Two games in and PSG Talon have some catching up to do, having lost both. Red Canids are slightly better off with a 1-1 scoreline at present. Friday’s clash is a must-win for Talon if they are to keep their slim hopes of advancing to the Rumble stage. It’s easier said than done, though.
While the odds are with Talon purely going by experience. There’s the simple matter of having to overcome form issues, and that is where this game could be decided. So you won’t be entirely out of place to hinge your bets on Red Canids either, because they’re more than capable of pulling off an upset here.
Red Canids will be buoyed by their result over Talon when the two sides last met. Talon were no match to the Canids, who outshone them across every single parameter. Talon’s inferior gold count was a result of being completely dominated across lanes to the extent that they couldn’t manage to effect a single kill even as the Red Canids landed 13.
Talon’s two towers capture was hardly any consolation either; Canids managed to capture 9. Aegis led the way for the Canids, landing 6 kills and 4 assists, while JoJo’s support role landed him 9 assists, making him one of the star players in the game. Talon expected more from the duo of Kwiwing and Bay, but that wasn’t to be as both struggled for any kind of proficiency. Can they lift their game?
If Talon wanted to brush aside their opening loss as an aberration, they were given a reality check by RNG again. RNG stormed to an early lead that they managed to sustain right through the contest to eventually win. The match itself was a lot closer than the Talon-Canids fixture, with both Talon and RNG at one stage landing kills and counter-kills in what was a cat-and-mouse game to begin with.
Eventually, RNG pulled away and finished with 18 kills to Talon’s 11. Kaiwing played the support role well, landing 9 assists along with 2 deaths while Bay had 5 kills, 4 deaths and 4 assists. While these were better numbers than they could cobble up in the opening game, the kill and deaths nearly cancelling out each other meant any advantage they may have gained was immediately lost. Talon now have one last chance to correct things.
RNG have stormed to an early lead and are in the best position to make it to the next round. Their 2-0 record and the manner of victories in their first two games make them the overwhelming favourites as they take on first-timers Istanbul Wildcats, who have a 1-1 record. This one is a steep ask against a favoured team but if they can somehow conjure magic against RNG, they would’ve set the cat among the pigeons.
The odds of them doing so is very low, which means you stand to earn a massive windfall if you’ve placed your bets on them and they win. But chances of that happening are remote, so don’t be swayed by the temptation to earn 7x returns on your investments. Play safe.
Istanbul Wildcats beat Red Canids on Blue, so will be buoyed by the win. But taking on RNG is another cup of tea altogether. They’re tournament favourites and there are no questions that they’ve got some of the best players in the current League of Legends scene.
Xiaohu, the captain, has multiple MSI titles under his belt, has racked up the experience of several successful splits, so anything less than a win will be a massive disappointment. Don’t worry about an upset here, it’s very unlikely. This will be the first time both sides are facing off at an international event. More pressure for the Wildcats, because there is only so much you can plan against a side you’ve never met before.
On paper, this is the evenest contest you could find in the group. And that is because it involves two up and coming teams at a similar level of competence. Even so, Talon has a slight edge, but it won’t be a wild punt if you were to hinge your bets on the Wildcats.
PSG Talon have shown in the past the ability to ride the momentum and hold its own. Like when they won 3-2 in the grand finals over CTBC Flying Oster, they followed that up by finishing first in the Spring Split, where they fought through elimination.
They slipped up against CTBC in the winners’ final of the playoffs, needing them to reassess if they wanted to return to the grand final. They did that and much more. So there’s a history thereof competency and the ability to bounce back which they need to display in plenty here.
Wildcats will want to play out of their skins and repay the faith the team management has kept in them, after all they haven’t made a single roster change from last year. That they’ve played together for over a year, more than any other team, should hold some significance. It’s for them to show that.
The fourth game of the day pits RNG and Red Canids. Even until a week ago, you could have brushed this aside as a one-sided fare, but Red Canids have taken everyone by surprise the way they’ve performed so far. Their manner of domination over PSG Talon – a game they won 13-0 – shows they’re revving up slowly like a V8 engine ready to storm the tracks.
