The Mid-Season Invitational is finally here and our team at esportsnews_tips has carefully been analysing the 11 region’s representative teams from world beaters to regions in rebuild. There’s probably no surprise at the top of the pack but the mid-lower tier teams sometimes can cause a few upsets and we’re predicting this year to be no different.
1. Damwon Gaming Kia (LCK 16W-2L)
2. Royal Never Give Up (LPL 14W-2L)
3. MAD Lions (LEC 10W-8L)
4. Cloud9 (LCS 13W-5L)
5. PSG (PCS 17W-1L)
6. Unicorns of Love (LCL 10W-5L)
7. Pain Gaming (CBLOL 11W-7L)
8. Detonation Focus Me (LJL 12W-2L)
9. Fastplay (Istanbul) Wildcats (TCL 14W-4L)
10. Infinity Esports (LLA 12W-6L)
11. Pentanet.gg (LCO 13W-1L)
OK, so we now have our order sorted. If you want to find out why read below:
Pentanet.gg took the newly formed LCO by storm this split demolishing everyone on their way to a 13-1 record and a 5 game series in the grand final. This is where the positives end for Pentanet.gg. The Oceanic region was decimated this year due to a number of factors. The first was that Riot has completely given up on Oceania and pulled their funding before ESL came in as the Aussie saviour. WTF RITO!? But the second and more pivotal reason was North America opening their residency slots to Oceanic residents. This meant anyone worth their salt left for the LCS and LCS academy to find a new pathway into the elite sections of League of Legends. Unfortunately, this meant the pool of decent pros to choose from in Oceania has gone down the drain. Pentanet.gg did a really good job in recruiting and have former All-Star 1v1 hero, Pabu (beat Faker, Rookie and Doublelift on his way to losing the final to Caps) in the jungle and Biopanther up top making the top side of Pentanet.gg quite a strong force. We just don’t see them picking up a game against Unicorns of Love or Royal Never Give Up. Oceania is in a rebuilding phase after last years worlds being their best ever run in an international event.
10. Infinity Esports.
The analysts and commentators from LLA have been claiming big mental resilience after their reverse sweep to take home the MSI spot for their region. We’re going to tell it how it is and it’s worrying. Their shaky gameplay, mixed with poor decisions and the inability to secure objectives while in a lead is not going to bode well for them against the likes of DWG and C9. We’re super doubtful this crew are going to pick up a single win in their group and we’ll leave it at that for now.
9. Fastplay (Istanbul) Wildcats.
Turkey as a region is slowly climbing up the ranks in the minor regions leaderboard but we just can’t see their slow and non-decisive playstyle matching up well against the best of the best in group B. Their group is certainly the most open in terms of matchups but the quality of MAD Lions and PSG is surely going to be too much for them. They are a fairly young side outside of TCL veteran Anıl “HolyPhoenix” Işık, who was swept without a single win last time he made it to an international event. We think they’re a good chance to play well against Pain, and a small outside chance to beat PSG or MAD.
8. Detonation Focus Me
At 8th place in the rankings we have the best of the bottom teams. They’re the first team in the mix of low tier regions that we believe actually has a chance to shake things up and make their group interesting. There’s probably no way they beat DWG Kia, but there’s definitely a small possibility the renowned giant killers at international tournaments could pick up 1 win from Cloud9 and force a playoff game with 3 wins for both them and Cloud9. It would still be a feat any Japanese team would be proud of, and we’re giving them a somewhat OK chance of pulling this off. More so than we’re giving Infinity in the same group any chance to pick up a game. They’re not quite at the level of the next 3 teams yet but they’re teetering on the edge of this barrier and MSI 2021 may well be the year they show us what they’re really got. In terms of playstyle, their team fighting is their biggest strength so they should be looking to contest every objective they can. Overall however they lack tempo and game macro to be really competing seriously with the big teams.
7. Pain Gaming
We’re starting to get serious now. Pain, UOL and PSG have very serious chances to beat some of the top contenders. It would still be a huge upset if any of them beat the number 1 seed in their group but all three of these teams should be fighting comfortably for the 2nd spot in their group. They certainly didn’t have the greatest split working their way through the gauntlet in finals to win their spot to MSI but their signature aggression and more focused macro put them way above anyone on this list before them. Unfortunately, they also sit here because comparing their team role by role against the 6 teams above them on this list…. they probably lose to every team in every role.
