On paper, the decision to take two of their strongest pieces and send them through a Freaky Friday loop maybe be a strange one, especially considering the European champions made it to the World Championship final with their current lineup.
According to G2 owner Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodríguez, however, there are only upsides to the two stars changing between mid and bot lane, especially considering Perkz played four of his five years with the roster in the team’s center-piece role.
That’s not to say it will automatically be a success in the same vein as the Croatian’s move to ADC in 2019, Ocelote added. Perkz will be settling back into his old position, but Caps is unproven alongside Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle in the dual lane.
“It can go both ways,” the G2 owner told ESPN at the LEC's 2020 media day.
“It either doesn’t work at all, in which case that’s great, we have the Summer Split and they’ll re-swap then, and we have a mental edge and the real sh*t starts. Or it works, and whatever we pick, no one will know where it’s going.
“It working, and giving us that extra boost, is the best-case scenario. Last year we completely changed the game in regards to what is played bot lane. This year I think we can change the game by what is played and who goes where.”
G2’s coup signing of arch-rival Fnatic’s young star Caps played a key role in their resurgent campaign last year. After watching their LEC opponents claim back-to-back titles, and fall just short in the Worlds final, G2 made their daring move.
That shock acquisition, and Perkz’s surprising strong performances in the bot lane, rivaling even legendary AD carry Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson, meant G2’s gamble paid off. They took control of drafts, and brought “controlled chaos” to the Rift.
While Ocelote is certainly reaping the benefits of the strange, and ultimately right, decision to overhaul how they approached bot lane, he admits it wasn’t his call. He pointed at Perkz, and the rest of the team, as the reason they had shone last year.
“This game, and honestly, I take no credit here, is to the players’ credit at how LoL is played,” he explained, and said he was excited to see even more ‘chaotic’ variation coming out of the championship roster after the new role swap.
“I think if this team keeps together, and stays motivated to be together, we will see every single year that the game becomes more and more loose, and there are no roles. Everyone goes everywhere, and it’s chaos. Controlled chaos.”
Now, it’s just a matter of seeing how well Caps takes to his new role. He made consecutive appearances in the Worlds decider playing mid lane, and now has to settle into a late-game carry rather than the explosive playmaker he was before.
From the sounds of things, it’s already going well.
“Caps just smashed Rekkles in scrims today,” Perkz revealed on Twitter on January 13, potentially goading his Fnatic rival. “Gonna be a great year.”
Caps just smashed rekkles in scrims today
gonna be a great year
— Luka (@G2Perkz) January 12, 2020
It may be a while before fans are treated to the Rekkles-Caps matchup that has been teased since G2’s Danish star first revealed his move to bot “to beat Rekkles in his own lane,” however – the two champions don’t meet until Week 3.
G2 has an interesting path to that Fnatic meeting too, starting off with Mad Lions and SK Gaming on January 24-25. They then play Team Vitality and fellow title contenders Origen, before finally reaching the dynamic third week.
On the other side of the rivalry, Fnatic being their 2020 campaign with new-look jungler Oskar ‘Selfmade’ Boderek against Origen and Misfits in the opening round, before coming face to face with Schalke and SK in February.