DH Austin title is G2's to lose
G2 travel to Austin for their second event with the new lineup, and anything less than first place should be deemed a failure.
After a year that had its fair share of ups and downs but that ultimately showed G2’s incredible ability to get the maximum out of nothing, putting the long-forgotten Titan team back on the map and challenging for trophies again, the Spain-based organisation announced its new roster in February amidst much fanfare.
Getting Kenny "kennyS" Schrub and Richard "shox" Papillon, France’s best players, on the same team was like a dream come true for many. Even without fan favourite Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, who was left out in the cold, much to the dismay of many, G2 seemed to have enough tricks up their sleeves to be called a true title contender and give France its first Major crown since 2015.
The “Super Team” tag was thrown around a lot, perhaps a bit too carelessly, with critics lining up to mock the team as the first results were anything but encouraging. Having failed to qualify for IEM Katowice, G2’s new roster made its first offline appearance only in April, more than two months after the shuffle had been confirmed.
G2 are the super-favourites for DH Austin
At the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 finals, G2 put on quite a show, beating Ninjas in Pyjamas, HellRaisers and SK Gaming in the Swiss stage. More importantly, they did so while giving up just 16 rounds in total, securing the best round difference of all teams in the Swiss stage in addition to a high seed in the playoffs.
It was such a dominant run that G2 instantly became one of the favourites to win the whole tournament. However, the team failed to live up to that billing and lost out in the quarter-finals to FaZe, who had barely made it out of the groups, in a three-map series. The Frenchmen returned home with $10,000, a figure that pales in comparison to the $125,000 that FaZe would go on to take after winning the event.
Despite the setback, G2 still had plenty of positives to take from the tournament. The manner in which they beat those three teams, especially the in-form HellRaisers, who would finish in the top four, showed that the French side can achieve greatness, provided that they can iron out the inconsistencies in their game.
And their latest results are nothing short of impressive: since returning from Kiev, G2 have won 11 of the 14 games they have played, acquitting themselves really well against all sorts of opponents, even current Major champions Astralis. Their map pool is looking very diverse, with Nuke seemingly their strongest pick, with the team having won all but one of the 10 games they have played on it, including the last eight.
G2’s incredible run has seen them move up to third in the ESL Pro League, when just a few weeks ago they were languishing at the bottom of the table. Since the start of the month, they have also moved up seven places to ninth in our world ranking.
Heading into DreamHack Austin, G2 are the third-highest ranked team in attendance, behind Immortals (#7) and HellRaisers (#8). But the Frenchmen showed in Kiev that they are perfectly capable of dealing with Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow’s men and with Brazilian opposition. Out of all the remaining teams, only Gambit (#11) look like a real threat, and they will have to rely on great individual performances from Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov and Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev to make up for their vulnerability in some moments of their games.
With none of the top five teams in the world in attendance, G2 will probably never have a better chance to win international silverware than at DH Austin. They are the clear-cut favourites, and winning the event would come as a massive boost ahead of the Summer season. When quizzed on the creation of the team, G2 owner Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago told theScore esports that the team represent “the biggest investment” in the history of CS:GO. If there ever is a time for them to start justifying that investment, that time is now.