G2 Esports Takes Home The Mid-Season Invitational!
Vanquisher of the SKT T1, then of Team Liquid in the Grand Finale, our partner G2 Esports was crowned winner of the MSI Retour on the incredible course that has had us holding our breath…
The Mid-Season Invitational, or MSI, is like the e-sport version of the NBA All Stars Game. Over the course of a week, the winners of major League of Legends championships go up against each other in a mini world championship. This lets us, the spectators, get an idea of the power-ranking at a global level, midway through the competitive season. In May 2019, we were proudly able to attend G2 Esports’ coronation at the final of this event. It was truly a pleasure!
A mitigated group phase
In the beginning, nothing seemed to point to G2 being in a position of strength, especially considering they were up against teams like SKT and IG, who both have held the title of World Champion. With a Perkz who hasn’t always been comfortable in botlane since his reconversion, the arrival of Rasmus “Caps” Winther to the midlane, and Mikyx with fluctuating health issues, things actually seemed to be going pretty badly. However, despite a few inconveniences during group phase, particularly when they were up against Phung Vû Buffalo (0-2, even though they were the weakest team), G2 finished 3rd with five victories and five defeats, as well as a new challenge: that of defeating SKT T1 during the semi-finals.
The SKT T1 reef
Once the group phase came to an end, and this semi was announced, the overall feeling was that G2 still stood a chance. If the Koreans have shown off more and more beauty over the past few days, the result of their confrontations is leaning in G2’s favor, who has already beat them two times. Obviously, with a botlane who may not be at their best, G2’s priority will be to win (if not crush) the sololanes, thanks to Wunder, Caps, and Jankos, the jungle’s free electron.
As we excepted, the game was rich in energy and intensity. Bullied from the beginning, G2 managed to tilt the scale back into their favor twice by returning to the score, before dealing the final blow during a decisive game. In the end, even if the games were high-level, it felt like it was truly the team’s morale that brought the G2 players to victory.
After a one-way game 1, the Europeans found the resources to modify their draft in-depth, thereby catching back up in the score. While we’re at it, let’s take a moment to remember Caps’ Pentakill that had the whole room jumping up in a standing ovation. There was also the 4th game, where the aforementioned player and Wunder had the presence of mind to react to SKT’s push by crushing their base to award them a decisive 5th game. Game 5 was the culmination of the meeting. It was lead by the masterful hand of G2, who snagged an amazing victory, and a Grand Finally to be played against Team Liquid.
70 minutes on the clock
Intense, fast, fierce. This is how the le three games of the MSI 2019 grand finale can be summarized. While the team may have struggled for many years to attain this international level that they’ve always dreamed of, this time, they didn’t let their chance to grab the title pass them by. To the great displeasure of Team Liquid, obviously. Fun fact: this is the first time since the 2011 season 1 World Championship that two western teams have gone up against each other.
If you followed the game, you already know that this BO5 was simply the fastest ever recorded in official games since the beginning of professional League of Legends competitions. 70 minutes and 43 seconds is the total time it took for the European Champions to inflict a bloody 3-0 on a transparent Team Liquid, who were unable to contain and react to G2’s unending assault. The killing blow? Game 3, finished in under 18 minutes, that let the Samurais raise their international trophy in the air and get ready to embark on a journey to the next World Championships at the end of the year with the label of the world’s best team. For this alone, we can’t wait to be there!
Congratulations once more to G2 Esports for their victory! We wish them the same result for the Summer Split in LEC, and, why not, the 2019 World Championship!