MSI Rumble Stage day 4: teams start locking in Knockout Stage slots
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Day 4 of the Rumble stage for the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational brought many important and exciting games to the forefront as DWG KIA and Royal Never Give Up locked in the first two spots in the Knockout Stage. Meanwhile, the other teams continued to fight for their event lives as PSG Talon, MAD Lions and Cloud9 are all still vying for the final two spots.

However, no MSI review would be complete without an update on the perennial underdogs Pentanet.GG who recorded their first win in the Rumble stage on Day 4. Here are the major stories and takeaways from the fourth day of the MSI Rumble stage.

DWG KIA and RNG secure MSI knockout spots

The two Eastern teams have topped the Rumble stage table since its beginning and officially locked in their spots for the final phase of the tournament. There was some ambiguity about the certainty before the day began, thanks to various tiebreakers, but securing 6 wins put them both above the qualifying threshold. DWG KIA ended the day with a 2-0 record and did not look challenged in either game. MAD Lions rolled over and died in their first matchup against the Korean champions.

DWG KIA won a scrappy skirmish in the top river in the early game and managed to walk away with a double kill as MAD desperately tried to kill Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu. DK took that early blunder and punished MAD with another kill and Rift Herald take minutes later. This turned the game into DK’s favor as they pushed that early advantage into an almost 10,000 gold lead before the game’s conclusion.

Their game against PSG was almost the same story. DK turned an early skirmish win into an insurmountable lead as they constantly pressured PSG with their item advantages and objective control. Heo “ShowMaker” Su was the main player driving these victories. The mid laner finished the day with a combined 12/1/20 stat line for both games on Zoe.

Canyon looks over his computer on the MSI stage
Canyon looks over his computer on the MSI stage on Day 3 of the Group stage on May 8. |Provided by Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games

RNG went 1-1 on the day, but still managed to get revenge against PSG in the first game of the day. The Pacific Championship Series representatives had RNG against the wall with a slight gold lead at 28 minutes but threw it away in a disastrous baron fight. Against Cloud9, RNG never got their game started, as they dropped three early kills almost back to back. Robert “Blaber” Huang was seemingly everywhere in the early game, with a 4/2/11 performance on Volibear. Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami also outperformed his previous form and RNG counter part in team fights.

PSG Talon, MAD Lions and Cloud9 still fighting for MSI lives

PSG Talon had all but locked in their spot to the MSI knockout stage previously. With convincing wins over RNG, Cloud9 and MAD, the Taiwanese team looked poised to take the third spot for themselves. But, PSG went 0-2 on Day 4, which leaves the final two spots up for grabs. They did play both tournament favorites, but based off of their previous performances, they looked like the clear number three team heading into Day 4. Their fate is still in their hands, but their final matches against Pentanet.GG and Cloud9 are not guaranteed wins by any means.

MAD are also largely in charge of their own destiny, but Cloud9 are on their heels, especially if they force a tiebreaker in their final game. MAD’s form on the day ranged as they lost quickly against DWG KIA and took out Pentanet.GG in under 25 minutes. The European team has lived up to expectations and nothing more so far. Their final challenge will be tomorrow as they will either hold their MSI Knockout spot or have to battle Cloud9 in the final games for it.

Carzzy shushes the camera at 2012 MSI
Carzzy shushes the camera at MSI 2021 Day 5 on May 10. | Provided by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Cloud9 made their tournament lives a lot harder today thanks to their loss to Pentanet.GG. The scenarios in which the team makes it out of the Rumble stage increased with their win over RNG. However, those numbers came back down to earth thanks to a surprise loss to the Oceania representatives. C9’s tournament lives were not entirely decided in that matchup, but it did not help their chances. Cloud9 should be rooting against PSG and MAD tomorrow and praying for outside factors to go their way.

Pentanet.GG eliminated from knockout stage, record first win anyway

Pentanet.GG were eliminated from the MSI knockout stage stage with their loss to MAD. But not long after, the team also recorded their first win against Cloud9 in the final game of the day. The underdogs threw together a monster performance against the North American representatives. Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney ended the game with a 10/0/3 score line and Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander earned player of the game on Sett. They secured an early lead thanks to a kill and Rift Herald take in the first 10 minutes. They took that lead and converted it into four drakes and a baron take. At one point, they had more than 5,000 gold than Cloud9.

Cloud9 kept it close thanks to their team fighting synergy, but after Pentanet.GG secured Infernal Dragon Soul, the game was all but over. All that’s left for the Oceanic team is to play spoiler, as they can make life hell for the rest of the Rumble stage field on Day 5.

2021 MSI standings as of May 17:

  • DWK KIA (7-1)
  • RNG (6-2)
  • PSG Talon (4-4)
  • MAD Lions(4-4)
  • Cloud 9 (2-6)
  • Pentanet.GG (1-7)
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.