Game 1: Royal Never Give Up vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Win: Royal Never Give Up (22-21, 43:29)
Coming into MSI, many speculated we might see Aurelion Sol, available for selection at a major tournament for the first time. It didn't take long: Huhi instantly locked it in with the final pick of the first game of the tournament.
As expected, CLG earned a small early lead from a lane swap and farm advantage in the top lane. Royal Never Give Up picked up First Blood at 11 minutes in, however, when Mata caught Stixxay out of position and Looper was able to finish him off for the kill.
CLG evened the game back up at 14 minutes after a Darshan teleport picked off Xiaohu, but RNG took the lead back at 21 minutes with another excellent play from Mata. Huhi's Aurelion Sol attempted to engage under RNG's mid outer turret, and Mata and xiaohu combined to trap him under the turret and serve up a double kill for Wuxx.
Wuxx wasn't the only AD Carry with a series of kills in him. Stixxay picked up a quadra kill and the lead for CLG just minutes later, when CLG forced a team fight mid while xiaohu was in a side lane. Looper missed Poppy's Keeper's Verdict, and CLG was able to clean up with six unanswered kills and a 27-minute Baron.
mlxg stole Dragon at 30 minutes for RNG's fourth Dragon of the game. To make things even better for the Chinese squad, another excellent engage from Mata led to a 4-0 team fight and two towers to take the gold lead. But it wasn't enough: at 34 minutes, CLG aced RNG 5-2 and took Baron.
With Dragon back up at 36 minutes and RNG on four Dragons, CLG set up for a fight around the objective. The fight looked to break for RNG immediately, getting a 3-1 start, but Stixxay picked up his second quadra kill of the game to turn the fight in CLG's favor. Looper was able to teleport in and finish off Stixxay for an RNG ace, but CLG turned around and won the next fight, knocking down an RNG inhibitor.
But once again this game had another surprise in store. At 42 minutes, RNG picked off Darshan to set up a favorable team fight, giving Wuxx a quadra kill of his own. RNG marched into the base to finish off CLG, winning the game.
Bans: Soraka, Kindred, Bard; Twitch, Thresh, Ryze
|Looper (Poppy) 3||5/3/12||252||Darshan (Maokai) 1||3/3/17||237|
|mlxg (Nidalee) 1||1/4/18||212||Xmithie (Graves) 2||4/3/11||212|
|xiaohu (Azir) 2||6/5/13||343||Huhi (Aurelion Sol) 3||3/5/12||334|
|Wuxx (Lucian) 3||10/4/5||414||Stixxay (Caitlyn) 2||11/5/7||346|
|Mata (Alistar) 2||0/5/20||44||Aphromoo (Braum) 1||0/6/20||44|
Game 2: G2 Esports vs. Flash Wolves
Win: Flash Wolves (26-12, 44:49)
The first skirmish of this game was a pretty good indicator of what was to come, combining aggressive play with some sloppiness. Five minutes in, Trick dove MMD at his outer turret, grabbing First Blood for G2. But Kikis hung around too long around the turret, giving a kill back to MMD.
That's kind of how it went at the beginning: Trick killing a lot of people and various mistakes held back larger leads. At 14 minutes, G2 had five kills, and all of them had come from their jungler. With the kill score tied at 7-7 at 18 minutes and G2 holding a 3k gold lead, G2 successfully sieged an inner turret but paid for it with three deaths, as Trick, Emperor and Hybrid were all caught out of position.
G2 picked up an early Baron at 20 minutes, winning the ensuing team fight to boot. That helped the European side build its most substantial lead yet.
G2 went for th enext Baron at 29 minutes, but Flash Wolves was able to pick off Trick before he could use Lamb's Respite to keep himself alive. G2 went right back to Baron a minute later, which turned out to be very much the wrong choice. Karsa casually strolled into the Baron pit and stole the objective, and Flash Wolves won the ensuing fight 2-1.
G2's low-crowd control, low-range composition was unable to force the fight it needed once the game got to this point, and the Flash Wolves simply grouped up and asserted itself in lanes. Flash Wolves set itself up for the next Baron at 37 minutes, but Trick got some revenge on Karsa by stealing it.
Flash Wolves ended up killing both Kikis and Trick in the ensuing fight, and won the next skirmish 3-0, finally taking the gold lead. After another 3-0 fight at 44 minutes, Flash Wolves was able to march into G2's base and take the win.
Bans: Alistar, Thresh, Maokai; Nidalee, Sivir, Bard
|Kikis (Trundle) 3||3/6/4||290||MMD (Ekko) 1||4/2/12||316|
|Trick (Kindred) 1||6/8/3||224||Karsa (Graves) 2||9/3/11||203|
|Perkz (Ryze) 2||2/4/3||410||Maple (Azir) 3||10/2/12||377|
|Emperor (Lucian) 2||1/5/4||406||NL (Kalista) 2||3/3/13||347|
|Hybrid (Janna) 3||0/3/8||25||SwordArt (Braum) 1||0/2/15||50|
Game 3: SK Telecom T1 vs. SuperMassive eSports
Win: SK Telecom T1 (22-1, 28:34)
A quick timeline of how this game started for SuperMassive:
- 4 minutes: Thaldrin nearly solo kills Duke, but Duke edges him out for First Blood.
- 5 minutes: Blank heads top and helps Duke kill Thaldrin again.
- 7 minutes: Blank heads top again, kills Thaldrin and Stomaged with help from Duke.
- 8 minutes: Duke teleports bot, helps Bang and Wolf pick up a kill on Dumbledoge.
The game very quickly spiraled from there. Soon it was 14-1 at 23 minutes with an 11k gold lead for SKT, and even a Baron steal for Stomaged couldn't make a difference. SuperMassive's Baron buff resulted in a net 1k gold loss, and once it was over SKT marched into the base to finish it out.
