Spain. The home of bull fighting, good wine, tapas and one of the world’s leading eSports organisations.
Founded only in November 2013, they are a relatively young organisation but joining the exponential growth of the industry just as it was hitting full stride has helped G2 to become one of the global multi-game powerhouses. The organisation can be found in Madrid with the exception of their League of Legends squad, who live and train in Berlin.
Originally known as Gamers2, they have representatives in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Rocket League, Vainglory, Paladins and Super Smash Bros with the CS:GO being added in February 2015. The Spaniards acquired the ESC Gaming quintet from the Polish organisation, but the results were far from desired. Their first venture to a major tournament (ESL One: Katowice 2015) ended in qualifiers and the future events were nothing to write home about either.
After this G2 signed the former Kinguin team, briefly forming G2.Kinguin but ran in to same issues and weren’t able to compete with the likes of Team EnvyUs, Dignitas and SK Gaming. As a result, in January 2016 they decided to take a leaf out of Team EnvyUs’ playbook and signed the fully French FaZe Clan team to their ranks.
The deal was reported to be worth $700,000 and was followed by small event success accompanied by several early exits. In May 2016, G2 finished second in the ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals and finally struck gold at the Esports Championship Series (ECS) Season 1 Finals taking home the biggest trophy and $250,000 of prize money. But as so often in CS:GO, victory was followed by a plethora of non-significant event wins and several disappointments, inevitably leading to a roster shakeup.
Only two were to remain from the original Kinguin roster when the G2 management decided to once again turn to Team EnvyUs, but not settle only for the playbook this time around. They acquired three of their Frenchmen and the German analyst, Niclas “enkay J” Krumorn in February 2017. In return Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy joined Team EnvyUs and Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux stepped down from the active roster to become the coach.
This current five man unit is captained by Richard “shox” Papillon and is home to one of the best CS:GO snipers, Kenny “kennyS” Schrub. The remaining three roles are manned by Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, Alexandro “bodyy” Pianaro and Dan “apex” Madesclaire. With things starting to click quickly and the results improving accordingly, it wasn’t long until this group was aptly named as the “French Super Team”.
After a strong showing at DreamHack Austin, G2 won DreamHack Tours and under a month later they were crowned as the champions of ESL Pro League Season 5 before Team North. After reaching the knockout stages in ECS Season 3 finals and ESL One: Cologne 2017, they found themselves again on a tournament final at DreamHack Masters Malmö 2017. The familiar foe, Team North, was the only thing standing between them and the title. Eventually, G2 won both maps and claimed the top spot.
Promoting the local talent and ensuring that they stay active in their home country, G2 formed in April 2017 a second CS:GO team with four Spaniards in the roster, called G2 Esports.es (G2.Vodafone). All but one of the members are former x6tence players who briefly formed Team MRN before moving in to the G2 shirt and starting to represent G2 Esports in tournaments held in Spain.
Regardless of their brief history, the success of G2 in all fronts has caught the eye of major sponsors. They joined many professional gaming teams by signing an agreement with HyperX, the gaming hardware brand of the memory manufacturer Kingston with other notable names being the payment solution company paysafecard and the global mobile phone operator Vodafone.
The G2’s French Super Team has been on a strong run recently and at the time of the writing (26 September) have only lost two of their last 10 matches against some of their biggest rivals. This has helped them to climb rankings and G2 sits currently as the #1 in the wrld on Gosugamers.net. This has also been recognised by major bookmakers who have significantly lowered their odds on G2 whenever they take part in a major tournament. As an example, their CS:GO outfit are as low as 4/1 to win this year's Blast Pro Series.
How far the French firepower will carry the Spanish organisation remains to be seen, but all the makings of a new true CS:GO powerhouse are tangible.
Viva les bleus!