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MSI Semifinals Preview

Four teams out of the six that were invited will fight it out in Shanghai for a chance to be crowned as the MSI champion for 2016. These teams not only fight for their pride as a team, but also for the opportunity to demonstrate that their region is the best.

SK Telecom (Korea) vs Royal Never Give Up (China)


Photo Credit: Youtube

Before MSI began many people would have this matchup as the grand finals of the tournament, not the semifinals. SKT were touted as the team that should have dominated the group stages and although it looked like they started that way, as they trounced the first few teams they played. However, the Koreans proceeded to lose a four game losing streak including losses to the Flash Wolves, CLG, and their opponents for the semifinals RNG. They managed to finish off the groups by winning their last few games, but they were not the dominant team that many people expected. RNG on the other hand, had the dominant performance that many people expected from SKT. They only dropped the last few games they had to CLG and SKT when they were already guaranteed the first seed in the playoffs. The Chinese team has shown that all of their players are the strongest in their individual roles with jungler, mlxg, having a strong performance in the group stages.

It’s hard to ever put the defending world champions and a team like SKT as the underdogs, but it must be done in this case since they have shown that they are not the best team at the tournament at the moment. Yes, the talent on the team is massive, but RNG also features several world champions of their own and some of the best players from China. Also, the games RNG lost in the group stages felt like they lost more to themselves than to the other teams considering they had a huge lead in both of the games they lost. RNG has performed better as a team and shown that they are currently better than SKT, so if both teams perform how they did during the groups, RNG should be winning this series.

Counter Logic Gaming (North America) vs Flash Wolves (Taiwan/Southeast Asia)


Photo Credit: Reddit

Both of these teams have performed better than expected during the group stages. CLG especially were heavily criticized before MSI began, but they have shown that many of the potential problems and pitfalls have been neutralized and solved. In particular, their ADC rookie, Stixxay, has shown none of the problems of an inexperienced international player. He has not shown any nerves and has topped the stat charts with his carry performances. CLG’s other members have also stepped up greatly from the LCS regular season to contribute to their success. The Flash Wolves have also shown that they are a team to be reckoned with. The Taiwanese team are the only ones to boast two wins over SKT. Their mid-laner, Maple, also topped the stat charts and has shown himself to be consistent rock for the Flash Wolves.

Both these teams should be close in terms of skill, but if we were to look at who performed better during MSI so far, it would have to go to CLG. The team has shown superior team fighting and decisions in the games they have played. They also were one of the two teams to beat RNG in the group stages. The one place where the Flash Wolves have a significant advantage would be in the mid-lane. Maple should be miles ahead of Huhi and if they exploit this fact, CLG could be taken down even with their other lanes being stronger.

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