MAD Lions Reach the 2021 LEC Spring Split Finals With 3-1 Win Over G2 Esports
MAD Lions have not only secured a spot in the 2021 LEC Spring Split finals, but they’ve done so by outclassing the defending champions G2 Esports in 3-1 fashion. The most impressive thing about their achievement isn’t the mere fact that they’d won but rather the way in which they got their “hands raised.” It was quite a dominant showing, and it seemingly came out of nowhere.
From the very outset, MAD Lions dictated the pace and made the more intelligent moves on the map. Still, we knew what kind of game G2 wanted to play, and we were all eagerly awaiting that mind-blowing moment at which they seize control and turn things around by “bending the rules of the game.” But that moment never came. To their credit, they kept things fairly competitive, but they were always a tad too slow to react; it was as if they had no shotcaller whatsoever. Turns out, that’s exactly what was at play. With Luka “Perkz” Perković packing his bags and moving across the Atlantic to compete for Cloud9, G2 Esports was left without an in-game leader.
And for the first time in a while, they couldn’t win on sheer talent alone. This is a team game after all, and sensational though they are, G2 still needs to execute and deliver as a five-man unit if they intend on beating the very best teams in Europe (let alone the world). Fortunately, they were just given a brash reminder, a decisive beatdown at the hands of a young, confident line-up — one that has yet to taste the true “flavor” of success, the euphoria, and elation that come with hoisting the LEC trophy. They have a big dream, one that G2 had realized and brought into existence years ago. So it is only natural that they’re fighting with a lot more vigor and determination. They want it badly, and they care very little about whom they have to go through to get it.
An Exciting Four-Game Brawl
We saw a fairly competitive G2 in game one, but they always faltered whenever it mattered most. Game two gave us a glimpse at a very passive G2, one that was out of its depth — MAD Lions outclassed them at will, with a ten thousand gold lead at the twenty-minute mark. After two games with Martin “Rekkles” Larsson on Karma, G2 decided to revert back to “normal” and give the most successful and revered marksman in LEC history a pick he could truly work with and excel.
They were a lot more competitive in game three, probably because they had an “easier” team comp to work with — one with multiple avenues for success. They made few mistakes overall and looked a lot more like the G2 we all expected. For the first time in the series, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and Rasmus “Caps” Winther delivered, with a 4/0/10 and 4/0/11 KDAs, respectively.
But their dominance didn’t last that long. In fact, it was only contained within that one game. Game four was fairly similar to the first two; it took MAD Lions only 33 minutes to close things out — with four Dragons to their name along with ten turrets and a whopping 13k gold lead.
Each and every single player delivered, and watching them traverse the Summoner’s Rift and execute to a tee was nothing short of mesmerizing. At the very least, they gave us a glimpse at their potential which left no one indifferent. MAD Lions, at their best, are more than capable of trading blows with the who’s who of the LEC, and they’ve proved it yet again — this time on an actual stage, showing everyone that they’re not just a “one-hit-wonder.”
Can they do it again, though? All they need to become the LEC champions are three more wins — no more, no less. A meagre amount, you’ll probably agree. If G2 Esports take down Rogue and shore up their weaknesses in the process, MAD will face a much stiffer test than they did the first time around.
Still, they’re surely gleaming with confidence. They already took down G2 once and it stands to reason that they could do it again, no matter the context. The outcome is far from guaranteed, which makes their (seemingly inevitable) rematch all the more enticing! Still, this isn’t the first time MAD took down G2 in a Best of 5 — the exact same thing happened last year as well, and it didn’t matter whatsoever in the grand scheme of things as G2 Esports came back with a vengeance.
Will history repeat itself?
The Reality of the G2 Dynasty
Boxing legend Marvin Hagler once said it best: “it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning to go for a run when you’re sleeping in silk sheets.” This sort of reality applies to G2 Esports as well. They’ve been so darn dominant for such a long period of time. They’re the best and most accomplished team in LEC history. They’ve earned their spot in the competitive League pantheon and, other than winning Worlds, there’s nothing left for them to accomplish.
So it’s easy to understand if they haven’t been trying all that much lately. It’s hard to go back to the drawing board and work on your flaws — no matter how minute in size — when you can still run circles around the vast majority of your peers. As they say, “reaching the top is easy, staying there is what’s hard.”
Fortunately, it seems like they’ve decided to put in the work. A fairly one-sided loss would motivate anyone, let alone the most accomplished European team in history. They’re bound to enter the upcoming weekend with a chip on their shoulder. The LEC throne is “rightfully theirs,” and now they’re on the brink of losing it for the first time in a long while. If that doesn’t light up a fire underneath them, nothing else will.
Mark your calendars, folks, as the last two Best of 5s of the 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs are bound to entertain in all the right ways! A historic weekend might be in the cards!