Day three marked the halfway point of the group stage at MSI 2022. Like the previous two days, the League of Legends teams expected to outperform the other members of their groups have continued to shine, finding even more ways to separate themselves from the rest of the competition.
While no team has yet to qualify for the rumble stage, each group possesses a squad with a growing undefeated streak ready to advance into the further stages of MSI. Group A’s T1, Group B’s Royal Never Give Up, and Group C’s G2 Esports have yet to be taken down at the competition thus far and are establishing themselves as teams that each have the potential to win it all. The remainder of the teams will progress hoping to either take down the behemoths or end their group stage run in second place, watching the top from behind.
From the first pentakill of the tournament to yet another dominant T1 victory, the third day of the competition provided fans with even more reasons to keep a close eye on the action. Here are some of the highlights from the third day of MSI 2022’s group stage.
GALA counts to five
The reigning MSI champions RNG are constantly raising the bar for what it means to completely decimate international competition. Today, they sought to prove anyone doubting their potential to take control of the tournament wrong, extending their undefeated streak through some love from the in-game announcer for RNG’s ADC, GALA.
In RNG’s match against the CBLOL’s RED Canids, GALA and Ming opted for the powerful Lucian and Nami bot lane combination, one that has not been prioritized heavily thus far in the competition. RED Canid’s ADC TitaN’s answer to this was a surprise Draven pick whose sheer early-game damage made it difficult for the RNG bot lane to find leads outside of trading kills.
Luckily for the reigning MSI champions, this early-game deficit did not hamper their potential to carry momentum into the later stages of the match. The damage from GALA empowered by Ming became an area the RED Canids could not contend with—even with heavy-hitters of their own. Gold continued to pour freely into GALA’s pocket, allowing him to opt for a build that’d completely shred any enemy in his path without having to focus on purchasing damage items.
With seven kills already under his belt, GALA rotated toward a late-game bot lane fight initiated by Bin and Xiaohu. Since the entirety of RED Canids was occupied trying to take down the enemies in their face, GALA could freely bring his Nami-empowered Lucian straight into the action to pick off each opponent with ease.
Two kills in the jungle, two kills in lane, and one final kill under an enemy turret secured GALA the first pentakill of MSI 2022 and one of the most dominant victories RNG have achieved at the tournament thus far. They head into tomorrow hoping to emerge from the top of Group B undefeated following their final few matches in the group stage.
T1 extend their historic streak
For many League fans, upsets provide some of the most memorable moments at any tournament. Being able to see a team touted as one of the best be taken down unexpectedly makes the competition more volatile and opens up opportunities for anything to happen. Yet for the still-undefeated T1, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be victims of an upset any time soon.
In the final match of the day, the LCK’s T1 successfully extended their historic win streak by shutting down the LJL’s DetonatioN FocusMe. Though DFM seemed to keep their hopes alive through a stellar performance from their ADC Yutapon on Ezreal, they ultimately faced the same fate that so many teams before them have suffered this year at the hands of T1.
In a move that thus far has been associated with the LEC’s G2 at MSI, T1’s support Keria locked in Pyke as a way to take control of this game. This is the first time that Keria has played the Bloodharbor Ripper this year, likely incentivized by recent buffs to Umbral Glaive, an item that Pyke thrives with.
Once Keria got his hands on some boots and some swords, the bot lane was no longer his focus—not that Gumayusi needed more help to get even further ahead at that point. Nearly every skewer that Keria threw landed on an unsuspecting member of DFM, either resulting in an execution from himself or one of his teammates jumping in to secure the kill.
Within 20 minutes, each lane of T1 had amassed a substantial lead over their opponents. Keria had made such a major impact across all areas of the map that DFM was forced to fear the T1 support emerging from the depths anywhere. At almost exactly 25 minutes, T1 ended another dominant match with a 17,000 gold lead and 15 kills over their opponents—almost looking to play with their food even more before ending the game.
T1 remain the only team to be undefeated in their regular season, playoffs run, and MSI combined. They will compete against all of the teams in their group on Sunday, May 15 to close out the group stage and determine which teams from Group A will venture into the rumble stage at MSI 2022.
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