Banner © Conor Beattie/ Vaingloryesports.com
It's difficult to represent your region when you're the only team out of an entire bracket of tough teams. G2 Esports is heading into the Vainglory 2017 World Championship as the only EU representative.
G2 had to overcome a huge point deficit to edge out SK Gaming from qualifying for the World Championship. You could say, they're used to high pressure situations.
© G2 Esports
We caught up with G2 Esports' captain, Keanu "KeanuNakoa" Kramer to get his thoughts on their amazing surge to qualify for Worlds and what we can expect from the lone EU team in Singapore next month.
Congratulations on your amazing run to edge out SK Gaming for the EU slot at VG Worlds 2017!
Thank you! It was a close one and we are feeling so happy and relieved now that we made it!
When you're not training for Vainglory do you guys hang out as friends? What do you get up to?
Unfortunately, we are all living far away from each other, which makes it really hard to link up.
We mainly have the chance to hang out at live events or tournaments. Since there is not a lot of free time, the possibilities are limited, but we like to go out for dinner and just talk to each other and enjoy our time.
How have your friends reacted to you being pro gamers? Are they supportive?
Well, at the beginning my family did not react that well. They thought that being a pro gamer would take a lot of time that I should better use for my school and career. Later they realized that it was more like a competitive electronic sport with an entertainment factor behind it which additionally allowed me to travel the world and make some money. Most importantly though they realized that I could manage both my real life and professional hobby at the same time and they saw how much I actually loved and enjoyed it. At that moment they started getting more curious about it and supportive.
Especially my little brother who is watching all of my games and is cheering for me!
How did it feel like to overcome SK gaming in the last stretch of the Autumn season?
At the end of split 1, SK Gaming was ahead of us by 11 points and nobody thought that we could pass them anymore. It seemed to be almost impossible but we actually made it happen! Considering all that, it obviously felt super satisfying and rewarding. The emotions in our voice chat after we won the deciding match were crazy. Hundor and me were screaming while DarkPotato was just overwhelmed with joy! The pressure during the last weeks was really high and there was no time for a break. We just felt so relieved when we secured the number 1 spot of Europe‘s Autumn season! It was just awesome!
When you're playing, who tends to call the shots or direct the team?
Our team doesn‘t have one true shotcaller. Both Hundor and me are calling most of our shots. I think we actually tend to have similar calls although I am usually calling rotation-wise and Hundor objective-wise. This system of shotcalling in a team might not be the most common one but since we are playing together for a long time now and know each other perfectly, it works out really well for us.
© G2 Esports
Are there people you are most thankful to for how far you've come? What was their contribution to your path to Worlds?
We are really thankful to Face, D1ngo and Reddix. Face was our team-manager for a long time and always tried to help us as much as he could. Unfortunately he left us about a month ago because he couldn’t afford enough time for us anymore since he got a new job. Our previous substitute player and former Vainglory pro D1ngo jumped in and is also supporting us as much as he can. Reddix is our current substitute player. He helped us with the drafts and gave us some nice input in a couple of weeks at the beginning of the season. To be honest, we never even had a coach or an analyst. Hundor, Potato and me are doing all that stuff ourselves. That‘s why I would actually give us 3 most of the credits for making it to Worlds! We were working extremely hard.
Which team are you most excited to face off against at Worlds 2017 and why?
Europe has not been performing that well at international tournaments so far. That’s why I would pick the team depending on its influence on our overall performance. In my opinion it would be DetonatioN Gaming from Japan who are in Group B with us. There is still a Chinese team to be placed in our group but I think DetonatioN Gaming is the real threat! Beating them could potentially secure us the win in the group which would mean an easier quarter final! At the same time I don‘t want to underestimate them, they are a fantastic team.
What can we expect from the sole EU representatives at Worlds this December?
As I mentioned before, Europe never looked that good internationally. EA and NA are definitely the better regions. In my opinion, actions are more meaningful than words, that’s why I don‘t want to promise or predict anything. But the fact is, that we have the new Patch 2.10 online which is new to everybody and there is not too much time for the teams to get used to it! Furthermore there won‘t be any big online tournaments before worlds, so it makes it hard to see other region‘s metas. Every team has to find their own meta and try to make it work as good as possible. This is our chance to upset some favored teams and surprise a lot of viewers and show them that Europe can perform internationally too! It is possible to adapt to other team’s metas during Worlds, but I would anticipate it to be very hard!
What do you want to say to all of your fans and supporters?
The fan base in Vainglory is growing and I am realizing how the amount of support we are receiving is getting bigger and bigger! It is awesome to have so many people behind you cheering for you. I want to say thank you in the name of my team to each and every single one of you who is following and supporting us! Your guys’ support is a really big deal to us! Singapore is going to be very hard, so please keep it up and stay awesome!
The Kallang Theatre in Singapore will play host to the Vainglory 2017 World Championship. The games start on *December 14, 2017 so show your support by watching G2 Esports play live!