has a storied history as a pro player. Not only has he been around since the dawn of competitive League of Legends, but he’s been one of the best bot laners in the world for the better part of a decade. His five-year run on Fnatic
cemented Rekkles as one of the strongest and most consistent players in the world. Moreover, Rekkles seemed to be a perfect fit for G2 Esports
despite some early concerns that he wouldn’t mesh with the roster. He currently has the best KDA out of any player within the major regions at an unbelievably high 10.03 ratio.
However, not all is well with G2. Their playoff run has been bumpy, G2 recently lost a set 1-3 against MAD Lions
. Playoffs have dropped Rekkles’ overall KDA, too. At the end of the Spring Split, Rekkles had the highest KDA out of any pro player in the world, major region or otherwise.
That begs the question: Why are G2 struggling now? After such a clean and dominant split, G2’s struggle through the playoffs bracket hasn’t gone unnoticed. Does Rekkles lack something G2 needs despite his stellar performance through the Split? To deduce whether or not Rekkles could be doing more for his team, we first have to look at what makes him so damn good in the first place.
Methodical and calculated
Rekkles is the kind of player that has a well-defined style. He often prefers picks that stick to the backline, save Kai’Sa. And even then, he plays Kai’Sa by using her tools in a way that keeps him alive in hectic teamfights. Despite Tristana’s high relevance in the meta and Samira’s brief stint as a top pick, Rekkles never opted to pick either of these champions.
Long range is Rekkles’ game, and that playstyle gives him the role of an anchor for any team he’s rostered on. He won’t be getting up in the enemy’s face, but he’ll still put out consistent DPS. This is likely why Rekkles hasn’t had a single game during the Spring Split or playoffs where he had more than 3 deaths, even through G2’s losses.
Notice how Rekkles doesn’t waste time trying to DPS Leona and Viktor in this clip. He knows that Carzzy’s Xayah is the target, and he doesn’t hesitate to reposition and secure the kill.
After that, Rekkles stuck with his team as G2 focused down each member of MAD Lions, one by one. Though Rekkles died in the end, G2 gained a massive advantage from taking this dive. This clip is from the only game G2 won in their semifinals set, and Rekkles was in top form during Game 3.
Who’s the support here?
Rekkles’ playstyle, in a nutshell, is to give his team back-up in any way he can. Most of the time, this is in the form of DPS. Last season, Rekkles adapted to the meta while maintaining his playstyle by picking control mages at a time when standard ADCs were almost always worse than magical carries.
This season, however, isn’t so clear-cut. Alternative options are just that: alternative. Weird products of the meta like Seraphine and Fasting Senna (and all the weird supports Fasting Senna enables) are different options, but not outright better than drafting a standard bot lane. At least, in most cases. Rekkles should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to have his hands on Seraphine or Senna.
Senna is a pick that Rekkles always looks strong on, but one we don’t see often. This isn’t because Rekkles doesn’t want to pick it, or has to draft something in particular around it. No, Senna’s pick/ban rate between Spring Split and playoffs has been 89% across all of G2’s games.
Whether Rekkles runs the fasting build or not, he’s lethal on the pick. Senna functions well at extreme ranges, and her teamfight utility is surprisingly strong. Having a low cooldown heal with her Q and a massive shield on her ultimate blends Rekkles’ love for supporting his team and outputting massive DPS. It’s almost as if the pick was built for Rekkles. Not only that, but giving farm to Mikyx
, G2’s support, allows for some unorthodox lane combos.
The Senna/Sion combo wound up being a lethal combo in G2’s set against Schalke during the spring split, and, according to Rekkles in the post-game interview, that combo was improvised. This wasn’t some secret wombo G2 were theorycrafting and practicing. Rather, Mikyx and Rekkles play well enough together for the two of them to pull off a coordinated combo without needing practice. You can tell they’re having fun with it, too. G2 always seems to go into sets with a good mindset, and this likely contributes to their strong mentality in tough sets.
Fasting Senna allows for a variety of combos, and every region has taken notice of how strong the pick can be. To learn more about Fasting Senna’s impact on the current meta, check out our article on the pick
Paving the way
Seraphine is a newer pick for Rekkles, but one that has just as much notoriety as his Senna. The two have a shockingly similar role, too. Both do damage from range, CC targets, shield and heal, and have game-deciding ultimates. However, Seraphine leans much more on supporting teammates and dictating the pace of teamfights, rather than just killing the opponent outright.
This clip from G2’s playoff set against Schalke 04
displays how powerful Seraphine’s utility is. Rekkles was able to poke out the enemy team and keep his frontliners healthy, preventing Schalke from finding the reverse-sweep in their excruciatingly close set. MAD Lions
took notice of Seraphine’s strength in Rekkles’ hands and opted to ban her (along with Senna) for every game of their semifinal set.
It’s likely that, if MAD hadn’t done their research, this set could’ve had an entirely different outcome purely due to Rekkles’ strength on these picks and G2’s ability to play around him. G2 tried drafting Karma to fill the gap, but Rekkles didn’t have quite as much impact as he did on Seraphine.
Cracking the case
Rekkles’ high KDA results from a blend of strong play and a distinct, backline playstyle. Rekkles doesn’t take any unnecessary risks, and his methodical playstyle has done well for G2 up to this point.
However, other teams are starting to figure out G2’s draft. Banning Rekkles out was all but pointless in the past; his versatility and prowess on a vast pool of champions meant he’d be a menace no matter what he played. But times have changed. G2 found strength in an identity, but that identity comes with weaknesses that teams have figured out how to effectively exploit.
Rekkles’ careful and calculated approach makes him less of a carry than other bot laners in the LEC. This leaves the weight of the game mainly on Caps, who tries his best to carry from mid lane. Wunder played more damage-oriented top laners in their set against MAD, partially to output the damage G2 were missing, and partially to attempt countering Armut’s Gnar. Attempt is the keyword there, as his results were mostly negative. Jankos
and Mikyx have also had a rough playoff run, and G2 have looked out of sorts ever since Schalke shook their confidence.
It might be time for a change.
G2’s roster is a strong, well-coordinated group of players. However, it seems like they’re overthinking drafts. Putting Wunder
on a carry top laner clearly didn’t work. Counter picks are important, sure, but drafting a team composition with a clear goal and win condition seems like it should be G2’s priority.
Rekkles is a “carry” by role, but he’s only as strong as the foundation his team builds for him. This makes Rekkles’ consistent playstyle a strength and a weakness. He may never be able to carry a game by himself, and he doesn’t have it in him to leave his team in the dust in order to maximize his own farm and gold gains.
It’s unclear whether or not G2 needs to switch things up and take some risks. Refining and distilling what’s good about their current style may work, but it’s clear something needs to change if G2 wants to remain the best team in Europe.