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MOBAFire MSI 2023 Fantasy Tournament - Group...

Creator: Jovy May 8, 2023 4:17pm
Jovy
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β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž Introduction


Hello all, and welcome to the second instalment of our series covering the MSI 2023 Fantasy Tournament! In this article, we’ll take a look at the results from the play-ins before introducing the five teams that await the three play-in victors in the bracket stage. Then, as you read on, you’ll be able to learn a bit about each of the upcoming match-ups, so that you know exactly how to reform your fantasy team for the bracket stage and beyond!


β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž Play-In Recap


The play-ins were perhaps unsurprisingly quite lopsided and explosive. Most of the games, even the ones that were somewhat close, ended 2-0, with only a couple of series going to three games. LPL's second seed Bilibili Gaming and EMEA's second seed G2 Esports advanced to the bracket stage first, and, after two more series in the lower bracket, they were joined by LCS' second seed Golden Guardians. Each of the four major regions have two teams in the bracket stage after all.
BiliBili Gaming


2-0
VS
^
Bilibili was able to demolish Movistar R7 in their first series, finishing the whole series in just 49 minutes. Elk was arguably the MVP of this first series, going 9-0 on Luician in game one and grabbing a Quadra Kill (almost a penta!) on his 12-0 Jinx in the second. Xun was exceptional on Nidalee in game 2 as well, setting up advantages for every lane and ending the game 10-2, only dying once in the early game while invading and a second time while diving R7's fountain in the last few seconds.


2-1
VS
^
They had a similarly impressive second best-of-three against the Golden Guardians. The Guardians were frankly outmatched in game one, which ended at the 28:30 minute mark. Game two was shaping up to the much of the same, but GG managed to turn things around in the mid game, largely thanks to a monster performance from Licorice on K'Sante. While Elk got enormously fed, he was able to get taken down in each team fight that mattered by a Golden Guardian lineup that was built to shut him down. Unfortunately for western fans, however, GG couldn't keep up the momentum for game three. Xun, Bin, and Elk got very strong very fast, and in spite of an admirable performance from Gori, who ended 6-1 and LeBlanc, GG couldn't repel BLG after they'd gotten Baron and pushed their base 30 minutes in.

G2 Esports


2-0
VS
^
The first game of G2 vs LOUD saw a spicy Nautilus mid lane pick, with Yike on Nidalee. LOUD started off on the right foot, but it all went wrong as G2 shifted their focus to the top lane. Halfway through the game, Yike and BB both had 3 kills and would snowball from there, ending 8-2 and 11-3 respectively. Timowns and Route both had some great plays, but ultimately couldn't deal with G2's fed carries. The second game, though? An absolute slaughter. G2 ended things 20 minutes in with an unbelievable 16k gold advantage.


2-0
VS
^
In their second best-of-three, G2 faced PSG Talon who had previously defeated Japan's best team 2-0. This time, the game was a lot closer, but G2 had the advantage of being on top of Dragon control and having kills on the right carries. Yike pulled out Kha'Zix and had a fantastic showing, while Caps played a more traditional mid laner than Nautilus and was able to carry his time, not just facilitate. This lengthy first game was ended by a very messy Dragon fight in which G2's members just kinda refused to die, split up, and took down one by one PSG member. Game 2, like in the series before, was way less close, with BrokenBlade playing another terrifying bruiser in Olaf, going 10-1, and refusing to elaborate. Yike and Hans had great performances on Viego and Jinx as well.

Golden Guardians


2-0
VS
^
The Golden Guardians were able to defeat GAM Esports 2-0 in their first best-of-three series. Though GAM had some good plays here and there, both games were fairly lopsided, and the whole series took about 54 minutes. In game 1, GG played around objectives to perfection, ending the game with nearly a 10k gold advantage and an Infernal Soul. Game 2 was taken over by Stixxay, who ended 11-1, only dying in the last few moments to secure a Pentakill.


2-0
VS
^
As mentioned, their series against BLG didn't go as favourably, though many wouldn't have even predicted GG to take a game off the LPL's second place. In the lower bracket, Golden Guardians faced off against the other team BLG beat, Movistar R7. Like in their series against GAM, GG didn't give an inch to this wildcard team. The first game ended 25 minutes in, with every GG member fed, but Stixxay showing off in particular. Game 2 was even more lopsided, and the game ended with both Gori and Stixxay with 8 kills, and the team as a whole sporting a 16k gold advantage before exploding the Nexus.


