to blame.

On the surface, no one is really sure if Caps is truly defecting to the bot lane for LEC 2020 — G2’s League of Legends roster has built a persona of jokes, meaning no one really trusts even seemingly official announcements.

It seems like the Worlds grand finalists may be serious this time, however, especially after Caps issued a warning to “the bot lanes of the world” regarding he and support Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle getting “cheeky” and “tricky.”

Apparently, there’s more at play regarding G2’s roster changes than just the fact their bot and mid lane stars want to change things up for the 2020 season too. 

Riot GamesRekkles may not know it, but apparently he played a major role in Caps and Perkz trading places for 2020.

According to Jankos, Caps’ former teammate Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson had a major part to play in the move, after Caps revealed that beating Fnatic in the 2019 Summer finals wasn’t enough: he wants to do it from the same role as Rekkles too.

“Okay, I will tell you the truth about role swap, okay?” Jankos said during his return stream during League of Legends’ offseason.

“First, Caps left Fnatic… and he did beat Rekkles when he was playing against Rekkles, and now he actually wants to beat Rekkles while he’s playing the same role as him,” Jankos explained. “So Caps role swapped just to beat Rekkles again, but this time on the bot lane [instead].”

While the Polish star’s reasoning to his fans might hold some weight in the change, there might also be a more competitive reason behind it too — if it does come true in LEC Spring — considering G2 fell just short of the org’s main goal.

After their 3–0 defeat at the hands of Chinese champions FunPlus Phoenix, the European roster may have been looking for a way to change their fortunes next year without having to abandon any of their five current superstars.

With Jankos, Mikyx, and Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen all some of the best options in Europe, and coach Fabian ‘GrabbZ’ Lohmann proving more than competent, a role swap seems like the easiest way to shake up the status quo.

Riot Games
Riot Games
G2 are allegedly making the swap so Caps can finally face, and potentially defeat, Rekkles in the bot lane.

The back-to-back defending champions may need the boost too, considering closest rivals Fnatic have added explosive jungler Oskar ‘Selfmade’ Boderek and player-come-coach Alfonso ‘Mithy’ Rodríguez ahead of the next LEC season.

Spring finalists Origen have also leveled up their stock heading into next year too, adding German wunderkind Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp, jungler Andrei ‘Xerxe’ Dragomir, and breakout Australian star Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw to the roster.

Now, if the role swap is true, the European Championship is set for another series of interesting battles, both as Rekkles and Caps come face-to-face in the bot lane, and in the race for the LEC crown in 2020.

League of Legends

Ablazeolive on his LCS call-up: “You have to take risks on younger talent”

Published: 19/Jan/2021 12:39 Updated: 19/Jan/2021 13:33

by Andrew Amos


Golden Guardians’ new Mid Laner Nicholas ‘Ablazeolive’ Abbott isn’t a household name yet. While LCS 2021 expectations are low for the rookie squad, he has high hopes of proving pundits wrong.

Worlds 2020 ended on a sour note for North America, more so than any year previously. The region’s failures were being exposed on a platform like never before, and changes were needed.

As it was all going down in Shanghai, Ablazeolive was sitting back home, patiently waiting for a potential call-up to the LCS. Five years after he made his competitive debut in NACS with Zenith Esports, it finally came.

Abbott is one of three rookies Golden Guardians put faith in for LCS 2021. They didn’t take long to impress, beating CLG in their first game at Lock In. Despite the experience gap between the two squads, the youngsters looked like the veterans.

“I actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was a lot more nervous in my Academy debut. I’m not sure why, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I felt really comfortable,” he told Dexerto.

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Paul de Leon for Riot Games
It took five years and hundreds of Academy games to get his LCS call-up, but Ablazeolive is hungry to make up lost time.

The 22-year-old has been on the cusp of LCS stardom since 2016, but never actually got the go-ahead. It was taxing at times, but Ablazeolive never lost sight of that dream.

“I had a very positive outlook after 2019. I thought from when I was talking to people and their opinions of me, and my own interpretations of my own strength, I thought I was pretty likely to get into the LCS in 2020, and when that didn’t happen, I was pretty disappointed.

“Golden Guardians as an organization showed faith in me and saw the potential and took a chance on me — and I’m very glad that I’m able to show them they were right in choosing me as their Mid Laner.”

Shaped by Bjergsen

Although he never was on stage against the best, behind closed doors, he had the best mentor you could ask for ⁠— Soren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg. Two years on TSM Academy with the star Dane taught Ablazeolive not just invaluable lessons in-game, but off the Rift too.

“Naturally, he was really good in-game, and nobody would be surprised to know I learned a lot from him. However, the most important thing he taught me was to not be as nervous on stage. He showed me how to get over it, talked to me, and helped me work it out. I was very grateful for that,” he explained.

While he won’t get the chance to play against Bjerg on stage after his retirement, Abbott isn’t concerned about not giving his tutor a send-off. Instead, he’s trying to build the same reputation himself.

“I like to think he retired because of me. He started out as this unreachable goal and I didn’t know how I could improve and get better than him. While it’s sad I won’t be able to play him, I’m not upset. I’d still feel confident against him, like I’d be confident against any other Mid Laner.”

Ablazeolive playing for TSM Academy in LCS 2019
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Ablazeolive won LCS Academy Spring 2019 on TSM Academy while under Bjergsen’s wing.

LCS 2021: Year of the rookies?

Ablazeolive is trying to turn around the perception of NA Mid Laners as a whole too. There’s been a distinct shift in the NA mindset this off-season — away from importing every half-decent European player. Instead, the focus has become on local, homegrown talent.

Golden Guardians is the epitome of that, but they’re far from the exception. Immortals, Dignitas, and FlyQuest have all done the same. This is especially true in the Mid Lane, with six North Americans finally outnumbering their European counterparts for the first time in years. This investment in Academy players, in Ablazeolive’s eyes, is the only way NA can redeem themselves internationally.

“That’s the only way NA can rebuild itself. Relying on imports and other regions to supply our good players isn’t going to be a realistic strategy to become dominant or even competitive at Worlds. You have to be able to take these risks on these younger talent, and I think this year, a lot of teams have done that which is very surprising,” he said.

“It’s great that we have so many [Academy Mids] coming up, because it’s always been a meme that NA Mids are really bad, but it’s also because no one tries to play them. Maybe if we play and get the exposure and practice, then we can show our improvement.”

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Worlds isn’t on the horizon yet for Ablazeolive. However, LCS playoffs are.

All eyes on LCS 2021 Playoffs

It’s a long-term plan, but it’s one that ultimately could shift where NA ends up in the global power rankings. Worlds might seem like a distant dream for Ablazeolive for now, but he’s at least confident Golden Guardians can defy expectations and really show what homegrown talent can do.

“A lot of people aren’t expecting us to make Playoffs, but personally from scrims and how we’ve been playing, I’d actually be quite surprised if we didn’t make Playoffs. A lot of the teams, at least starting off, don’t look like they’re fully together yet.

“This isn’t going to be the same Golden Guardians in five months, or three months. We’re going to get better ⁠— the difference between us at the beginning of scrims and now is mind-blowing, and that’s very directly attributed to our coaching staff helping us out individually and as a team.”

Golden Guardians next play against the top-of-the-table 100 Thieves on Friday, January 22 at 4PM PT.