380K viewers watched Schalke 04 upset G2 Esports this weekend

More than 380,000 League of Legends fans tuned in on Saturday, February 15, to watch the undisputed leaders of LEC, G2 Esports, lose their second game of the season. The “samurai” had a rough weekend, dropping games first to Misfits and then to Schalke 04, who were on the bottom of the table before the G2 game.

G2’s 0-2 weekend — something they’ve never been used to — was shocking, but it was nevertheless the second most talked about story this weekend. It’s not just that they to Schalke either: it’s what happened to Schalke earlier the same week.

On Thursday, a day before LEC week 4 began, Schalke’s star bot laner Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou confirmed on Twitter that he has stepped down from the team’s starting roster. FORG1VEN called out Schalke’s team culture, which didn’t align with his principles to “win and be competitive.”

“Schalke is unable/unwilling to make changes to fit that goal, so we mutually agreed that i stepdown until and if they are willing to do so,” FORG1VEN wrote.

To sub in for FORG1VEN, Schalke called forth Nihat “Innaxe” Aliev from the Academy roster — a former Unicorns of Love player from the LCL who, until this weekend, had played zero LEC stage games. Understandably, the expectations of most fans were for another 0-2 Schalke weekend, but in the wake of FORG1VEN’s self-benching, some dared to dream: Imagine of Schalke wins now. Or even one step further: Imagine if they beat G2.

Friday saw Schalke be trampled by Rogue, losing at the 32-minute mark with a 10k gold disadvantage and a win against G2 the next day seemed even less probable than it already was. But on the day of question, the reality of the game was hard to believe.

An MVP performance by Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu’s Aatrox defined the match, but he was far from the only star for Schalke that day. A cool-headed Innaxe shocked G2’s bottom lane as he not only survived a 4v2 tower dive, but got a kill. Just a few minutes later, a fancy footwork by Felix “Abbedagge” Braun baited Luka “Perkz” Perkovic into committing just enough, so that Innaxe can TP mid and take his second kill of the game.

After the initial trade of punches, the game became a bloody one. Schalke scored kills all across the board, but G2 kept the gold balanced for more than half an hour. It took Schalke three consecutive Baron buffs before they could close the series and even then, the outcome was not certain, with both bases missing inhibitors and being open for the taking.

The 380K viewership peak that the game achieved makes it the third most popular game of the season, following the G2 vs. Fnatic rivalry (475K) on week 3 and the G2 vs. Origen face-off on week 2 (409K).

While Schalke’s victory over G2 is certain to improve morale in HQ, their playoffs chances look slim still, halfway through the season. Team Vitality (0-8) are the only team lower than Schalke, and the two are to meet next week. And although G2 have ceded their undisputed #1 spot and are now tied for first with Misfits and Origen, they remain the heaviest favorite for the Spring title still.

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