Mid-Season Invitational Day 5 in Review: The usual suspects make it through
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After a number of exciting tie-breaker games and Cinderella stories, Day 5 of the Mid-Season Invitational ended on May 10. The two teams expected to make it out did so with two games left to play, but the games themselves kept fans guessing for a time.

The young gun MAD Lions left a few games up in the air, but came away with solid wins. PSG Talon also advanced with a top spot despite using a substitute bot laner.

The two teams leaving the event came away with stories to tell. The paiN Gaming roster had some of the most intense games of the event and showcased the passion of Brazilian League of Legends. Even last place fastPay Wildcats, who picked up their first tournament win in this slate of games, made the tournament interesting with their late run.

paiN Gaming’s group stage of what ifs

The Brazilian representatives finished the group stage with a 2-4 record, defeating the Wildcats twice. The squad could have made the group interesting if it weren’t for some uncoordinated fights around the objective on Day 5 and a Day 3 Nexus defense, both by MAD Lions. The team’s veteran bot laner Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves led his team in both games as paiN fought against a massive gold deficit in their first matchup and maintained a slight gold lead in the second.

Their Day 3 matchup ended in a mad dash and fights inside both teams bases in the end. Their final matchup was less of a methodical win by MAD Lions as the European team slowly gained drake control while paiN took towers and Rift Herald control. MAD eventually forced a fight around the third drake, won it convincingly and took the win minutes later.

Their other games went as expected with PSG Talon stomping them in both matchups. FastPay Wildcats put up a valiant fight, but fell in convincing fashion.

MAD Lions make up for past blunders

MAD was facing a stigma when it came to this edition of the Mid-Season Invitational. Losing in the play-in stage at the 2020 World Championships put a damper on their brand, but this tournament could change that. The team was revamped with new players and a whole new meta to traverse in this event, but those close wins against paiN and loss to Wildcats showed some familiar cracks.

The team ultimately finished as the top squad with some impressive stats from their bot laner Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság. In his last game, Carzzy walked away with a 11/1/5 Kills/Deaths/Assists score line on Kai’sa. That kind of score line was the norm for him over the event as he finished with more than 9 kills in three other group stage games. His Day 5 form was no different with victories on Varus and Kai’sa.

The young team has cracks to fix, but they’ll have a few days to work on them before the Rumble stage starts on May 14.

Look out for PSG Talon

PSG Talon are a top squad in their region and now have the proof that they can compete just as well internationally. After stomping through their home region, many thought the team would struggle at the Mid-Season Invitational. They showed that they are a step above the minor regions and deserve to be in the next stage.

They finished Day 5 2-1, casually walking into the rumble stage. PSG Talon took out both paiN and the Wildcats first, crushing their dreams of further international play. They took out the Wildcats in 33 minutes with a snowballed gold lead despite Anıl “HolyPhoenix” Işık’s best efforts on the Turkish side.

Their game against paiN was closer with fights around objectives that either ended in draws or with PSG securing drake. After a big skirmish around baron in the mid game, PSG ran their lead into paiN’s base.

Their final game against MAD Lions was more of a formality as both had secured spots in the rumble stage. PSG Talon took a 34 minute loss against the European team but was a constant annoyance to the Lions as they took fights constantly in the early and mid game. PSG Talon will continue on into the Rumble stage with substitute bot laner Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan.

The Wildcats can’t keep their heads in the game

With the worst record in the group stage so far, the fastPay Wildcats follow in the footsteps of their sponsor and leave the competition quickly. They showed the world that teams can capitalize on MAD Lion’s mistakes, despite what paiN may have showed, and gave HolyPhoenix another international appearance.

The veteran bot laner did what he could to take the Wildcats over the line on Day 5, but could only manage one win with the team. He put up impressive statistics and played fights well, dying in the backline as the last one alive in many cases. He finished the event with a 4.1 Kill/Death/Assist ratio according to gol.gg. Holyphoenix also bested former his former Turkish League opponent İrfan Berk “Armut” Tükek in their final day.

HolyPhoenix hungry to face off against Armut

 Tune in to Day 6 of the 2021 MSI Group Stage on May 11 at 6 a.m. PST with DWG KIA vs. Cloud9 as the opener.

Group C Standings as of May 10:

  • DWG KIA (3-0)
  • Cloud9 (1-2)
  • DetonatioN FocusMe (1-2)
  • Infinity Esports (1-2)
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.