Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski – LoL PRO portrait

Few League of players can boast a career as long and celebrated as G2 Esports star Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski. At 26, the Polish player is not only the team member with the most years of service at G2, but also one of the most experienced players at the League of Legends European Championships.So it’s not surprising that Jankos was already on board for the first – Season of LoL. There he played from Poland on North American servers. And although pros like Christian ‘IWillDominate’ Rivera gave him high praise, League remained just a pastime for Jankos – until 2013.

That’s when the strong solo cue player was recruited to his first pro team – Team Mistral. As part of the H2k gaming roster, Jankos snatched victory at DreamHack Bucharest 2013 before moving to Kiedyś Miałem Team, which was later acquired by Team Roccat for the debut of EU LCS 2014. Although Team Roccat failed to secure any titles during this time, Jankos’ enormous potential was already crystallizing, earning him the nickname “First Blood King.”Jankos’ life fundamentally changed when he signed with G2 Esports as a jungler in 2017, just in time for the 2018 EU LCS – Season . “Even then, they were considered one of the best teams in Europe,” Jankos recalls. And with Jankos, teammates Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen, Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković and the Botlane duo of Petter ‘Hjarnan’ Freychuss and Kim ‘Wadid’ Bae-in only got better, dominating the European scene with crowning achievements.

G2 established themselves as the “Kings of Europe”, making 2019 the strongest year of Janko’s professional LoL career. With new botlaner Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle and new midlaner Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther, G2 dominated the competition and won the Spring – Season . In the Mid– Season Invitational in Rotterdam they surprised with a win in the final against the supposedly unbeatable and legendary South Korean team SK Telecom T1. After that, they were runners-up in the World Championships.

In 2020, Fnatic superstar Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larssen joined G2’s botlane, giving the team even more of a Spring – Season threat, but then nothing went right in the summer. A mixture of unfavorable factors, from meta changes to Pandemic, made G2’s otherwise easy “game” more difficult. So they were defeated by newcomer MAD Lions. G2 somehow lost its motivation.

2021 was also rather mixed: at first G2 started the spring very strong and finished the regular – Season in first place. But during the playoffs, the team’s synergy was not good enough to compete against the emerging talents of the other LEC teams. And so wins were hardly in the cards, let alone participation in MSI or Worlds.

“As runners-up, we didn’t even make it to the Worlds qualifiers,” laments team owner and CEO Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez.It was clear that a radical change was needed at G2 to keep up with the new generation of European LoL players.

A new era for G2

In October 2021, ocelote reformed the team of G2. Of all the players, only Caps and Jankos remained as the core. In Sergen ‘Broken Blade’ Çelik on the top lane, Victor ‘Flakked’ Tortosa on the bot lane and Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé in support they found the complement they were looking for.

As a veteran player, Jankos took on more and more responsibility on and off the Summoner’s Rift. He was affectionately teased as “Grandpa” by his new teammates in the mentor role. “Jankos wasn’t a leader six years ago,” ocelote recalls. “It was rather difficult for me with him. But now he’s the guy who makes the important decisions and brings maturity to the team.”

“I don’t want to give up my personality at all, but I also have to make it clear to my colleagues that it’s not just about having fun, but that we also have to show performance,” Jankos said.

It gets more challenging every year, but that means the fun also increases

Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski

Of course, the new formation had to find itself playfully first, which cannot happen “overnight”. But “Big Brother” Jankos always leads his team into battle with humor and positive reinforcement. Not to mention his world-class jungler skills.”My current feeling about being a great jungler is mixing many early-game styles, always developing game understanding and leading the team,” Jankos said. “It gets more challenging every year, but thus the fun of it all increases.”It wasn’t easy, with lost matches against SK Gaming, Fnatic and Misfits Gaming, but G2 managed to qualify for the Spring Playoffs.It started right away with a loss against Fnatic, but the next 12 matches should show what G2’s new team is capable of.In the lower bracket they first beat Team Vitality and then Misfits, showing all spectators why they should never be written off.

After winning every game after the initial loss to Fnatic, G2 Esports were back within reach of a trophy. They then went into the final against Rogue with a best-of-five. In the first game, Jankos and Caps showed their class as well as their experience, combining their attacks to take the fourth Dragon. In the next two games, all G2 players put in great performances to give Rogue the win.The start of the 2022 Mid– Season al Invitational proved to be extremely favorable for G2, as their strongest opponents were in the other group. So G2 came to the stage in Busan and made short work of the North American Evil Geniuses and afterwards the Australian ORDER Team.”We got really lucky in the group stage of MSI,” Jankos recalls. “We also handled the meta pretty well and played to our strengths well. Hats off to the coaching staff with Head Coach Dylan Falco! They are a very important factor in our success.”

G2’s performance soared with wins against T1, Royal Never Give Up, Evil Geniuses, and Saigon Buffalo to an incredible 24-0 streak since the playoffs. But then a loss to PSG Talon knocked the wind out of their sails and they had to fight hard for a spot in the semis.Opposing team T1 had proven to be equal in the previous rounds, but lost out. This time it was different and the best-of-five went to T1. Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok was in top form and had his team capture 11 towers in just 24 minutes in the first game. The lead in gold carried over into Round 2, although G2 were able to counter more than they had in the game before. But round 3 was also quickly in the hands of T1.

“We wanted to play against the best at MSI and they were RNG and T1,” Janko tells us. “It’s always difficult against Faker because he can switch between so many styles. He is, after all, a legend! We made a lot of mistakes at the beginning, but it was still a lot of fun. We’ll do better next time.”

Even though Jankos missed out on the world title again, there is hardly a drop in motivation, “Now we can fully focus on the next step, which is winning buzzers. The goal is to grow as a team, have fun with the new members and, of course, ultimately win Worlds. Either this year or in the time I have left in the pro scene…. it will always be about winning Worlds,” says a smiling Jankos.


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