Warning – Spoilers Ahead!
The Mid-Season Invitational, featuring the 6 best League of Legends teams from across the world, wrapped up its group stages. Each team was battling for one of the top four seeds at the 2016 World Championship. The following teams represented their region at this tournament:
- Royal Never Give Up (RNG): China – Winner of 2016 LPL Spring
- SK Telecom T1 (SKT): Korea – Winner of 2016 LCK Spring
- Flash Wolves (FW): Taiwan – Winner of 2016 LMS Spring
- Counter Logic Gaming (CLG): North America – Winner of 2016 NA LCS Spring
- G2 eSports (G2): Europe – Winner of 2016 EU LCS Spring
- SuperMassive eSport s(SUP): Turkey – Winner of 2016 International Wild Card Invitational Mexico
Going into the tournament, everyone thought the teams that would be at the top of the group stage table would be SKT and RNG. The battle for third and fourth would be between CLG, FW, and G2, with many giving the edge to G2 after their performance in the EU LCS. Many wrote off the International Wild Card team, SUP, being the weakest team at every tournament. This was not the case.
Royal Never Give Up
Considered the strongest team at MSI, and they proved themselves as such. Finishing in first place at 8-2, they only dropped games to CLG and SKT. Nothing much to say about this, other then they showed up. Both loses were close as well, with the CLG game going to 42 minutes and the SKT game going to 54 minutes. Next week, they will face SKT in a best of 5 in the knockout stages.
Counter Logic Gaming
With a mid lane and ADC new to the team, CLG went into the Mid-Season Invitational and silenced all the critics. Losing to SUP, SKT, and RNG, CLG finished second with a record of 7-3. Stixxay, the ADC, showed up in a big way, carrying the team to many of their victories. This team has a swagger that can’t be topped, and they’re looking to carry that into the semi-finals next week against the Flash Wolves.
Both Flash Wolves and SKT finished 6-4, with Flash Wolves holding the tie breaker to finish 3rd. FW swept G2, SKT, and SUP, while losing both games to CLG and RNG. Proving to be a force to be reckoned with, ADC NL, and mid laner Maple, put on a brilliant performance this weekend. They will go on to face CLG next weekend in the knock out stage.
SK Telecom T1
After coming off of a win at Worlds 2015, one of the biggest surprises of the tournament occurred, SKT finished fourth, at 6-4. Starting 2-0, SKT went on to lose four games in a row, getting swept by Flash Wolves, and splitting games with CLG and RNG. Many considered Blank, the jungler, to be the weak link in the loses. He finally showed up in the last games, propelling SKT to 4th place, winning the last 4 games. SKT hopes to redeem themselves in the knockout against RNG next weekend.
Many considered G2 to be an extreme disappointment. This team was criticized by pros and fans alike for going on vacation for the weeks leading up to the Mid-Season Invitational, instead of practicing. This showed in their results, finishing in 5th place at 2-8, losing a top seed at worlds for EU. This should be a wake-up call for the team.
Finally, the Wild Card team. Although finishing last, with a 1-9 record, the one win was hard earned over CLG. If the team stays together, and gets the practice and communication firing on all cylinders, this can be a dark horse in upcoming tournaments.
The knockout stage next week will be interesting. The games between SKT and RNG will be competitive, bringing out the best in both teams. If CLG brings the same energy, and plays as well as they did against the Flash Wolves in Group Stage, they will be able to knock off the Taiwanese team in the knockout stage. The game is ever changing, and what happens one week will not always happen the next. Only time will tell.
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