Hello again, guys! My name's Caedrel. I was a professional LEC player for 3 years and am currently part of the LEC broadcast as a color caster/analyst. Today, I wanted to talk a bit about the top 5 takeaways we can learn from MSI. Whether these be in-game points or more holistic narrative points in terms of strengths of regions i'm going to break down my top 5 takeaways and best moments
In no particular order, here they are:
Now, memes aside, it's another disappointing international event for North America. Unfortunately they were unable to make it past round 2. Despite having great performances, C9 having taken down both DK and RNG at the tournament, they were unable to make it into the Knockout stage. This could come down to their loss versus PGG, giving them more hope going into the final day and having their own fate in their own hands, but regardless, consistent international success is something NA is still striving for, and hopefully we see that at Worlds.
The Shock of Pentanet
What a great tournament for the LCO. The first time in the region's history that a team made it to the second round of an international tournament was a great achievement. They did this by taking down the favourites to make it out of the group in second place, Unicorns of Love. It came down to a best-of-5 from pure best-of-1s where PGG won out 3-2 and qualified to stage 2. However their performance still left something to be desired as despite their wins versus UOL and their 1 upset win versus C9, all of their losses seemed quite one-sided.
The 2 standout champions
Another great takeaway from this tournament is just looking at the top 2 most prioritised champions from my perspective. Although these champions have had a lot of question marks around them pro teams still seem to think they were the most powerful picks (alongside perhaps Udyr and Lee Sin) on the patch itself. Renekton, having been banned away or picked in 93% of all MSI games, and Kai’Sa who was by far the most played ADC at the whole tournament, with 66 games played. For context, the second most played ADC was Tristana at 33.
Kings, Legacy, Dynasty
Okay, that title was just for memes. But what I want to touch on here is the success of MAD Lions. The fact that they were able to almost take down DK in the semis, and make it into the top 4 despite all the questions such as: Can EU succeed without G2 or FNC? Will MAD Lions underperform similar to last year’s Worlds? RGE should be there instead! MAD definitely silenced the haters, performed above expectations, and are an exciting team to follow the longer the year progresses.
China vs. Korea
The gap between the LPL and LCK has been an interesting one to follow. From LCK dominating the international scene for 5 years in a row (2013-2017) to LPL only recently becoming the kings of the world in 2018 and 2019, and then the LCK re-gaining their crown off the back of DWG’s win last year. This MSI showed that China is just inches above Korea now, and going into Worlds that's even scarier, given the fact that any LPL team in arguably the top 4 could have made it to this MSI and perhaps could have performed similarly. The LPL will be the toughest opponent looking forwards to the world championship, especially the fact that they have 4 Worlds spots now
There have been a lot of great takeaways from this year’s MSI, and after having not had an MSI last year, it’s refreshing to see one this year. Despite it being quite a draining month of nonstop best-of-1s and a somewhat questionable format, it was great seeing how regions stack up early on into the year.
Worlds, however, is going to be absolutely nuts. The LPL and LCK having 4 spots, the rise of EU, and NA having perhaps one of the best international showings ever in terms of performance against the top teams: there will be a lot to look out for!