MSI 2022 is now upon us, with 11 teams beginning their quest for an international title. Even though there are only three teams with a realistic chance to win MSI (or maybe four to five if we’re being generous), ahead of the group stage it’s prudent to take a look at the numbers that could explain why each team will (or won’t) emerge victorious from the Mid-Season Invitational.
DFM's 27:43 (game time)
It’s hard to imagine that any team in the world could have been as dominant domestically as T1 was in the LCK, but in fact, there was one such team. That would be the LJL’s DetonatioN Focusme, who outshone T1 in just about every statistical category including average game time. Coming in at just a shade under 28 minutes, DFM speedran through their games easily, while winning 90.5% of the games they played during the regular season (a better winning percentage than even T1’s 85.7%), so it wouldn’t be unfair to call DFM the most dominant team domestically coming into MSI.
Of course, the rub is that DFM is playing in one of the weakest domestic leagues. It’s unlikely they’ll go through MSI with such ease.
IW's 1.22 (dragons @ 15min)
One indicator of early game control is a team’s ability to control and take early dragons. At 1.22 dragons taken before 15 minutes, Istanbul Wildcats have the best early objective control of any team at MSI 2022. They snowball this early dragon lead to average 3.22 dragons per game, which is also the best among MSI teams.
But looking at dragon control rate, it’s easy to realize that this strategy may not be a winning one at MSI. Some of the biggest favorites in the tournament — T1, RNG, and G2 — all have relatively low early and overall dragon take rates. In fact, T1 average only 0.7 dragons at 15 minutes, one of the lowest for MSI teams, yet come into the tournament as the heaviest favorites. Plenty of these top teams seem content to sacrifice one or two early dragons for a gold advantage.
Unified's 13.3 (KDA)
The KDA of PSG Talon Wong "Unified" Chun Kit is the highest of any player entering MSI 2022. This is particularly impressive for an ADC, as it indicates both Unified’s own strong positioning and his team’s ability to protect their biggest carry. In addition, Unified is one of the best AD Carries in terms of damage output (613 DPM and 31.7% damage share), which indicates that he doesn’t shy away from fights in order to preserve his KDA. Instead, Unified is simply one of the most efficient fighting bot laners at the tournament.
Jankos' -88 (XPD@15)
That’s the average experience differential at 15 minutes for G2’s jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski. Of the 11 junglers attending MSI 2022, only three — Jankos, IW’s Hakan "Ferret" Mert Çakmak, and ORDER’s Shane "Kevy" Allen — are on average behind in experience at 15 minutes. Now, Jankos does have a positive GD@15 (+69 gold at 15 minutes) unlike Kevy and Ferret, who both have negative differentials, but Jankos is widely considered to be one of the best junglers in the world. Yet he seems to be behind in XP quite often during the LEC Spring.
This is partially understood by Jankos sacrificing his own farm efficiency and camps in order to play to his lanes. He is one of the more aggressive junglers early in terms of ganking and getting vision for his teammates. However, the tradeoff for this aggression is not really evident in the ways you would expect such as high kill participation (his 68.7% KP on the year is slightly above average) or early objective control (G2 average 0.72 dragons at 15 minutes, one of the lowest of MSI teams).
T1's 8 (games lost all season)
That’s the number of games total that LCK representative and tournament favorite T1 have suffered during the Spring Split and playoffs. T1 played 50 games total between the regular split and playoffs, which means they come into MSI with a win rate of 84%, one of the highest in the tournament, while playing in arguably the toughest region in the world. Of the teams who managed to take games off T1 this year there was DWG KIA, Credit BRION, Hanwha Life Esports, Kwangdong Freecs, Liiv SANDBOX, Nongshim RedForce (twice), and Gen.G (once in the finals). The other 10 teams at MSI 2022 will be taking their chance to add their names to this list of teams, and maybe even become the first team to take a series off T1 this year.
All photos: © 2022 Riot Games, Inc. Used With Permission.
Diamond TFT Player & esports watcher.