The MSI Group Stage is finally over and the six remaining teams in the tournament are preparing to rumble when the Rumble Stage begins on May 20th. There’ll be insane outplays and clutch moments galore – so here are four of the most exciting matchups to make sure to head into the Rumble.
It’s hard to believe we’re already a third of the way into the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational. After a week-long hiatus, the competition is picking up steam again in Busan, Korea as the remaining six teams prepare to take the stage once again for the start of the Rumble.
Now that we’re past the group stage, we’ll finally see some of the encounters fans have been waiting for since the tournament began. Due to the seeding system for MSI, representatives from the LEC, LCK and LPL were unable to face off in the group stage – meaning many of the tournament’s all-star rivalries are simmering beneath the surface as teams work to qualify from their groups.
But now all systems are running. We’ll see all four major regions go head-to-head on the opening day of the Rumble, with smaller region representatives Saigon Buffalo and PSG Talon attempting to play spoilers and cause a little mayhem of their own.
Here are four hyped matchups we’ve been waiting for since the tournament began and how the players are shaping up after the group stage.
Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok vs. Rasmus ‘caPs’ Winther-
You knew this was coming. Two generations of mid-lane talent, the brightest stars in their respective regions, will go head-to-head in just a few days at MSI. And the best? It’s the first match of the rumble phase.
Despite being two of the most recognizable names in the world of League of Legends, it’s actually been almost three years since they last faced off on the Rift.
This duel took place at the 2019 World Championships – and surprisingly, it was G2 Esports that came out on top. They defeated T1 3-1 in the semifinals. And sure, they were then instantly crushed by FunPlus Phoenix in the final of the 2019 World Championships, but hey, go Europe!
The comparison so far between the statistics for caPs and fakers at the MSI 2022 is instructive. However, it’s important to note that caPs played two more games than Faker, so stats like total kills and deaths don’t provide a completely accurate comparison.
I won’t bore you too much with facts and figures, but an interesting fact is this: Faker is the better laning mid laner of the two as measured by all three measurable laning metrics (gold, experience, and cs advantage at 15 minutes). , but caPs is hot on his heels.
Faker is still the KDA king, but caPs isn’t too far behind. They prefer similar champions, both using the representatives of Ahri, LeBlanc, Sylas, Zoe, and Twisted Fate. We’ve seen a bit more variety from caps, who have released Anivia, Galio, and Gwen as surprise off-meta picks, generally in response to the enemy’s draft.
Saigon Buffalo’s bot lane compared to G2 Esports’ bot lane
This promises to be one hell of a matchup. Saigon Buffalo’s bot lane duo of Nguyễn ‘Shogun’ Văn Huy and Đinh ‘Taki’ Anh Tài has been one of the most exciting young talents at MSI this year. They were unmatched in early game aggression, and Shogun in particular has put up some excellent teamfights.
However, G2’s Victor ‘Flakked’ Lirola and Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé seem to have flown a little under the radar. Perhaps it’s the nature of G2’s group, where it’s fair to say they haven’t been tested to the exact limits of their gaming abilities.
I’m always impressed and surprised by good good and how versatile it is @Flaked_LoL and @Targamas are. They’re just damn good and with G2’s flashy top half these guys don’t get as much of the limelight.
G2 looks dangerous.
— Trevor Henry (@Quickshot) May 14, 2022
But Flakked had the best KDA of any player in the group stage at 16.8, and Targamas has the highest first-blood percentage of the tournament at 75 percent.
This clash is all about the early game and could very well be decided by the allocation of jungle presence to Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski and Trần ‘BeanJ’ Văn Chính.
MSI’s AD carry champion pool was sparse, but Flakked and Shogun don’t actually have that much in common when it comes to champion select. Flakked has favored Kai’Sa and Zeri, while Shogun hasn’t even touched Zeri at MSI so far.
Chen “GALA” Wei vs. Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki
It’s another bot lane matchup – but this time you should focus on the AD carries. Once a young regional prodigy, GALA has quickly worked his way up the food chain in the LPL, a region known worldwide for its incredible AD carry talent.
He hasn’t had the best starts in the LPL, but he’s quickly become one of the region’s best carriers – and that’s saying something when you’re competing with names like Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao and You “JackeyLove” Wen. bo
However, Danny’s career has gone in the opposite direction – he’s had one of the most exciting debuts we’ve seen from a major regional player in recent years. He has been touted as the savior of North America, a rare native talent nurtured by Evil Geniuses from the academy scene through to the LCS.
But he’s had a rough start to his MSI run. Evil Geniuses took a 4-4 lead in their group and beat OCE representatives ORDER four times but failed to take a game from G2 Esports. Danny himself looked a little shaky, which Evil Geniuses trainer Peter Dun attributed to the ping issues in the BEXCO arena.
I can’t imagine how an ADC known for playing at the limit and testing limits in teamfights could possibly be negatively impacted by going from 10 pings to what (according to several pro players) sounds like 50 -60 ping on stage feels like.
— Peter Dun (@pcdv8r) May 11, 2022
But now those ping issues have been fixed (aside from other technical issues) and the playing field is back on level. Danny is known domestically for his incredible teamfights and unmatched mechanics, and he’ll need to display both of those qualities in the highest degree if he hopes to defeat GALA in their May 20th matchup.
Choi ‘Zeus’ Wooje vs. Jeong ‘Impact’ Eon-Young
It’s a battle of old versus new guard of Korean top laners in the May 22nd matchup of T1 and Evil Geniuses. Although Impact has been a mainstay of the North American scene for the past seven years, long enough to become a naturalized import, it would be remiss to forget its origin story as part of the original World Championship-winning SKT T1.
Zeus, on the other hand, is part of a rising new generation of Korean talent taking the LCK by storm. With T1 investing heavily in rookie talent centered around the core of veteran Lee “Faker” Sanghyeok, Zeus is emblematic of the radical shift in the LCK, which has seen the region continue to nurture talented Superstars while its old guard slowly fades out steps into the limelight.
But youth does not guarantee innovation, just as age does not guarantee efficiency. It’s not enough to say a player is a beginner or a veteran and expect that to tell the full story of their encounter.
Statistically speaking, Impact and Zeus have performed at a similar level on the MSI 2022 so far. Both are strong laners, with Zeus tending to exit lane with a higher gold advantage, but Impact has a larger experience advantage over his opponent on average. There’s only a 47 damage difference between their average DPM (Zeus at 539, Impact at 492) and they even share similar champion pools.
Securing a Gwen pick from the first round or banning it outright will be a big factor in this matchup. As the tournament’s most popular top laner, it’s no surprise that she’s featured in both top laners’ playhistories. They’ve played them three times each, with Zeus having a higher win rate (100 percent) and KDA (9.0) compared to Impact.
https://www.dexerto.com/league-of-legends/legacies-rivalries-and-first-encounters-matchups-to-watch-in-msi-2022-rumble-stage-1827395/ Legacies, Rivalries, and First Encounters: Matchups to Watch in the MSI 2022 Rumble Stage