The group stage of MSI will be held on the 10th and will feature top teams from regions all over the globe. GAM rose as the biggest potential game changer of this year’s MSI as they prepared themselves to compete internationally after conquering their local Vietnamese scene. WE came out on top in LPL, ending the long-time dominance of the two giants and creating a chance for themselves to show their mettle on an international level. TSM has also honed its blade and now aims to wash away the bitterness of last year’s Worlds tournament.
The group stages are single round matches that do not allow the players to let their guards down for even a moment. Here is our overview of GAM, WE, and TSM for the upcoming MSI.
Too good to be a wild card: GAM
The GIGABYTE Marines are relatively new to the scene, as they debuted last year in Vietnam. GAM has already made a name for themselves at their first major tournament in the Vietnam Championship Series. Their positive vibe carried on to GPL, and they even got themselves a ticket to this year’s MSI after their solid performance in the playoffs.
GAM’s performance in the play-in stage surprised many. Although the team was reverse swept by TSM, they still managed to win 3-1 against SuperMassive from Turkey and hop on the train to the group stage. GAM caught the attention of LoL fans worldwide with their high quality of teamwork, despite being a wild card team.
GAM’s jungler, Levi, has shown his ability to carry the game under most circumstances, especially as Kha’Zix and Graves. Optimus is also making a name for himself as one of the strongest mid laners of Southeast Asia. The team’s ADC, Slay, has recently shown remarkable improvements that helped him make a major contribution to the team’s victories. He has shown solid performance in the recent play-in stage, and is also rising in popularity as one of the notable ADCs in this year’s MSI.
Power + Precision = WE
World Elite established their position in between LPL’s giants, EDG and RNG, and conquered the tournament in four years. WE made a triumphant return as a stronger team. Xiye and Condi definitely played a role there.
Xiye is playing a solid role as the team’s mid laner, and has been really stable with his performance in recent days. He carried the first set in the LPL finals as LeBlanc, and as Karma in the following two sets, managing to deal damage to the enemies while still supporting his teammates. Condi has constantly been making sharp and successful ganks that established the ground on which the team could start rolling their snowball.
Of course, we cannot ignore Mystic, who always shows stable performance as the team’s ADC. He seemed a little shaky in the past, but has powered up and has been in great shape ever since last year. He even went as far as to maintain lane dominance against Uzi, and is raising his fans’ hopes high in the upcoming matches that WE is taking part in.
LPL has often been regarded as weaker than LCK, but recent LPL games with WE has shown that the Chinese league is becoming more and more accurate in individual matches. LPL added accuracy to its aggressive macro to produce a better form, and WE is standing in the middle as the season’s champion.
TSM coming back once again as the king of NA LCS
TSM won five times in NA LCS after advancing nine times to the finals. Their career in NA LCS is impressive, but the team has been relatively weak when it came to international events. TSM failed to get out of the group stage in Worlds last year, disappointing many NA fans that hoped to see the gap close.
TSM seemed to have a rough beginning this year, as Doublelift decided to stay away from the game for a while. However, thanks to Bjergsen’s solid performance and Hauntzer’s noticeable improvement, TSM was able to advance to the 2017 NA LCS Finals. TSM won 3-2 against C9 and earned their ticket to MSI this year. They did not stop there, proceeding to beat GAM and advance to the group stage.
Hauntzer, the team’s top laner, is not only delivering solid performance but has also shown his confidence in the interview after winning the season. With him alongside Bjergsen, TSM does not look like a team that will be easy to take down, but they would do well not to be overconfident. If the team gets too confident like they did in Worlds last year, they could have a hard time in this global stage of MSI with teams from LCK and beyond.
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