G2 Esports put in a monumental performance to overcome Fnatic in the LEC Summer Split 2019 finals in what many are already calling the greatest series in European history. An incredibly tense game, with so many back and forth moments, all on top of an electrifying atmosphere in Athens, Greece.
It was an especially good night for Polish jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, who not only lifted the LEC trophy, but also earned the MVP of the Split and MVP of the Series awards. He tells us what went through his mind – and what’s next for G2.
After the remarkable five game series, G2’s players exploded with emotion and Jankos was screaming so hard that he actually almost passed out and collapsed to the floor.
While G2 seemed to be cool and collected, Jankos admitted there was no escaping the pressure: “After Game 4, compared to last week, I was stressed out a bit because last week, if we lost, we still had a chance, but if we lost one more game we were out. So even though I was trying to be loose and relaxed, I had it in the back of my mind.”
“I was also thinking about Caps – losing against his old team Fnatic; what is going through his mind; is he stressing as well? I hope he's fine,” said Jankos. “But I think he played really well, and right after we took Game 4, I felt like the series was won because we just don't lose fifth games. I felt like [Fnatic would] be way more stressed than we would – we had a really good draft for blue side which fixed the issues from Game 1 and 3. We should've stomped the fifth game way harder after the lead we had, but we were stressed and Fnatic were stressed – they made a lot of mistakes too. We were both running it down. It felt really difficult.”
Fnatic were tougher than SKT
This wasn’t the first time G2 faced a fifth game this year. The newly-crowned LEC champions sensationally overcame Korean legends SK Telecom T1 enroute to their historic Mid-Summer Invitational victory.
Yet, Jankos believes the series against Fnatic was harder: “I think it was the toughest best-of-five I've played. I felt like all the games we played against SKT at MSI were one-sided for both teams. Even game five, we had Syndra bot, but we got ahead and didn't let them come back. But compared to Fnatic, we started running it down and did let them come back.”
“Fnatic had champions we had to ban out because we weren't confident playing against them; they do have a different style, meanwhile SKT were kind of easy to judge,” he added. “The priorities during MSI were kind of the same, we knew what they wanted, and what we wanted, so we knew we could surprise them. Preparing for Fnatic was so difficult."
“The best version of myself”
After a long grind through teams, Jankos has clawed his way up the ladder and is finally seeing rewards for his efforts. For him, it’s all been worth it: “I think every year, players evolve. Even though some years I was flashier before, I'm for sure the best version of myself I've ever been. Not only have I changed as a person, I've grown as a player.”
Before the series, Team Vitality coach Jakob "YamatoCannon" Mebdi said he believed Jankos has become a more versatile jungler and the G2 superstar agreed: “I just think I'm really old, I played so many different champions and so many different styles, I just know everything. I also played Morgana bot-lane, Braum jungle – I'm really confident in playing everything.
“I think Broxah is super good on Lee Sin, I can't play him as well as he does. But I also feel like I'm so much better on everything else – during the games, I felt like I was outperforming him.”
Now on the road to Worlds, Jankos is looking forward to a little bit of quality time at home with his family – but he’s also chomping at the bit to play on the big stage again. He swore to do whatever it takes to reach the pinnacle of League of Legends:
“I'm confident in myself, I'm just trying to make the most of my career, because in the past years, I was not very successful. Now, I finally get the chance – and I have a really good team, so I want to give all I have left to actually succeed.”