G2 Esports vs Schalke 04 – 2021 LEC Spring Playoffs Betting Preview

The “King Slayers” Schalke 04 will clash with the reigning LoL European Championship (LEC) champions G2 Esports in the first upper bracket match of the Spring Split. Knowing their chances to win are slim, S04 need to enter this match with an innovative strategy, but do they have that in them or have S04 become too one-dimensional to surprise Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther and his crew?

G2 Esports vs Schalke 04 – 2021 LEC Spring Playoffs Betting Preview

After watching SK Gaming fail to step up and defeat Fnatic yesterday, betting-previews returns with another free League of Legends betting preview for the second LEC Spring playoffs match between Schalke 04 and G2 Esports, who will clash on Saturday, March 27 at 17:00 CET.

G2 Esports vs Schalke 04

Saturday, March 27 at 17:00 CET
LEC Studio, Berlin, Germany (LAN)

Schalke 04 are “The King Sayers”

In a match that is billed to be as one-sided as this one, you always try to make a case for the underdogs, and for Schalke 04, it’s not difficult to find one. S04 have become known for performing significantly better against stronger sides, which has earned them the tag of “King Slayers” and you can’t really say they haven’t earned that renown, considering they have beaten both Rogue and G2 at least once during the regular season.

That said, this narrative can be a bit misleading since winning a best-of-one (Bo1) series is not the same as winning a B05 playoffs match – especially on LAN, which is again a different experience to playing online. What works in S04’s favor here is that they have beaten G2 this season, but it seemed more like S04 catching G2 off guard rather than showing they’re really the better team.

Strong Teamfigting

During the regular season, Schalke 04 saw a lot of success with team-fighting compositions, with either global ults or aoe abilities that made it very difficult for their opponents in 5v5 scenarios. While using team fighting comps S04 were also playing their best games, but as soon as they transitioned to more single-target oriented drafts they started to struggle.

Drafts with Tristana-Nidalee have proven to be relatively successful this season, but those are extremely hard to execute and it seems like it doesn’t fit S04’s playstyle. Given how much better S04 were with the team fighting drafts, we can expect them to transition back to those for this match, which should give them a much better fighting chance rather than trying to defeat G2 in 2v2 scenarios – which they likely won’t.

Can S04’s Strategies Work Against G2?

Even though S04 saw most success with team fighting comps, that’s still a very broad term to describe their strategy. We’ve seen them play Seraphine bot, Senna/Tahm Kench, split pushing champions, supports in the top lane, and target compositions with Nocturne/Kharthus, so they definitely have shown they are capable of approaching their games in many different ways.

The core concept of having strong teamfighting is still there, which was most obvious in their game against Excel, where S04 drafted to eliminate Patrik “Patrik” Jírů, while still having champions to have a strong 5v5. That said, it doesn’t seem like S04 will be able to execute either of their strategies against G2.

If they draft to eliminate Martin “Rekkles” Larsson asap, that won’t work, since G2 still have Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and Caps, who can all carry the game. If they wish to draft split pushing, that won’t work either, simply because G2 are too good at being aware of what’s happening on the map to struggle against that.

G2 Esports Do Whatever They Want

It’s not like G2 Esports are a team that can be beaten, but they’re a type of team that is very difficult to prepare for. G2 main strength – besides fielding some of the best Western LoL players – is their flexibility, which allows them to do whatever they want.

There are many different playstyles in LoL and G2 are capable of them all, so you can’t really know what they’ll throw at you. They can play for teamfights, split pushing, or they can look to defeat their opponents via any of the three lanes. That trait becomes that much more valuable in best-of games, where – unlike in a Bo1 – G2 can adapt and not necessarily surprise their opponents, but rather approach the game from an angle that gives them an advantage.

G2 should respect Schalke 04’s strong picks

While I don’t have a problem seeing G2 priced as massive favorites, I don’t believe they are unbeatable. There is definitely a world where Schalke 04 can steal one map against G2 and make this series interesting, but it seems like that is only possible if G2 fail to respect S04’s strong picks such as Gangplank, Seraphine, and Senna.

This is definitely a scenario I could imagine given how G2’s drafting wasn’t exactly spectacular this season. What’s more, they’re facing a weaker side, so there is a world where G2 slightly underestimate S04 and drop a game because of that.

Betting Tips for G2 Esports vs Schalke 04

You have to respect Schalke 04 who have proven time and time again that they’re not afraid to go toe-to-toe with any team in the league, and when everything clicks, S04 tend to perform exceptionally well. That said, we can’t just ignore who are they facing here.

G2 are billed as the strongest European team in the history of LEC and for a good reason. They’ve won four back-to-back titles and even though they lost Luka “Perkz” Perković during the offseason, I don’t believe this team is any weaker with Rekkles, and would go even so far as to say they have a much higher ceiling how that they finally field a proper ADC.

One thing that concerns me with G2 is that they can look unstoppable on a good day, but they’re also known for having a bit too much fun in their games, which usually results in some underwhelming results. The question here is mostly whether we expect G2 to take this game seriously, or will they preserve their strength for more important games down the line, and if the latter holds true, S04 could steal one game.

Betting picks

Depending on which narrative you’re willing to believe, you can either take G2 esports to win 3-0 (2.30 Pinnacle) or look at backing S04 to win at least one map (1.632 Pinnacle). The problem when predicting Schalke 04 to win one map is that their only chance to do so is if G2 underperform since Schalke themselves don’t possess enough quality to compete with G2 at their best.

I’m not a big fan of predicting 3-0 results in the LEC, because while the gap between the first and fifth seed might seem bit, the players and coaches know each other well enough to find a weakness in the opposing side and make the series interesting. In reality, when was the last time any of the bouts between the top-six teams was very one-sided, excluding fixtures that included volatile teams?

What’s more, Schalke 04 are a very momentum-driven team, meaning they can look exponentially better when they’re having a good day and seem unstoppable when they get their wheels spinning – remember the 2020 Summer miracle run?

Regardless of that, can you really expect Schalke 04 to win or even take two maps off G2? While anything can happen, the odds offered on Schalke (6.44 Pinnacle) to win or at least secure two maps (3.29) just don’t do it for me. Beating G2 is a massive achievement for any team in the league and while we’ve seen G2 drop down to the lower brack in both of last seasons, that doesn’t convince me they can’t win 3-0.

Prediction: G2 Esports -2.5 maps – 2.30 Pinnacle

 

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