Bans: Lissandra, Bard, Maokai; Alistar, Braum, Nidalee
|Duke (Ekko) 2||5/0/8||218||Thaldrin (Trundle) 2||1/6/0||242|
|Blank (Kindred) 1||5/1/7||169||Stomaged (Gragas) 3||0/4/1||108|
|Faker (Ryze) 2||5/0/6||273||Naru (Azir) 1||0/3/0||261|
|Bang (Ezreal) 3||7/0/8||277||Achuu (Lucian) 2||0/4/0||240|
|Wolf (Karma) 3||0/0/14||26||Dumbledoge (Poppy) 1||0/5/1||31|
Game 4: Counter Logic Gaming vs. Flash Wolves
Win: Counter Logic Gaming (18-17, 48:53)
After getting torn apart by Azir in the first game of the day, CLG went ahead and instantly banned it for this one.
CLG was able to turn a Karsa gank bot into an advantageous situation twice in the first ten minutes. First, an incredible hook from Aphromoo and a clutch heal from Stixxay saved what could have been a very bad situation and earned First Blood.
Karsa returned around 10 minutes in, and a better teleport by Darshan this time around helped set up kill number two for Stixxay's Caitlyn.
Flash Wolves turned up the pace at 22 minutes, making an aggressive siege on the mid lane outer turret and killing both Aphromoo and Huhi to take the lead.
CLG answered at 28 minutes, as another excellent hook from aphromoo led to a 2-1 fight in favor of the NA side. CLG was able to turn that into Dragon number four at 30 minutes, but Flash Wolves responded with a 2-1 team fight and a destroyed CLG inhibitor.
Flash Wolves picked off Huhi at 34 minutes, setting up a play for Baron. Darshan killed NL in the Baron pit, but Flash Wolves responded with four kills thanks to Maple's incredible damage output on Gangplank.
Trailing by nearly 10k gold at 42 minutes, CLG found a way back into the game when Xmithie stole Dragon 5. That allowed CLG to kill every Flash Wolves playe rbut MMD, setting up an uncontested 43-minute Baron for the North American side. With Baron Buff and the Dragon 5 burn effect, CLG was able to take an inhibitor and open up Flash Wolves' base. The next team fight went 4-2 in CLG's favor, and the NA side was able to end the game and pick up its first win.
Bans: Azir, Alistar, Maokai; Nidalee, Bard, Ryze
|Darshan (Poppy) 2||3/2/3||311||MMD (Ekko) 1||7/2/4||329|
|Xmithie (Kindred) 1||1/6/7||219||Karsa (Graves) 2||3/4/4||237|
|Huhi (Lissandra) 3||4/4/8||398||Maple (Gangplank) 3||4/2/9||396|
|Stixxay (Caitlyn) 3||9/2/4||496||NL (Lucian) 1||3/6/3||383|
|Aphromoo (Thresh) 2||1/3/10||45||SwordArt (Braum) 2||0/4/11||46|
Game 5: G2 Esports vs. SK Telecom T1
Win: SK Telecom T1 (23-3, 24:48)
Like in the game against SuperMassive earlier Wednesday, SKT took an early lead in a lane and used its resources to focus on that lane and snowball it. This time, it was the bottom lane, starting eight minutes in when Blank made an early dive and gave a kill to Bang. A minute later, Faker teleported to the bottom lane and picked up a double kill, and the early kills for Bang and Faker helped spiral the game in SKT's favor.
Then you have Wolf and Faker making plays like this:
Faker had nine kills by 20 minutes, and SKT picked up an uncontested 20-minute Baron with an 18-3 kill lead and a 12k gold lead. Things got so bad for G2 that Faker built two Rod of Ages, and SKT was able to easily close the game out.
Bans: Zilean, Azir, Maokai; LeBlanc, Trundle, Nidalee
|Kikis (Gragas) 3||0/3/0||171||Duke (Poppy) 3||2/0/3||198|
|Trick (Graves) 2||0/5/1||106||Blank (Kindred) 1||4/0/9||109|
|Perkz (Ekko) 1||2/6/0||165||Faker (Ryze) 1||9/0/6||206|
|Emperor (Lucian) 3||1/5/1||196||Bang (Sivir) 2||8/0/8||218|
|Hybrid (Braum) 2||0/4/2||34||Wolf (Alistar) 2||0/3/15||21|
Game 6: SuperMassive eSports vs. Royal Never Give Up
Win: Royal Never Give Up (26-11, 36:12)
With Nidalee and Kindred both banned and Graves picked away by Stomaged, mlxg brought out the playmaking Lee Sin. It worked. He picked up a kill and an assist in the first three minutes of the game, and was generally able to dictate the pace by moving around the map and picking off enemies.
SuperMassive was able to make some individual plays -- Dumbledoge picked up a double kill five minutes in and FabFabulous (subbed in for Thaldrin) solo killed Looper early on. But any time the Turkish side made a play, RNG would match or best it with plays of their own.
Bans: Alistar, Braum, Nidalee; Bard, LeBlanc, Kindred
|fabFabulous (Fizz) 3||2/5/3||254||Looper (Ekko) 1||7/3/6||283|
|Stomaged (Graves) 1||3/4/1||147||mlxg (Lee Sin) 2||7/2/8||185|
|Naru (Lissandra) 3||2/7/5||319||xiaohu (Ryze) 1||5/1/14||370|
|Achuu (Lucian) 2||1/5/3||354||Wuxx (Sivir) 3||5/3/9||348|
|Dumbledoge (Poppy) 2||3/5/2||62||Mata (Tahm Kench) 2||2/2/14||51|