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The 2021 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational continued on Friday with less action than the previous day, as most of the favorites in the tournament won their games. However, one favorite (well, North America’s favorite) fell to League of Legends Japan League’s DetonatioN FocusMe on Day 2 of MSI.

There’s a lot to unpack concerning that game, but let’s also take a look at the most important notes of the day.

Royal Never Give Up just waiting for Rumble Day 1

RNG woke up today and chose violence. They had already shown that no one else in their group is on their level, but today looked effortless for them. RNG played two games against the remaining opponents in their group and completely dismantled any attempt to stand against them. Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao whipped out the first Lee Sin top lane pick of MSI 2021 and RNG won both games without losing a single tower  neutral objective. They also won the games in less than 24 minutes each with a total of 39 kills.

While miracles do happen, it is unlikely that the rematches against these teams will yield different results. At this point, Pentanent.GG and Unicorns of Love must win their games against each other for that crucial second spot.

Can DWG KIA be stopped?

After taking down Cloud9 on day one, the tournament favorites defeated Liga Latinoamérica’s Infinity Esports. DK’s Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu in particular had a wonderful day hunting down his opponents on Graves. Just like their game against Cloud9, DWG KIA lost no towers, and they entered this game with a much better draft composition thanks to a Sett and Varus combination in the bottom lane.

DK’s bottom lane, known for its weak play style (especially in the early game), surprisingly brought the game to life in the early minutes with a show of Varus’ potential. Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun went deathless in the game while matching Canyon’s kill participation. Infinity’s only notable moment in the game was when they got three kills due to Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee’s overstep. DK closed out their second game with a win under 24 minutes and a 13,000 gold lead, showing only a team as a strong as RNG is likely to actually challenge them.

The conclusion? DWG KIA are simply built to dominate and cannot be stopped — at least in the group stage. However, to be fair to Infinity, they did get four kills against arguably the best team in the tournament. Additionally, they defeated DFM yesterday, which in turn took down C9 today, so there is still plenty more to play for in Group B. Check our interview with Infinity’s Mateo “Buggax Alejandro on some of his League of Legends experience:

 

The sky is growing dark for Cloud9

After losing to DWG KIA on the first day of MSI, everyone expected Cloud9 to bounce back on Day 2. After all, there is no shame in losing to the best. And in all honesty, no one is really favored to win against DK in that group. However, losing to DFM is certainly worrying for North America’s representative.

Both teams entered the game with favorable drafts with good team fighting potential and poke damage. But things started to get bad for C9 almost immediately when their star jungler, Robert “Blaber” Huang decided that getting a scuttle crab was suddenly worth everything. He burnt his flash and lost his life to steal it away.

After that DFM, controlled the game’s tempo and kept extending their gold lead. They also found favorable picks onto C9’s Luka “Perkz” Perkovic. DFM even made few questionable decisions that almost cost them the win, but they still managed to hold out on the last dragon fight and end the game.

Even though C9’s bot lane tried their best, they couldn’t do it alone. The only good takeaway from the game is that Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami actually had a much better performance, and he was even crucial in helping the team stay alive long enough to experience defeat.

Here’s what C9’s Blaber had to say after today’s performance:

 

Armut takes down Turkey, barely

Heading into MSI 2021, MAD Lions’ Irfan “Armut” Tukek expressed his desire to take down his former rivals, fastPay WildCats and also show Turkish Championship League fans his improvement. And honestly, despite the difficulty, he did just that. The game between both teams came down to the very last minutes and could have gone either way. Both teams had their base exposed and needed to make just one right move to secure victory. Armut played his signature Wukong with Javier “Elyoya” Prades on Volibear.

Just like day on one, MAD Lions’ bottom lane kicked off the game with first blood for Matyas “Carzzy” Orsag’s Kai’Sa. However, fastPay WildCats responded with a kill of their own and continued to keep up with MAD Lions’ pace. There was nothing to separate the two teams heading into the late game with three dragons apiece.

However, MAD Lions ultimately pulled the trigger in the 35th minute after securing their third baron of the game. After this, they instantly killed Berk “Farfetch” Badur’s Leona and turned their attention to the bleeding base of their opponents. fastPay Wildcats’ indecision during the baron fight cost them the game, leaving them with zero wins at the end of MSI Day 2.

MAD Lions closed out the second day as leaders of Group B while PSG Talon got their first win of the tournament against paiN Gaming.

Tune in to Day 3 of the 2021 MSI Group Stage on May 8 at 6.am PT, with Unicorns of Love vs. RNG as the opener.

2021 MSI standings as of May 7:

  • Royal Never GiveUp (3-0).
  • MAD Lions (2-0).
  • DWG KIA (2-0).
  • Unicorns of Love (1-1).
  • paiN Gaming (1-1).
  • PSG Talon (1-1).
  • DetonatioN FocusMe (1-1).
  • Infinity Esports (1-1).
  • Pentanet. GG (0-3).
  • fastPay Wildcats (0-2).
  • Cloud9 (0-2).

Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.


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