There are not many who get to say they’ve stood across from The Unkillable Demon King “Faker”, but there are even fewer who can say they’ve bested him one versus one. By the time the dust settled at the Midseason Invitational in Brazil, Luka “Perkz” Perković was one of those few. But after an unexpected medical emergency in Week 1 and a surprise loss to Fnatic in Week 2 of the Summer Split , G2 are still finding their footing.
How was MSI?
MSI was great. It proved to us, and to myself, that all the hard work we put into become a top-tier team has paid off. We achieved the goal of being able to contest the best team in the world - which is SKT - and that’s what we’ve been practicing for since the Spring Split started. We came to achieve a goal - to put up a good fight against SKT. In the end it was a bittersweet feeling because there were low expectations going into the Finals, I didn’t think we could win against SKT. But then we played Game 1, and Faker kept dying. It felt like they were mortals, and we were playing really well other than a few mistakes that they punished. So after Game 1 we knew we could win, we were really hyped up and emotional. Then after Game 2, when we won, we were super super motivated. Game 3 was also really close, but Game 4 was a bit of a snowball from them - we made a lot more mistakes, I think our focus dropped. They were obviously the better team, but in the end it was bittersweet to lose when we knew we were capable of winning... We need to practice a bit harder this split to be prepared for the Bo1s at Worlds, there’s only six of them and not ten, so there’s even more pressure on us not to mess up. So my goal right now is that we’re ready for the Bo1s at Worlds.
How has the fan support changed since MSI?
It’s nice to be able to come back to our region and not be flamed for losing. I used to wonder why we got so much hate sometimes, but I think it’s because some fans don’t really see how much work we put into everything. Like last year at Worlds and MSI, we were preparing so much but then we failed - and I played really bad. After that everyone was hating on us. Then in Spring Split we won against everyone, and after that we went to MSI and destroyed Team WE and showed what we got. By then we were pretty sure we were the second best region in the world. So it drew a lot of fans back to us, and it feels nice. It feels good because there isn’t somebody on our tail waiting for us to lose anymore. Now, when we lose, it’s ok.
You’re back on stage with the team, but how was it last week when you weren’t able to play?
I got really really ill, sadly. I started having symptoms at MSI, and after being home for a few days I got really sick. I needed time to reset, not only physically but also mentally. I’m just really happy that we won in the end, that my absence didn’t cause us to lose. We managed to pick up a win with three subs, which is pretty surprising, and the subs played really well. It felt a bit weird since it was the first time somebody else was in the mid for G2 in the last two and a half years. It was weird to watch my own team play without me, but it was also fun, I was like a viewer, I was cheering for them to win. Every time they made a play I was excited, because they didn’t get to scrim together a single time. So I was really hyped, I kept cheering that they were so good.
You played well against Faker, but how was it playing against Caps, who many call Baby Faker?
So that nickname actually originally came from us, the pros, we called him baby faker amongst ourselves. Eventually the casters caught it and hyped it up, and that’s how the meme started. I think Caps is a good player, but it’s hard for me to judge him right now. Before the Spring Split started I thought he was going to be really good, like insanely good. Then I played against him in Week 1, and he had this out play, but he didn’t play so good. When I played against him again later on it was really easy to play against him, but now he plays better. He got a solo kill with LeBlanc, which is really hype for him. He’s a good player, and it’ll be interesting to see his growth this split. I think he can be a really good player if he puts work into it.
You played Lucian against NiP, and he’s something we’ve seen a lot of, what makes Lucian a good midlane pick?
I’ve been playing him since MSI scrims, but I didn’t get to play him on stage there. I thought he was really strong from what I saw then, so I wanted to see if he’s still strong now. We haven’t been able to practice much, and I don’t have a strong grasp on the meta, so we need to adapt. I still think Lucian is a good pick because he can be a safe blind pick, but you need to have some AP on your team so it works. You also have to be pretty good on him, because even though his laning phase is really easy his teamfights are mechanically hard. You need to be really smart and respect your enemies, and play to your maximum pressure. When I played him against NiP I made one mistake in sidelane and died to Tahm Kench ult, but I haven’t played against that champion in so long I wasn’t respecting him enough. Lucian is the type of champion who if you get behind you can’t really do much with, because he’s a silent threat, he isn’t a mage that can just farm up and wave clear. You don’t have wave clear with Lucian, so they can always go mid and take your turret. That’s his biggest weakness.
What team will give you the hardest time this split?
It’s hard to say until we play against the teams in Group B, but it’s for sure Fnatic and Unicorns. I think H2K, Splyce, and Misfits are wildcards - it isn’t clear how they’ll grow or perform. But I think the Unicorns and Fnatic will be the top teams throughout the split, and they’ll be the ones to give us a hard time.