6. Unicorns of Love
OK, so here we really start to get into the quality teams who have the potential to do great things at MSI. Unicorns of Love are a consistent mainstay at MSI and Worlds almost every year without fail. They dominate the Russian scene and look like they’ve again created the Russian super team getting the best players in almost every role from their region. They finished 4th but worked their way through the play-offs comfortable with two, 3-1 wins in a row to book their spot to Iceland. They play a much faster tempo and aggression than all of the teams before them. Their mid-laner, ‘Nomanx’ is an absolute beast and the meta is favouring him heavily at the moment with control mages such as Orianna, Victor and Kassadin being some of his favourites, boasting huge KDA’s on all of them. (he’s 100% from 3 games, KDA 33.0 on Kassadin).
5. PSG Talon
With a slight class above the rest but not quite getting into major region territory we have PSG Talon. They’ve had maybe the best split ever from a PCS representative going 17 wins and only 1 loss in the season before going 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 in the playoffs and if that wasn’t enough, their average game time was only 27 minutes long, meaning they DOMINATED their opponents consistently. They’re definitely a strong contender at MSI this year and we can’t wait to see how well they actually can do. Unfortunately they will be missing their ADC due to health reasons but we don’t think this will impact their chances of taking home 2nd spot in their group.
We’ve ummed and ahhed a bit about this decision but we believe it’s pretty solid based on the historical information we have, however, we’re waiting to see if it’s really going to be a ‘Perkz’ difference or not. North America is certainly a major region and anyone who says differently is just a bit angry at life. This Cloud9 iteration could be one of the strongest teams NA has sent internationally in quite a while. Their downfall has been their top lane but in the second half of the split and finals, Fudge has been excellent at playing weakside carries and split pushing gods. Other teams will be targetting him so expect Perkz and Blabber to get their magic to work taking over control of the map and leading their team to some comfortable wins against the lower region teams. Saying that. Fudge is still a much better top laner than everyone besides Khan (DWG Kia) in their group. We won’t see them tested until the second round of the tournament where they’ll unfortunately and most likely get wiped by the likes of RNG, DWG and probably MAD.
3. MAD Lions
Again, we may be going historical on this ranking but EU>NA right?? RIGHT!?!? I mean at first, we thought MAD Lions were just having a string of good luck after being ‘Sad Lions’ for the majority of Worlds 2020 but they seriously are the real deal this year. They beat G2 and Rogue (twice) on their way to becoming LEC champions and that is definitely no mean feat. They are the real deal, their jungler Elyoya has the potential to be one of the best players in the world and if there’s anyone to really look out at for a possible breakout tournament it’s him. The meta is favouring intelligent jungler’s that get leads for their teams and this suits MAD Lions perfectly. We’re not saying they could win it all, but given a possible good seeding in the second half of the tournament and they could very well make it through to the Grand Final (and then be swept by RNG or DWG).
Right at the pointy end now we have the two teams who seriously have the potential to win it. We’re doubtful RNG or DWG will let MSI 2021 slip to any other region so all eyes are going to be on how quickly these two pick up the new meta and play into each other. It’s honestly a hard one to call but RNG had to domestically fight there way through a pool of 5-6 teams who could easily take this #2 spot at MSI away from them and compete just as well against other world class teams. The week in, week out best of 3’s against some of the best teams in the world is surely going to play a factor at MSI 2021 and we strongly believe they have a chance of beating DWG KIA somewhere along the road whether it be the grand final or earlier. They won’t drop a game in groups and then doubtful they’ll lose to anyone but DWG after that
1. DWG KIA
OK, here we have, still the best team in the world, DWG Kia. They are just immaculate in every sense of the word. 4/5 players who speed ran through worlds 2020 to win the whole thing are still playing with DWG and their top laner Khan, isn’t too shabby either who they found as a replacement for Nuguri (FPX). DWG just doesn’t miss CS, always have their lanes perfectly assigned and sorted out, are on time to objectives and force teams to play PERFECTLY to beat them. Most teams at MSI just don’t have the ability to play perfectly for 1 game in their entire campaign let alone try to be perfect for 3/5 to win a series against DWG. They win from behind because they know their win conditions, and they never let a lead slip so this is why they’re at the top of our Power Rankings and the team in our opinion most likely to take home the trophy.
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