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Cloud9 may be owed an apology from their doubters after their Day 6 performance to leave the Group C at the Mid-Season Invitational. They out-performed DWG KIA  and overcame upstarts DetonatioN FocusMe to move on. The day was also filled with bloody matches and surprise picks from each team. Junglers embraced the overpowered ability powered champions and top lane Lee Sin became an outright priority pick for some teams. Day 6 of MSI also cemented the teams participating in the next phase of the tournament, the Rumble stage.

Cloud9 finish with a flawless Day 6

Coming into the final day of the group stage with a 1-2 record, Cloud9 had an uphill battle for Rumble stage qualification. The easiest way for them to leave Group C was to defeat DWG KIA. The reigning World Champions are a tough opponent and proved that in the first game of Day 6. The 44 minute game averaged about one kill a minute with both teams raking up 42 kills across the board. That blood thirsty mindset ultimately worked against DWG KIA as they gave C9 a window back into the game. Cloud9 took the game after DK built up a sizeable gold lead off of early laning leads and drakes. DK fumbled their lead at the drake in a disastrous teamfight that lead to a Luka “Perkz” Perković triple kill. DK was an inhibitor and multiple drakes up on C9 before they threw their lead.

All in all, Cloud9 seemed to have resilience in the face of their previous results. Robert “Blaber” Huang and brahim “Fudge” Allami in particular looked better on Day 6.

The team will continue to the Rumble stage and play Royal Never Give Up in their first match on May 15.

DetonatioN FocusMe get their hearts broken

The Japanese team surprised many as they came into Group C, showing promise against DWG KIA and outright beating C9. Their solo laners Shunsuke “Evi” Murase and Lee “Aria” Ga-eul looked on par with the major regions and put up a fight in the early stages. They had the same chance to leave the group at the start of the day as C9 and almost forced another tie breaker in their game against DWG KIA. But, DFM ultimately fell to both C9 and DK in the later half of the day and dropped from the tournament. Their early leads were snuffed out thanks to either superior macro play or mechanical skill. C9 put a stop to their run with Perkz’ Yone and DK drafted an oppressive dive composition with jungle Diana that made their lead impossible to convert into a win.

DetonatioN FocusMe did make headlines in this tournament and will go down in history in the same way as KaBuM! e-Sports, Albus NoX Luna and Pentanet.GG — a minor regional team that out performed its major counterparts. Japanese League of Legends may be on the map and could be a force to be reckoned with in the future. But for now, they have a trip home to contemplate their tournament performance.

DWG may no longer be tournament favorites

Finishing 5-1 in the group stage is nothing to scoff at, but DWG KIA looked mortal in their final games. The team already had a few low lights against DFM previously, but a loss to Cloud9 and their second game against the Japanese team were even more evidence toward their waning form. This is not the DWG of old; their early game is not as impressive and their top laner is not as dominant. But these changes do seem to be the reasons for their blunders against seemingly inferior opponents. DWG did get the job done, leaving Group C, but other tournament favorite Royal Never Give Up went flawless and looked better as a team in their group stage games.

DWG ghost performing at MSI on Day 6
DWG KIA on stage at the 2021 MSI group stage. | Provided by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

DWG KIA finished Day 6 with a 2-1 record and interesting champion picks. Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu pulled out jungle Diana and Heo “ShowMaker” Su displayed his mechanical prowess on Yasuo. Even with the early and mid game blunders, DWG KIA didn’t look too perturbed and were willing to put the game on the line with interesting picks and immaculate team fights. They continue their MSI journey in the Rumble stage with a match against RNG on Day 7.

Infinity Esports go home

The Latin American team’s MSI run came to a close on Day 6. They finished 1-5, taking an early game off of DFM. They did not have a great showing on their final day, leaving the tournament on a five-game losing streak. Infinity can hang their international aspirations on their sole win, keeping C9 in the Rumble race and challenging the fellow minor region. The team’s bot lane duo performed well in the mid game in many of the matches and finished with the best statistic on the team with a 2.1 Kills/Deaths/Assists ratio for both players.

 Tune in to the start of the Rumble Stage of the 2021 MSI Group Stage on May 14 at 6 a.m. PST with DWG KIA vs. RNG as the opener.

2021 MSI standings as of May 11:

  • RNG (8-0)
  • DWK KIA (5-1)
  • MAD Lions (5-1)
  • Cloud9 (4-2)
  • PSG Talon (4-2)
  • Pentanet.GG (2-6)
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.
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