2017 Mid-Season Invitational: CLICKON eSports Day 1 Recap

With day one of the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational concluded, League of Legends fans were treated to a number upsets and a series of matches that were far closer than initially anticipated. CLICKON eSports recaps all the action from Day 1 of MSI 2017:

G2 eSports vs SK Telecom

In the day’s first match, G2 drafted a heavy engage composition while SKT countered with a composition featuring an unexpected top lane Galio pick to protect a balanced (and exceedingly well drafted) composition.  For most of the mid to late game, we saw very little fighting, with G2 unable to find the engages they were looking for and SKT capitalizing on those cooldowns to gain objectives. After slowly whittling away, SKT would take all three of G2’s inhibitors and finally end the game.

For G2, they played above expectations for their first game of the tournament, unlucky in having to face the reigning world champions. They drafted a good composition, they just failed in their execution and gave away a small early leads that they could have snowballed to a possible victory. SKT reminded us why they are the World Champions, staying cool under pressure while keeping the gold close in a game that saw them give up a few early kills.

Flash Wolves vs Team WE

The game between FW and WE quickly became all about World Elite top laner Ke “957” Chang-Yu’s Kled pick. After two early ganks by Elise, Kled jumped out a significant early lead over Rumble and was able to roll that lead into a massive advantage for WE. Unable to counter the pressure of the Kled, Flash Wolves made a desperate call to try and secure a kill on him bottom (unsuccessfully) that WE used to gain Baron and eventually break the base.

WE proved they are a team that cannot be ignored, and jungler Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie’s early picks were able to create advantages that overcame the usual crisp mid game play of Flash Wolves. FW may need to draft a composition that spikes a bit earlier in the game if they hope to overcome the LPL champion in their final meeting.

Team SoloMid vs Gigabyte Marines

In a rematch of their play-in series that saw TSM reverse sweep GAM, a disjointed draft from TSM saw the NA LCS champions put their faith in ADC Jason “Wildturtle” Tran’s Twitch pick and developing a comp around him. Unfortunately, his opportunity to carry the game was severely hampered by multiple misplays by TSM early in the game that gave GAM an advantage TSM were unable to overcome.

For a TSM team looking to cement their reputation as a top international team, their performance was unacceptable and showed multiple mechanical and drafting flaws. On the other hand, GAM proved their early victories against TSM were not a fluke, and they may be the best Wild Card team we have ever seen.

Flash Wolves vs G2 eSports

With both teams securing multiple comfort picks for themselves, the match between G2 and FW was sure to be an entertaining one. FW used the potent combination of Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan’s Rengar and Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang’s Leblanc to create a significant early advantage. Still, they were unable to put G2 away as they survived until a critical fight around Baron 45 minutes into the game that saw G2 kill two FW members and take the nexus.

For FW, this match has to be much more concerning than their loss to WE, as they were unable to snowball a sizeable mid-game lead to victory. G2 played the map in a way that prevented FW from gaining insurmountable advantages on the back of multiple team fight wins for FW, and proved their resiliency in a tournament where they are searching for redemption in the eyes of many EU fans.

SK Telecom vs Gigabyte Marines

SKT and GAM played out a bloody match filled with constant action for the 26 minutes of play. SKT jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho put on a show with his trademark Lee Sin, exhibiting his mechanical skill and excellent map sense to grab multiple early kills for himself (he finished 9/1/9). A team fight near Baron would eventually spell the end for GAM, as SKT would snowball their advantage to victory.

GAM kept the pressure on for the entirety of this game, refusing to lay down and let the World Champions walk over them. For SKT, this game could be slightly concerning when you look at the number of deaths they gave up to a wild card team. Still, SKT was able to answer almost every move that GAM  made and ended with a quick victory to become the only 2-0 team after day one.

Team SoloMid vs World Elite

With another decisive early game, WE jungler Condi proved he is one of the best junglers in the world by securing multiple early kills bottom as Elise.  TSM would funnel most of their pressure into top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnel’s Kennen pick, using the pressure he generated to secure multiple Barons and the bottom inhibitor. TSM would eventually secure all three inhibitors to close out the game.

For TSM, this was a much-needed answer to their struggles earlier in the day. The victory over WE kept them from falling behind in the standings and proved they are still a contender for a playoff spot after their loss to GAM. WE once again were able to create early leads, but not able to capitalize in the way they had against FW. Still, if WE are able to consistently create these leads they may have a deep tournament run.