The halfway point for competitive LoL is looking great.
The 2019 League of Legends Grand Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) Tournament has come to an end, with G2 Esports becoming the champions of the tournament. It was a dramatic journey for all the teams, to say the least, with the fan favourite SK Telecom T1 being jousted out in the semi-finals.
Apart from that revelation, here are some cool facts about this year’s MSI we’ve compiled for your reading convenience. Whether you’re a fan or a casual browser, this tournament was the highlight for LoL competitive play for these reasons:
Two Unexpected Names In The Finals
The common names in the scene are the Korean and Chinese teams, namely SK Telecom T1 and Invictus Gaming respectively. This is the equivalent of Man City and Liverpool in the MSI tournament. Fans and analysts worldwide were expecting these two teams to meet in the finals, but they couldn’t have been more wrong.
The European team G2 Esports faced off the North American representative, Team Liquid, in the grand finals.
— Nick Butts (@_mrdantes) May 19, 2019
A World Record Was Created
The 3rd match in the Grand Finals best of saw an Ace at 17:30 led to an 18 minute victory, setting a world record for the fastest international Best of 5 ever.
The match was touted to be one of the epic conclusions to a tournament. Check out the clip below.
— Nick Butts (@_mrdantes) May 19, 2019
First G2 MSI Win Since 2011
After stumbling in the Worlds 2018 Grand Finals, this is G2 Esports first major international title after nine years of participation in the League of Legends MSI Tournament.
Not to mention, the team had a clean sweep score of 3-0 against Team Liquid in the Best of 5 match, which prompted fans to come up with this GIF.
North America Gets The Limelight
For many years, the North American League of Legends scene has been ridiculed around the world. Critics labeled NA teams as chokers, especially in international events. Choking is the failure of a sportsperson or team in a game in a situation where maintaining their performance is highly important.
The NA representatives, Team Liquid, showed the world when they defeated Invictus Gaming that it’s no longer about following the Eastern meta. Rather, it’s about carving their own meta and making the game theirs, and it paid off.
SKT Telecom T1 Choked Against G2
G2’s unconventional style of play was overwhelming for the Korean squad to adapt to.
Simply put, there were many flaws in SKT’s gameplay. Martin “Wunder” Hansen’s Pyke top dominated Kim “Khan” Dong-ha’s signature Jayce with a bit of help from Jankos’ Jarvan IV. On top of this, they put Teddy onto Miss Fortune, a champion he’s played very little of recently, while Vayne or Lucian were up.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, one of the best LoL players in the world, had his effectiveness locked down in three of the five games thanks to the ban Akali, Sylas, and signature Ryze for the most part.
There were too many problems to patch in the SKT contingency and their drafts were compromised as a result. This doomed their MSI 2019 campaign to an end.
Semifinal Viewership Was Sky High
As a matter of fact, the tournament garnered a whopping 1.7 million peak viewers, the event falls behind only the 2017 and 2018 World Championships.
The semifinal round received the most views, probably because four of the most prominent regions were represented.
The Future Meta Might Be Shifting
Thanks to G2 Esports’ mid player Luka “Perkz” Perković and his innovative playstyle, the game might see a change in future drafts.
Speaking to the InvenGlobal, Perković said;
“I’d like to recommend every mid laner to change roles to ADC. (laughs) Since marksman champions aren’t strong, just simply use non-ADC champions such as Cassiopeia, Neeko, Yasuo in bot lane. I hope they buff the Ardent Censer.”
In fact, G2 has been shifting the meta even before the tournament kicked off when they signed Rasmus “Caps” Winther to the Mid Lane and reassigning Luka “Perkz” Perković to the ADC role. It’s clear it paid off very well for the team.
An Epic Conclusion
With MSI 2019 ended, it’s only matters before we see all the teams battling it out again in Worlds 2019. At that time, we’ll expect to see juggernaut teams pulling up their socks ready to knock the MSI champion out of the park. Knowing G2, they won’t be going without an intense fight.
All in all, the esports scene for League of Legends is thriving greatly at the moment, and it’s drawing in viewers by the millions. It all bodes well for the game and the fans.