MSI is over. Memes were born, dreams were crushed, and the Koreans took one more trophy, as we would have expected. Now we can finally reevaluate the relative strength of each region, and take a look at some of the highlights of the event.
It may come as no surprise that SKT T1 have claimed the throne once again. Last year they have failed to do this, when EDG have beat them in the finals, but they can finally say that they have won an MSI too, in addition to their two World Championship titles. SKT looked a bit shaky at one point in the tournament, when they went on a 4 game losing streak, but they stepped up when it mattered the most, defeating a really strong RNG in the semifinals, and finally stomping CLG in the finals.
One interesting thing that we have learned is that China is back! That is right, RNG finished in the first place in the Group stages, and they were only stopped by SKT in the semis. They have put up a really good showing, Mata lived up to his fame. The team recently replaced Wuxx, their AD carry for Uzi, which should be an upgrade on paper. If the new team works out, China will be a serious contender for the next Worlds title.
We have learned something in this MSI for sure, and that is not to count out anyone. Not even NA or the wildcard team. The North American CLG put up an astonishing fight against the competition, beating every team at least once, which led to them reaching the finals of the event. The most shocking thing is that SKT started using champions that usually only see play in the NA LCS, which the Americans should be proud of. Aphromoo also showed us a pocket pick which haven’t seen competitive play in years: Sona. Or should I say SoNA?
Another surprise came in the form of a team from Turkey. I am of course talking about SuperMassive. The guys really showed that the IWC is not a region to count out ( well, in fact, it is not a region at all, but whatever). The Faker killer A.K.A. Dumbledoge proved that he can do more than a cheesy lvl 1 gank, and the team made Faker so afraid that he had to ward down in the river in case the enemy team will gang up on him again, just like they did last year. Even when they lost to other teams, SuperMassive looked like they were just a good team on a bad day. If things continue to go this way, we should definitely keep an eye on the IWC contender at Worlds for massive ( no pun intended) upsets.
The biggest surprise was arguably G2 going 2-8 during the group stages. The team management decided on giving the players two weeks of vacation before the event, so they were totally unprepared when they entered the stage. In addition, rumors say that the new addition of Zven+Mithy to the team was foreshadowed, and that created a bad team atmosphere. This is understandable, but a huge mistake on the part of the management. G2-8 is now the hottest meme on Reddit, everyone and their mother are joking about the vacation. The pool party skins are now associated with G2, they basically got team skins without winning a World Championship.
In spite of the hate G2 has got, they seem to be doing fine. They just acquired the best European bot lane duo for themselves, and on paper, they seem like the biggest contenders for the Summer Split, along with FNC who just got YS back, H2k with Freeze, and OG with the brand new FORG1VEN/Hybrid combo. who will have to fill the shoes of Mithy and Zven.
The main reason why G2 lost most of their fanbase, and that they have the majority of European LCS fans turned against them is that they failed to get first seed for EU at Worlds. That basically means that not even our best team is safe against other regions’ best teams. The hate is understandable, but everyone makes mistakes, so we should give G2 a break.