League of Legends: G2 bowls over LEC competition

G2 Esports mid laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther celebrates during a League of Legends European Championship match on Friday in Berlin. Caps, who went to a world championship final with Fnatic in 2018, made the choice to join G2 this offseason. Provided by Riot Games

BERLIN -- In a wholly unsurprising turn of events, G2 Esports won yet another League of Legends European Championship match Friday. This time around, the team barely broke a sweat.

Although SK Gaming offered resistance in the first 12 minutes, G2 overcame it. In fact, the outcome of the game was a fairly brutal thrashing: 18 kills to eight, and seven towers to one in G2's advantage.

For Rasmus "Caps" Winther, one of the last-minute casualties for G2 (6-0), it was just another fun moment in a fun-filled season. Although a brazen move in the end of the game cost him, the outcome of his in-game death was irrelevant. In fact, he laughed at the thought.

"Our games are getting really troll," he said with a grin. "We kind of play the way we do in scrims, [but] we don't play as troll as we play on scrims. Obviously, people try more things in scrims than they do on stage, but we are getting there."

This offseason, Caps returned from a League of Legends World Championship final loss and faced a choice: Remain within Fnatic, or consider one of the many offers he had received.

"This was the first offseason when I wasn't contracted, and it was really a mess," the mid laner said. "At some point, I even got sick because I was so stressed out.

"It was a lot of decisions to make. It was hard. I'm also really bad at saying no to people and disappointing them, and it was definitely hard."

Caps had experienced almost everything there was to experience in League of Legends, save the Mid-Season Invitational finals, with Fnatic. In his two years with the team, he evolved past his occasional inconsistency and became the best mid laner the West could offer.

But there were things within Fnatic that worried him, even if his parting with the team was cordial.

"There's obviously problems that other people don't see," he said. "There were some things that I thought shouldn't happen, and I wanted to try out something else. I was still open-minded to stay on Fnatic. But as the plan was to stick with the same idea because it got us to the worlds finals, I thought we would not make it again. You have to change."

Judging by G2's start of the season, Caps made a good decision. Although the team is still in its honeymoon phase, the players have become fast friends. By the time Caps joined the team, he already knew Martin "Wunder" Hansen, Mihael "mikyx" Mehle and Luka "Perkz" Perkovic from the in-house games they played together or against one another.

Caps made a connection with the player he didn't know, jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski, as well, much to the dismay of Perkz -- Caps and Jankos are "always trolling him," which fits the atmosphere around the team.

"We aren't really losing, so it's hard to say how we are when that happens," Caps said. "The only times we lost [scrims] were in the first week or two, when we were losing a lot of games. But now, I don't really know what it is to lose anymore. It's getting out of hand."

G2 was expected to do well in the LEC, but this 6-0 start is surprising, even to Caps. For a team with two newcomers and an unorthodox role swap -- with Caps joining the team, Perkz moved from his usual position to AD carry -- things have gone amazingly well so far. But he remains cautious; after all, it's hard to tell how the mood will change when they experience losses.

"I don't know if we're still in the honeymoon phase, and I can't really comment that much," he said. "We haven't been together for that long, and we have been winning the whole time. In a way, I would like to see how we are [after a loss]. I actually think that, the way people are, they will probably be more serious if we start losing, but we're good friends. There's not going to be a blame game: 'Who made us lose?'"

Although some of their wins haven't been clean, the fun continues. There is a completely different vibe to this year's G2 Esports, Caps said. It's unlike Fnatic in 2018 even when it was riding a wave of success.

"I never felt anything like this before," Caps said. "Maybe it's just the meta, but we're so much better. It's kind of weird. As of right now, it's just been great, and people are really nice."