Carl Martin “Rekkles” Erik Larsson recently went on stream to discuss his status following his departure from Karmine Corp in the LFL, expressing significant unhappiness with the G2 contract he had signed in 2021.
Rekkles was one of Europe’s most prominent League of Legends talents, with the marksman player headlining Fnatic’s roster for many years before taking an unexpected pivot to join G2 Esports in 2021. G2 never found the success it was looking for with Rekkles, and he was traded to French regional team KCorp at the end of 2021. Rekkles has recently taken to his stream to outline how unhappy he is with the contract he accepted under G2.
Rekkles lambasts G2 contract on stream
In the live stream, Rekkles took fans through the timeline of his departure from G2 Esports and the difficulties caused by the contract he had signed. Rekkles says that at the end of 2021, G2 benched him with no opportunity to be a substitute or fight for his spot at all. This meant that Rekkles would be forced to switch teams, but G2 had set an astronomically high buyout that teams simply weren’t willing to pay.
Once other LEC teams had signed marksman players, Rekkles says that G2 lowered the buyout so that smaller teams could bid on his contract. This timing meant that he was transferred to Karmine Corp, an LFL team, since all the other premier organizations in the LEC had already signed members. It had looked as though Karmine Corp might be taking Astralis’ spot in the LEC, which would have given Rekkles a path back into Europe’s main league. However, it recently was announced that Astralis had decided not to sell its franchising slot, leaving Rekkles needing to be bought out from the same high buyout price as his G2 contract, which he was still signed to.
Rekkles also noted that if he didn’t get benched, he would be paid the full total of his 2-year contract. If he was benched, which he was, G2 could opt to instead pay him a paltry 6% of that contract. On top of all this, the career-long AD carry player also said he’d be looking at opportunities to play support in the coming year.
Is Rekkles going to play support?
Rekkles, for as long as he’s played on the professional stage, has been a marksman and AD carry player. So specialized was his play that when mages in the bottom lane became meta, he benched himself in favour of at-the-time rookie top laner Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau. That inflexible specialty seems to have lessened with time, with Rekkles announcing on the same live stream that rumors that he was looking at chances to play support were true.
The veteran AD carry said that he believed he had the game sense and understanding to swap to the support position and that playing alongside supports for 12 years means he understands what the role needs to do and how to execute it correctly. Rekkles also says he has the work ethic to learn the new champions for himself and believes that overall, he has every resource required to make himself into a professional-level support player.
He wouldn’t be the first high-level AD carry to switch to the support role after failing to find the level of success in their original role they desired. Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in went from an unexciting marksman player to a world champion support and one of the best players in North America in the current day.
Is G2 creating predatory buyouts to limit ex-players’ options?
Rekkles isn’t the first ex-G2 player who’s had significant issues with a substantial buyout stopping him from going to other teams. Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle had similar issues, coming into conflict with currently-suspended CEO Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez on Twitter. This offseason, it’s ex-G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski who’s been encountering issues with G2’s sky-high buyout prices.
In a similar situation to Mikyx’s difficulties, Jankos found his contract with an exceptionally high buyout upon being benched from G2 as the organization tried to sell him off. According to Jankos, the buyout was kept high until other LEC teams had signed their junglers for the 2023 season. This mirrors Mikyx’s experience where he alleges his buyout was kept high during the peak of contract negotiations and roster shuffles, before being lowered by G2 after most opportunities were gone in order to save face.
This seems to paint a consistent picture of G2 jacking up the buyout on the contracts of desirable players in order to try and extract the most money out of the contract that they can, while limiting which of their opponents have the capital to purchase the player, only to lower the buyout once most LEC teams have found a player for the relevant role. After the likelihood of the ex-player debuting on a rival’s roster is low, G2 lowers the buyout, making the player available to other franchised leagues, regional circuits, and similarly less high-profile organizations.
After three star players, all of whom played during the same period, all complain of prohibitively-high buyouts, it may be time for G2 Esports to reevaluate the costs and benefits of driving up the price of players on their public image. The organization is already struggling to recoup public faith after ex-CEO Carlos Rodriguez posted a video with misogynistic internet personality Andrew Tate and then doubled down on his association with the ex-kickboxer.
This pattern of behavior seems less to be unfortunate coincidences, and more a conscious effort by G2 to drive up the price of assets they’re trying to offload. Hopefully, Rekkles and Jankos can find teams despite their issues with G2’s contract management.