RNG while still being favourites will have to watch out for their opponents RNG are not just game favourites but tournament favourites. It’s something Xiaohu and team know all too well. But knowing you’re expected to turn up and win can be a different kind of pressure for a team known to scorch the tracks.
RNG haven’t been the same timing outfit they were pre-2018. Their win at the MSI that year sparked a reign of dominance at the LPL. The region has emerged victorious in five of the last seven international events in the calendar, the most recent being their win against LCK’s DAMWON KIA at the 2021 World Championship Finals.
RNG have played a key role in this domination, by churning out championship-ready rosters year after year, handpicking the best players and turning a bunch of competent players into an invincible force. Expect them to sustain this domination here.
Saigon Buffalo have started sluggishly, winning one and losing one. The loss against T1 will still be hurting because they had an excellent start and then saw the game slip out of their grasp. All said, the odds are firmly with them as they start favourites against Team AZE who are still searching for their first win.
Both their games have spiralled out of control and they’ve reached a point of no return quickly. The need of the hour now is to find a way to remain in the game for longer and then frustrate the opponents in quest to land the big kills or sift through lanes. This will be a true test of their offensive proficiency.
Saigon Buffalo were run very close by FocusMe in their previous game. The emotion at the end of the contest was more relief than excitement at having gotten past the line as they edged out FocusMe by a narrow 3.4k gold count. Both sides landed 17 kills apiece, but Saigon Buffalo surged ahead on tower captures, inhibitors and dragon count.
Shogun, the bot laner, led the way with 9 kills, 3 death and 6 assists along with a creep score of 348, while Taki’s role as a support player couldn’t be understated. He was involved in a high kill participation rate, courtesy the 17 assists he was involved in. Team AZE will need to find a way to get past these two.
On the face of it, it’s easy to get intimidated by a team such as Saigon. Team AZE only need to look as far back as two days ago, to Saigon’s game against T1 to realise they are very much beatable. However, to Saigon’s credit even though they lost, they managed to keep one of the best players – Faker – quiet.
In what was a big win for T1, he managed just 2 kills, 1 death and 5 assists. So Saigon have plenty going for them and the loss notwithstanding, they’re in a great position to make it to the next round should they get on a bit of a roll.
Let’s do the math. You have 1 USD. You put money on Detonation. They win, you earn roughly 9 USD. Tempting enough, right? Resist. Because T1 are record-breakers who are coming into the season on the back of one of the most astonishing seasons in their history.
They went through an entire spring split without a loss. They went through the playoffs unscathed. And here they are now ready to sustain that world domination. So you won’t be entirely wrong in terming this as the biggest mismatch.
They have a solid game play. They have one of the best crews. Bot lanes, where most of the big fights happen have nearly been out of bounds for some of the other sides, because Ryu ‘Keria’ Minseok and Lee ‘Gumayusi’ Minhyeong have been that prolific.
This makes them one of the least exploitable teams at MSI this year. T1 have begun the tournament on cue, storming to two wins. Expect them to continue the winning run.
What are DFM’s options? There is a massive gap in every parameter – shape, form, and personnel. Currently, facing T1 is like running into a brick wall. You know you have plans, you think you can outfox the opponents, but you can’t quite figure out how they still manage to pull carpets from under your rug.
Without Lee “Aria” Ga-eul, DFM don’t have the same skill levels as you’d expect them to have. He was one of their pillars and key to their plans across the past year, but his absence has drilled a huge void in between. That said, his presence wouldn’t have guaranteed a win either. It may have, at best, delayed the inevitable. That is the level T1 have been operating on. So expect another one-sided game.
|MSI 2022 Information|
|Teams||PSG Talon vs Red Canids, RNG vs Istanbul Wildcats, RNG vs Red Canids, Saigon Buffalo vs Team AZE, T1 vs Detonation FocusMe|
|Location||Busan, South Korea|
|Time||Friday, May 13 at 4.00 AM ET|
|How to watch||Official Twitch channel|
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