G2 Esports was the clear favorite to win the Summoner’s Cup heading into this weekend. Instead, FunPlus Phoenix overcame a tumultuous start to their run in the 2019 League of Legends World Championship and upset G2 to become the season nine champions.
They didn’t just beat G2 to earn the title, either. They thrashed the Europeans in their own backyard.
While it was surely an overwhelming moment for FPX, it was an even more emotional time for G2 Esports. Not only did they see the title slip through their grasp, but they were completely outclassed by the Chinese team, buckling under FPX’s pace and aggression.
G2 CEO, Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez, took to the stage after the defeat to address his team’s fans. Once the awards ceremony was complete, Rodriguez thanked G2’s fans for supporting the team throughout Worlds.
If G2 won, they would have been the first European team to claim the Worlds title since Fnatic won in the inagural World Championship season.
“I’m very proud of all the fans that came here or supported online, the players, the support staff, and management…Everybody worked so hard to get here, it was an unbelievable year,” he began.
But as the camera panned to G2 making their way off the stage, Rodriguez lost his composure. Overwhelmed with emotion, the CEO could be heard saying “fuck” multiple times with the mic pulled slightly away from his face.
The Twitch chat went crazy, bombarding the stream with chants of “F” and “fined.” Still, it was easy to see how much the series meant to Rodriguez. He soon collected himself and continued the speech.
“Today FunPlux Phoenix played better. They deserved it. The winner has to be the better team and they were the better team,” he stated.
The images of the G2 squad waving began to fade, and the camera focused on Rodriguez once again. The pain was still very visible in his eyes, but he was able to get a few more sentences in.
“I’m very proud of everything we’ve done this year. We just got started. It’s hard to see it right now because we just lost but we should be proud. You guys should be proud of all the players,” he said.
Soon, Rodriguez was unable to hold back his tears and began to wince in a genuine moment. He wiped at his tears and yelled “fuck” again, the frustration on his face quite clear. The camera soon faded to shots of the arena.
“Don’t worry, Carlos. We completely understand your reaction. I’m going to let you go because I see how hard this is for you,” Sjokz’s voice echoed throughout the room, ending the interview.
The respect shown to Rodriguez stands in harsh contrast to a similar moment seen in Overwatch League earlier this year. Casters and interviewers were criticized by the OWL community for continuing an interview with Seoul Dynasty’s Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu as he cried uncontrollably.
The Overwatch League received even more flak when they decided to use a screenshot of ryujehong’s crying face for an poorly received meme later in the season.
Getting emotional after a loss at a major event like the World Championship is quite normal. There’s not only a lot on the line, but it’s often a long, difficult, stressful process to even qualify for the tournament.
It’s unclear if Rodriguez will be fined by Riot Games for swearing, but an LEC penalty tracker can be found here. G2 Esports received multiple warnings and fines throughout the LEC season, including two active ones for a violation of content policy and a commercial violation. Earlier in the season, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski was fined for “conduct unbecoming of an LCS member.”