The 2023 LEC Winter Split couldn’t have started better for G2 Esports. Despite changing three players in the offseason, the team dominated the competition during the opening weekend. G2 now sits at the top of the standings with a 3-0 score. Support player Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, who rejoined G2 after spending one year on Excel Esports, feels right at home again.
Mikyx spoke with Em Dash on Sunday, after G2 stomped archrivals Fnatic in a 24-minute game. He discussed why he joined G2 again, after a difficult transition to Excel from G2 in 2022. Mikyx also spoke about being reunited with mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther and bot laner Steven “Hans sama” Liv, and why the team already plays together so well.
Back at G2 after one year
Welcome, Mikyx, and congrats on the great start to the season! To be honest, it is a bit of a surprise to see you back on the G2 lineup given how your departure went last year, with the buyout problems and all that. So, why did you join the team again?
Well, let’s say there were certain circumstances that allowed me to join which, in a different world, would not be possible. [Laughs] I joined because I think this team has the best players. It has the highest chance of winning Worlds. I really like everyone, I really wanted to work with everyone on the team. The staff as well. I think everyone on G2 shared my ideas of how a team should work to win. I was kind of surprised myself, but it actually happened. I didn’t expect it. Thanks to Hans, it was made possible.
You were brought into Excel at the start of last year, and they seemed to be building towards a title-contending lineup as well. Were you not planning on staying with Excel?
Oh no, I was actually planning to stay on Excel. I had four pretty good offers. G2 was above the rest. In three of them, I was basically uncertain. G2 made it very easy for me to decide. Before, I was not sure what I was gonna do. It was actually really stressful. Excel was still an option, right? I really liked being in Excel. I have no complaints. But G2 came up and it was a no-brainer for me.
“Playing against Caps, I realized how good he is as well. It’s so annoying to play against him. He just randomly wakes up and decides to 1v9 the game.”
Though you’ve played with Caps before, and also with Hans sama, this G2 is very different from the one you left. Did it feel like joining a new team?
No, there were definitely a lot of familiarities. I’ve also known Broken Blade from before. I didn’t really know Dylan, Rodrigo [head analyst], Ra4f [team manager], Romain [general manager], or Yike. I talked to Yike in the offseason a bit. I played with him in a few tryouts for certain teams. So, it was kind of new, but it was also kind of the same. We live in the same house, still.
Ah, so you could just move back into your old room. [Laughs]
Actually, no. BB took over my room. But he put it to much better use, so I’m happy that I have the small room. I just have a bed and a desk, but he has mangas, wardrobes… [Laughs] He completely smurfed it.
Reuniting with Caps and Hans sama
Well, you mentioned it already, but you did rejoin forces with Caps. It has only been a one-year break, obviously, but in that year he did win an LEC title and played at international tournaments. He has also already been part of this ‘new era’ G2 for a year. Has anything changed?
No, he’s pretty much the same. Playing against Caps, I realized how good he is as well. It’s so annoying to play against him. [Laughs] He just randomly wakes up and decides to 1v9 the game. It was so frustrating to play against. But he is the same as he was before.
“[Hans sama] talks so much and leads the game so well. He has really good ideas.”
Then there’s also Hans sama, of course. G2 wanted him, and he wanted to play with you, which is why you’ve ended up on the team. You played together a long time ago. I imagine he has changed a lot since, and so have you. How is it to be reunited?
During the years when we were in different teams, we still talked from time to time. He doesn’t really go out very often, but we went for kebab once. [Laughs] He is a little bit different than he was in 2018. In-game, he talks way more. Usually, in Misfits, he talked a lot, but mostly when he was playing Kalista/Draven. The aggressive lanes. When he got ahead, he was really vocal, but not so much on other champs.
Nowadays, he talks the entire time. He talks so much and leads the game so well. He has really good ideas. I know that there is this narrative that he doesn’t talk because he is a very shy and quiet person in real life, but this guy talks so much in-game.
I’m glad you mentioned that. Last year, on G2, Jankos was the clear leader of the team and he has a big voice. With him gone, the question was if G2 would have someone to lead the team and call the shots. Has Hans sama taken on that role naturally, then?
I guess, kind of. At least in the early game, we tend to play bot side. BB talks a lot as well. Compared to the other junglers I played with, which are Trashy, Maxlore, Jankos, and Markoon, I think Yike talks the least. But he talks sufficiently. The other ones basically talked the whole early game. In this team, everyone talks. I personally like this approach more, where everyone gets their input to say stuff. Then we decide whatever is best.
Working with Yike & G2’s synergy
He may not talk as much, but Yike has been an incredibly positive surprise in the LEC. What’s it like to play with him?
I was actually pretty surprised by how good he was. He’s really easygoing and really good at the game. I was a bit concerned about how he would do on the stage because he is a rookie. Maybe he would have some nerves. But he did very well. I was a bit worried when he died as Graves in the first game and he was 0/1/0, and then, later, at the drake, he said, “Oh, I have no Smite.” So, I thought, “Oh shit.” [Laughs] But then he smurfed it. He plays carries, tanks, whatever you need.
“I think [the coaching staff is] really good at controlling our drafts and having plans for the early game. In reviews, we talk a lot about the plans and for each plan, we have alternatives that we talk about.”
It’s still early into the season, but it really feels like G2 has a solid plan for each early game. It all seems to go so naturally, also incorporating Yike into the plays. Have some of these plays been predetermined, or is it all a natural flow?
I think, for this game, I have to give a lot of credit to our coaching staff as well. I think they’re really good at controlling our drafts and having plans for the early game. In reviews, we talk a lot about the plans and for each plan, we have alternatives that we talk about. Even if we stomp a game in a scrim, and the enemy remakes after five minutes, we still talk about it. “If they do this, we do that. If we do this, they do that.” Props to the coaching staff.
But it is kind of natural as well. Hans talks a lot and we make a lot of plans around our bot lane. At least, in the first two games. For Yike, it’s also natural to just chill and invade people. So, it is natural, but we’re also all really good players. When you’re good, you get on the same page very easily and then play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. We abuse our champions’ spikes properly and all that.
I heard you say on the broadcast that this G2 lineup is the most comfortable you’ve felt ever on a team. I was kind of surprised by that, since the 2019 G2 lineup seemed to have fun constantly as well. What’s different in this lineup?
I guess I just meant the team in general. This includes staff, players, you know? Or… owners, stuff like that. [Laughs] I just feel really good in this team. I feel like everyone is trying their absolute hardest to win. Everyone is really nice, understanding, and open-minded. At least so far, you know? Maybe it’s a crazy honeymoon, but everything feels really good so far.
Mikyx’s goal: a full split of playing well
People always have high standards for G2. They won an LEC title last year, Worlds was kind of a disaster—
[Coughs] And MSI…
[Laughs] Right, but at least they made the semifinals there. Anyway, you’ve just had a quiet year yourself. Do you now come back with the goal to win the Winter Split immediately, or do you have other milestones and objectives in mind?
For a change, it would be nice to make Worlds again after two years of not making it. [Laughs] For myself, a personal goal would be to feel good about a full split of playing. So far, I’ve never had a full split where I was like, “Ok, I’ve had a really good split,” where I felt I smurfed the whole split. I’ve had two good games now, so I’m satisfied with that. Actually, I wouldn’t say the Heimerdinger game was a good game, but everyone says it was. So, I’ll take it. [Laughs] But in-game, I was like, “Fuck, I’m running it so hard.” So, a full good split, that would be nice.
G2 plays its next LEC game on Saturday, Jan. 28th, at 9 PM CET against SK Gaming. You can watch the game live on the official LoL Esports site.