After watching him grow into one of the greatest midlaners in the world, it’s a strange sight seeing Rasmus “Caps” Winther play in the bot lane. It’s a change that’s going to take some getting used to, and that goes for everyone involved with the LEC.
G2 Esports had a sensational 2019, but with the hefty ambition of winning the League of Legends World Championship, a 3-0 defeat in the final at the hands of the LPL’s FunPlus Phoenix granted them second place - and that wasn’t enough for the hungry group of players.
As a result, G2 has managed to keep its five superstars, but Luka “Perkz” Perković has returned to his original role in the mid lane while Caps has moved down into the bot lane in another brave move.
“I think the happiness of a team is so important; it's why you see teams like us and FPX making it to the [Worlds] Final.”
“I wanted to play ADC,” Caps reveals, speaking after his bot lane debut. “I think Perkz was a really good ADC; on Xayah and Kai'Sa especially, he was by far the best and that's the reason we won every single game we had with them at Worlds. He was playing really well on ADC and we played well around him, so it didn't make too much sense to swap me - but the problem was Perkz also didn't enjoy the role that much.
“Perkz got frustrated with playing AD Carry, and I want us to win in the long-term so I saw that could be a problem of ours. I wanted to try it out, because if I can do as good and enjoy it more, then we're happy as a team. I think the happiness of a team is so important; it's why you see teams like us and FPX making it to the [Worlds] Final. Once you start to no longer enjoy the game or your role, it can get really tough to play it every single day, the whole year-round.”
Caps admits he could see why Perkz wouldn’t enjoy ADC as much, claiming mid lane is a more complex role, with a wider pool of champions. He may have a point considering the Dane played 30 different champions last season, while there are only 21 marksmen currently in the game. However, Perkz paved the way for mages to be played bot and Caps has no intention of playing fewer champions:
“I'll probably always play a lot of champs. In bot lane, I'll try my best to see how many champions I can pull off, and maybe catch some people off-guard. The last few years I've caught many midlaners off-guard with some cheese picks, and I'm sure it will work in the bot lane as well. [Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle] and I have theory-crafted a lot of things, and we've tried some as well with some being successful. It's just about [Fabian "GrabbZ" Lohmann] letting us play it.”
Though one thing Caps concedes he will have to change, is his playstyle: “The biggest thing is learning to not die, which was also a thing on certain midlaners, like mages too. But, you never have that assassin game where it's ok to die – you just go in and do your job.”
Caps admits it has been challenging, but the early signs have been promising. In fact, he even won Player of the Game during his bot lane debut as he weathered the storm of MAD Lions’ hungry rookies, and recorded an impressive nine kills, zero deaths and 12 assists. However, judging from the lane phase, he is likely still working on his partnership with Mikyx.
Yet, Caps claims the two have natural synergy: “I like Mikyx a lot, he's very similar to me. I guess in playstyle as well, but as people. We have a lot of similar interests and traits. I enjoy hanging out with him and playing with him in general, but because we have some of the same traits, we have some of the same flaws as well. So we have to work on those, then I think we'll be unstoppable.”
G2 were trailblazers in 2019, but a successful year will never be enough to satisfy the squad. Perkz took the bold step of moving into the bot lane, because he was willing to do whatever it took to win. It’s that attitude why he and Caps have become some of the best players in the world. There are only so many times taking risks can pay off, but if G2 somehow level up even further this year, the sky’s simply the limit for how far this team can go.