Day 1 of the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai is now in the books and we are only 3 hours away from the next round of Day 2. The matches lived up to our high expectations for an action packed day at Shanghai.
For those not familiar or new with the scene, MSI is a League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Games. The teams that qualify are number one in their respective League, or region, by the end of the first half of the season. In general, each region’s League season has two sections which referred to as “Splits”. The first split, “Spring Split”, and the second split, “Summer Split”, are both counted almost as their own season with their own playoff within their respective region. MSI takes the winner of the Spring Split playoffs of every region and puts them in a round robin group stage where the top 4 teams (by record) get put into a best of five single elimination bracket stage.
The regions participating are the North American League “NA” (NA LCS), European League “EU” (EU LCS), Korean League “KR” (LCK), China League “CN” (LPL), South-East Asia League “TW/HK/MO” (LMS), and Wildcard Region which is a culmination of smaller regions that compete in a WildCard Invitational tournament. Every organization will represent their region since the MSI tournament will determine which regions will earn top four seeds in the 2016 World Championship.
Represented by CLG (Counter Logic Gaming), bolsters a squad with a chip on their shoulder. CLG is an organization that has been there since the beginning and is considered one of the forefathers of League organizations. Even though they are a storied franchise, they have struggled since the heyday of their original roster. Many people write them off and write off NA as a whole when it comes to the big 5 regions as they are known to choke at the international stage. There is intense rivalry and bragging rights when it comes to NA and EU.
Represented by G2, which is a brand new team of decent mechanical players. They have exceeded expectations within their season and have played with convincing dominance. Many people have attributed them as inconsistent at times, much like how the LPL is seen as. When they are on point, they look absolutely brilliant — but when they do tend to make the occasional odd decisions. They are considered the ‘Wild Card’ team of the tournament in the fact that it would not be surprising if they grabbed top 3.
Represented by SKT1, this region and organization is considered the overlords. They always show a dominant showing and the region as a whole is always expected to take number 1. SKT1 is the only organization to be a two-time World Champion, among other accolades. Everyone on the organization is a new face except their star midlaner Faker. Who many have called the Michael Jordan of League.
Represented by RNG (Royal Never Give Up), is the one organization that could give SKT1 a run for their money. RNG has always shown great performances at the international stage. LPL known for their over-aggression fields Korean imports and former World Champions Mata (Support) and Looper (Toplane) to help make their aggression more calculated.
Represented by FW (Yoe Flash Wolves), is emerging as a respectable region overtaking NA and quite possibly EU in international ranking. Much like LPL, the LMS region is known for looking for fights with aggression. They are considered to be top 4 on the international stage with LMS and EU being interchangeable at the 3 and 4 rank.
Represented by SUP (SuperMassive), is an organization from Turkey that really has no expectations to do anything but gain international experience. It is common for Wildcards to be just fodder at these tournaments due to their smaller region/infrastructure and limited exposure to the international stage. No one expects them to do better than 6th place.
What to Watch Out For
Everyone has the usual power rankings of (1)SKT1, (2)RNG, (3)FW, (4)G2, (5)CLG, (6) SUP with #3 and #4 being interchangeable. After Day 1, however, it looks like CLG (1-1) is on the uptrend as they had strong showings against RNG and FW. Their loss to RNG was a very close loss and CLG looked very strong considering them throwing out an unexpected and untested pick. G2 (0-2) seems to be struggling and have been joked about being the true “Wildcards” since SUP (0-2) despite being the same record showed better efforts in their loss. Besides that, SKT1 and RNG are to be expected at a dominant 2-0 record. They are poised to play each other in a few hours which will, as some people will expect to be a preview of the MSI Finals.
CLG will make top 4 instead of G2. It will not be surprising to see CLG make it to 2nd or 3rd.