Within the first recreation of the 2023 LEC Winter Cut up, two league favorites in Excel and G2 Esports squared off, with G2’s new-look roster taking the sport over the heavily-hyped Excel squad in simply over half-hour. 

As we speak’s recreation served as a landmark for the G2 group, because it was the primary time in 408 video games that the group’s tenured veteran Jankos was not featured within the beginning lineup. The All-Professional jungler and G2 parted ways this past offseason, marking the tip of a five-year run. In his stead, G2 picked up rookie alternative Yike, who got here out of the gate swinging in as we speak’s contest. 

The 22-year-old LFL product instantly made his presence within the recreation (and within the LEC, for that matter) identified by carrying G2 with a placing 8/1/3 efficiency on Graves. 

Within the backside lane, the group launched its new AD carry in European veteran Hans Sama, whereas reintroducing its one-time help Mikyx, who performed for G2 between 2019 and 2021. Mikyx performed for Excel throughout the 2022 season, so as we speak’s contest was a little bit of a “revenge recreation” for the well-traveled help. 

In the long run, Mikyx and Hans Sama mixed for a complete scoreline of 4/6/15, with their Ashe/Heimerdinger backside lane contributing to G2’s crowd management and sustained damage-focused group composition. 

As for Excel, the group changed 4/fifths of its starting lineup this offseason, signing solo lane powerhouses in Odoamne and Vetheo, whereas additionally making a G2-centric swap on the help place by bringing in Targamas. Sadly, the shiny, new roster lined with one-time All-Professionals and MVPs received off to a sluggish begin and confronted a 3,000 gold deficit on the 15-minute mark of this recreation. 

Because the new format of the LEC season will solely function a single round-robin, G2 and Excel—who’re each favored to make deep playoff runs—can not meet once more till the postseason, on the earliest.  

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