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League of Legends - MSI Finals Preview

Much like a certain European team, we’ve had a nice vacation since the last bit of League action. Champions have been crowned and christened in their respective regions, time for them to give their mice a rest? Not a chance! Last week, Riot’s Mid Season Invitational event saw the victors from each main League of Legends engage in the killing of creeps and the destroying of inhibitors yet again for international glory. Not only with a sizable $250,000 on the line this time, the placement of the regions at this tournament determines seeding for the LoL World Championships, so it’s time to bury your rivalries and root for your home server!

  In what’s already turned out to be one for the books, let us guide you through the final leg of the MSI with our thoughts on the match-ups and a breakdown on who you should be following for all the flashy plays! Art and images courtesy of the awesome Riot Games, go check them out at lolesports.com   Semi-Final 1 Royal Never Give Up (1st) (China) Vs SKT Telecom T1 (4th) (Korea) RNG SKT Hailing from the land of ‘see hero, kill hero’ RNG were of course pegged as a strong squad but never the 1st seed. Having come into form at the tail end of the LPL and beating chinese superstars Edward Gaming in the finals, Royal have been nothing short of impressive throughout the group so far. Having the backbone from legendary World Champs Mata and Looper, RNG have looked strong from every position in the group stage. Particular props to jungler MLXG, looking downright terrifying on Nidalee. Even in the team's losses, Royal have had a commanding grip on the early and have gone a long way to restoring faith in the Chinese region after an abysmal showing at the last international competition.   SKT superstar Faker has been dubbed as the ‘unkillable demon king’, a moniker that we may have to revise after this event. Without a shadow of a doubt the favourites heading into the tournament, SKT started in dominant form. Following a loss to their chinese rivals RNG, SKT slid into  an unprecedented 4 game losing streak exposed a mortality to the fearsome side for the first time in international competition. AD carry Bang went from being untouchable to showing multiple uncharacteristic positional errors and Faker, most worryingly, could have easily been described as ‘AFK’ at points during this streak.   Despite their slump, this could very well become one of the best Bo5 series of all League history. RNG looks like the China that failed to show last year and while SKT have had a rough patch, you just can't count them out. Any League fan should hope this goes to 5 games but overall RNG just look too good at the moment and the momentum is with them. RNG 3 - 1 SKT   Semi-Final 2 Counter Logic Gaming (2nd) (USA) Vs Flash Wolves (3rd) (Taiwan) CLG FW America: the League of Legends region of apple pie, freedom and international disappointment. The NA LoL teams have had some glimpses of international glory before the LCS was implemented but have yet to really show up; despite some stellar teams being represented. North American needs to counter logic... Step forward Counter Logic Gaming! CLG has defied all expectations achieving 2nd place in the group stages. Not one player could be singled out for best in their region, apart from support player Aphromoo, CLG’s team play elevates them to more than just the some of their parts, beating every team at the competition at least once. From being known as the ADC unlucky enough to have to replace Doublelift, rookie Stixxay has been the name on everyone's lips, with praise coming from all teams for him.   Meanwhile, 3rd seed Flash Wolves are looking to recapture a great start to the tournament. The Taiwanese side remain largely unchanged from the World’s quarter-finalist squad with Top laner Steak moving to an analyst position and MMD taking his place. With arguably the most fearsome Mid/Jungler duo in Karsa and Maple, they were riding in on a dark horse and a lot of hype. FW have looked awesome from the mid lane with Maple putting out some astonishing stats, conversely AD carry NL has been a constant area of weakness with a small champion pool outside of meta picks. Still, it’s not any old squad that can 2-0 SKT...   Teamplay vs Talent is the name of the game. CLG midlaner Huhi is almost the reverse of Maple in performance; trading mid lane presence for the good of the team. If CLG manage to throw Maple off his game, NL on an uncomfortable pick and Karsa is still out of sorts; they stand a chance. We’re predicting that the stars (and stripes) will align for a CLG win. CLG 3 - 2 FW   Predicted MSI Final - CLG vs SKT As much have Counter Logic Gaming would have overcome all odds to make it to the final of an international competition. They’re against a Korean squad. The most successful squad in League of Legends history. Expect the fairy tale to come to an abrupt close but if there’s one thing America is known for, it’s the dream... CLG 0 - 3 SKT   So that’s how we think this fantastic Mid Season Invitational will end. But are we wrong for not backing the american dream? Want to lament on Europe’s performance? Drop us a comment below and don’t forget to check out all the latest LoL action over at lolesports.com GG WP!