League of Legends first big event of 2019 is upon us. All the regions have finished the first half of their respective seasons and MSI is the culmination of all the effort those teams put in the first half of the year. MSI is one of my favorite Esports events of the year. It’s personally cool seeing the best teams in each region fight against each other in one event. We only get to see it twice a year.
This year’s tournament is going to be in Hanoi, Vietnam and will feature six of the best teams in the world. The representatives this year are:
LEC (Europe) – G2 Esports
LPL (China) – Invictus Gaming
LCK (Korea) – SK Telecom T1
LMS (Taiwan) – Flash Wolves
VN (Vietnam) – Phong Vũ Buffalo
LCS (North America) – Liquid
Over the course of the next two weeks. We’ll be going day by day giving our predictions and short thoughts over the days matches. Here’s Day 1.
All these matches should be amazing since it’s the winners of every region, but this one has a special appeal. Europe has historically played at a very high level internationally and they will have their hands full right away with the Champions of Korea. I fully expect SKT to roll through this match without much of a problem. One big thing that G2 has going for them against SKT is that Faker should be practically neutralized due to Caps. It’s worth noting that G2 didn’t get to practice much with Mikyx as he’s been inactive due to a wrist injury.
I’m going to take in Game 1.
Matchup to watch: Faker vs Caps
The second game will see the North American faithful Team Liquid take on the kings of LMS Flash Wolves. It seems like the Flash Wolves always finds a way in this tournament, despite not going into the LMS Playoffs as the number one seed. They would 3-0 MAD Team in the Finals and punch their ticket to MSI. Team Liquid tied for the best regular season record and fell behind 2-0 to TSM in the Spring Finals but was able to reverse sweep them to punch their ticket to MSI.
I’ll go with here for Game 2.
Matchup to watch: Betty vs Doublelift
Unfortunate for the home town team as they will match up with the defending World Champions in Invictus Gaming for their first match. I wouldn’t expect much resistance here as PVB is simply the best of the wild card teams and will more than likely get shoved around. Historically wildcard teams have surprised at MSI but I’m just not feeling it in this game.
I’m going to take pretty confidently in this one.
Matchup to watch: TheShy vs Zeros
Now that everybody has dipped their toe in the water of MSI, it’s time to get into the meat and potatoes of the group stage. Historically the LMS teams have played SKT well, however, I don’t believe this iteration of Flash Wolves is as strong as prior teams and SKT is looking solid. I’d fully expect SKT to walk through this match fairly easily.
I’ll take in Game 4.
Matchup to watch: Hanabi vs Khan
What a crappy draw for G2 in Day 1 as they draw the two hardest competitors in the competition. I truly believe this will be the more likely game for them to win if they are going to win a game on Day 1 but the chances are still slim. Invictus will get a nice warm-up against PVB and maybe G2 can catch them napping but I won’t count on it.
I’ll take in the fifth game of the day.
Matchup to watch: JackeyLove vs Perkz
The last game of the day and if you aren’t asleep already, you might witness your first upset of MSI. Being from North America myself I’ve grown to never be surprised with anything that North America has to offer when it comes to League of Legends. I still believe they’ll be able to handle PVB but if the home crowd can get behind PVB on an early lead, there’s a chance we’ll see an upset. North America always seems to crumble under pressure.
I’ll take in the last game of the day.
Matchup to watch: Palette vs CoreJJ
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