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MSI’s insanely competitive group stage

Zac Ahlers, Copy Editor

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This year’s Mid-Season Invitational started off poorly for North American representative Team Liquid. After the first two days of the group stages, Liquid had a record of 0-4. After those first two days Team Liquid never gave up on reaching the playoffs for 2018.

The next two days Team Liquid took a full swing, ending the original group stage games with a record of 4-6, putting them at the same record as European representative Fnatic. Typically, this would just put the tie breaker to whoever won more games against the other, but this time each of them had won one game against the other, leading to them playing another game to decide who went to the playoffs.

Sadly, after the long fight that Team Liquid took to try and make the playoffs, they fell short, losing to Fnatic in a 35-minute game. With an outstanding performance by European LCS MVP Rekkles, Fnatic’s ADC, they took down Team Liquid and move onto the semifinals.

“It was awesome seeing this team that you thought was out for sure come back to almost make it to the semifinals,” said senior Tyler Woolison.

Although Team Liquid definitely put on a show with their incredible comeback, there were other teams at the tournament that showed just how strong their teams are. The team that really shined this group stage was Chinese representative Royal Never Give Up (RNG). After only being 2-2 after the first two days things weren’t looking very good for RNG, but from the second day they only dropped one other game leaving the group stages with the best record of 8-3 after winning a tiebreaker against Taiwanese representative Flash Wolves to end with the first seed.

This group stage has shown the strengths and the weaknesses of all of the teams moving on the the finals. It is going to be one of the closest semifinals that has been seen to date.

“With Korean teams not performing as insane as usual it gives teams from other reasons a reasonable fight,” said senior Callum Revell. “It makes the games a lot more enjoyable to watch when they aren’t just one sided battles.”

With all of the teams having very similar records it is going to be a very close finals to this insane group stage.

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MSI’s insanely competitive group stage