Sometimes it’s enough just to not die. Survive, and the rest might follow. That was certainly the case for G2 Esports’ Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen at today’s European League of Legends Summer Final.
In League, as in most sports, the plays that often get the most attention are the ones that do damage. We remember how many yards a quarterback threw for at the end of a season. Soccer’s most famous practitioners are pretty much all goal scorers. Even in games like League, fans like to see how many kills their favorite player can secure, with the all impressive “pentakill” (when one player wipes the entire enemy team) one of its most prized accomplishments.
There was nothing that flashy in the European Summer Final, however. Instead, Zven simply didn’t die, and in so not doing, helped G2 Esports earn its fourth consecutive playoff win with a three-game sweep against Misfits that end up mirroring the two’s week 9 meeting earlier in the season (Zven didn’t die in that two game series either). As his team’s ADC, Zven is responsible for getting strong and then leveraging his champion’s snowballing stats to dish out damage against the other team.
Every ADC wants to do as much damage while also staying alive, but not every ADC is as good as Zven at finding that perfect balance. Some play too safe, others can get over-confident. In today’s series though, the 20-year old always managed to stay in the right place, contributing as much damage to fights as possible without ever making himself too vulnerable and causing his team a major setback by dying.
The first match got off to a slow start, with no deaths for the first phase of the game. It wasn’t until a team fight in the eighteenth minute that Misfits committed to getting on the board. It was the first and only time in the entire match that Sven seemed at all threatened after his opponents landed a stun. Hesitating for just a moment, however, Misfits allowed G2 and opening that completely changed the momentum of the fight.
In the second match it looked like Zven might finally bite it when a brawl broke out around Barron. Trying to prevent G2 from taking it, Misfits’ Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage swooped in to steal two kills. But with Zven hanging back, G2 managed to once again sustain themselves over the course of the fight and damage Misifts enough to return the favor with two kills of their own.
Finally, in the third match, the Dane once again managed to cruise into the late game unscathed. Misfits put a lot of pressure on the bottom lane but it ultimately didn’t manage to disrupt Zven’s development, who again went on to deliver DPS and death blows from relative safety during each engagement. Of course, none of that would have been possible without Zven’s bottom-lane partner, Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez. Without the latter, Zven never would have gotten into a position to play the latter part of each match so well. Despite leading in kills and gold by the thirtieth minute, Misfits were out-maneuvered again in another fight at Barron, spelling the beginning of the end for the squad based out of Britain.
In the end, Zven went 10-0-19 across the entire best-of-five series. He was the only player not to die at least once. His performance might not have been as flashy as, say, teammate Luka “PerkZ” Perković, but it didn’t need to be. Some ADCs are known for making rash decisions or being too eager to impress. Zven on the other hand can be the model of cool, calm, and collected. In this Summer Final especially, he proved an unstoppable tortoise.
You can re-watch the entire EU Summer Final series here.