Ocelote on G2's international struggles: 'It's really not the end of the world'

by Daniel Rosen Mar 22 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

G2 Esports' League of Legends roster is on an unprecedented domestic win-streak, but team owner and CEO Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez says he's hoping the streak will end sooner rather than later.

The last time G2 Esports actually dropped a series in Europe was more than one year ago, when they lost 1-0 to Fnatic on Feb. 2, 2016.

Since then, the team has won or tied every series they've participated in domestically. Ocelote says the pressure is building, and he'd rather lose now instead of when it becomes too much for his team to bear.

"Every game we don't lose is one game less until we do lose," Ocelote told theScore esports. "We will end up losing. To some degree, I kind of want to break this win streak, but in a harmless moment. This streak just builds up more pressure to live up to the expectations again. Of course, we are doing our best effort to kill those expectations that we have to ignore in-game, but of course, if we keep adding pressure by not losing, it is going to be a problem."

G2 is already locked in as one of the top seeds for the 2017 EU LCS Spring Playoffs, but the team isn't rushing into anything. Despite their success at home, G2 has a bigger issue — their performance abroad. After dismal showings at the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds, the team finally put together a strong international performance at IEM Katowice 2017, but even IEM was bumpy for them.

G2 was almost eliminated from the tournament during the group stage, only to claw their way out of their group, make it through the playoffs and finish second to the Flash Wolves. G2 might be looking stronger internationally, but Ocelote said the team is still actively working on their stage fright.

"We're doing a lot of exercises, a lot of open talking to each other," Ocelote said. "Weldon [Green] added a lot to the table, but Weldon is not everything. There is everything behind G2, between G2 and the LoL players to help them overcome their international fears."

Ocelote pointed out that the players are still young, and they're not used to having this kind of pressure heaped on them. It's pressure that also gets compounded with their domestic win streak. Ocelote said he and his staff are always available to speak with them one on one, but overcoming the fear of a high-stakes failure isn't something happens overnight.

"They feel loved unconditionally, and they feel like even if they f**k up at Worlds, even if they qualify for Worlds and f**k up at Worlds, they know that I love them unconditionally, because they did their best effort to overcome that.

"There's no curse, there's no outstanding something, it's just a team that is pressured because they're winning within Europe, and they're not able to translate that gameplay outside. It's really not the end of the world. We will overcome it over time, I have no doubts in my mind, if we didn't already. I'm not in a rush. We'll keep working and do our best effort to make that happen."

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.