3-0
VS
^
The Golden Guardians only needed to win one more series to advance to the bracket stage. PSG Talon defeated LOUD 2-0 to become their final play-in opponent, and so the first best-of-five at MSI 2023 began. Though the bo5 format promised more excitement, fans just got kind of more of the same. GG defeated PSG 3-0 in three quick 30 minute games. In the first two games, GG pretty much dominated over the PCS champions, ending both games with ~10k gold advantages. Game 3 was closer, but ultimately PSG couldn't handle Stixxay's 10-0 Zeri. With this win, LCS' second seed joined G2 and BLG in the bracket stage, to fight with the best of the best in the world!



β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž Meet the Bracket Stage Teams


β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
Bilibili Gaming
.Bin
.Xun
.Yagao
.Elk
.ON
Bilibili is the LPL's second seed. Historically, the LCK and LPL are by far (by which I mean, there has only ever been two exceptions) the most dominant regions globally, and the ones most likely to win. With just this in mind, BLG is a great team to bet on getting out of the play-in stage and into stage 2. But ignoring that, BLG is just a great team. Any one of these players would be a great addition to your fantasy team, though especially impressive is top laner Bin, who had previously played for RNG and who had won the MSI 2022 cup alongside them.

.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
G2 Esports
.BrokenBlade
.Yike
.Caps
.Hans Sama
.Mikyx
Likely EMEA's best hope for an international title, and their second seed. G2 had previously won MSI in 2019, becoming the first non-eastern team to do so ever, and have been looking to reclaim that glory ever since. Though EMEA has only won MSI the one time, they tend to make it to the group stage without trouble, so any G2 player is a safe bet for your fantasy team. G2 is coming in as EMEA's second seed, after something of a rockier Spring Split than usual, but between Yike, Caps, and Hans Sama, fans are hopeful that the team's exceptional carries can pull through and have a great showing at MSI.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
Golden Guardians
.Licorice
.River
.Gori
.Stixxay
.huhi
Golden Guardian's are the LCS's second seed, having lost to C9 in the Spring Split finals after a frankly incredible underdog run in the North American league. GG's current roster is sporting three NA veterans, Licorice, Stixxay and Huhi in top and bottom lane, as well as PSG Talon's previous jungler River and mid laner Gori. Historically, NA has made it through play-ins safely at international events, though this will be the Guardian's first international tournament ever, after a history of being in the 6-10th place in NA for the past five years.

.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
Gen.G
.Doran
.Peanut
.Chovy
.Peyz
.Delight
LCK’s first seed, Gen.G is likely a familiar name even to those who don't follow the LCK, as they tend to make top 4 at Worlds every year. They usually arrive to the international tournaments as second seed, but this year that's changed. In both Summer 2022 and Spring 2023 Gen.G have been LCK's champions, both times defeating T1 for the title. Gen.G play a cool, calculated game, and rely on their carries Peanut, Chovy, and Peyz to win.





.

β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
MAD Lions
.Chasy
.Elyoya
.Nisqy
.Carzzy
.Hylissang
MAD Lions are EMEA's first seed, the champions of the LEC Spring Split and Winter Split finalists. Looking a bit beneath the surface, you'll find that MAD had made it here by the skin of their teeth. MAD had an inexplicably difficult Spring Split in 2023, after a great Winter showing, and only barely made it to the group stage by winning a tiebreaker. Everyone wrote them off after that, but even after getting kicked into the lower bracket, MAD managed to defeateFnatic, Astralis, G2 Esports, Team Vitality, and, finally, Team BDS to win it all. Though a young team, MAD has had three previous World appearances and one MSI showing in 2023, where they ended in top 4.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
T1
.Zeus
.Oner
.Faker
.Gumayusi
.Keria
T1, LCK's second seed, needs even less of an introduction. Home to the League of Legends GOAT, Faker, T1 is back for another international tournament, and ready for their first MSI Championship since 2017. T1 is also home to the undisputed best support in the world, Keria, as well as superstar bot laner Gumayusi, Oner, and Zeus. Really, everyone on T1 is just that good, and a great pick-up for your fantasy team.







.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
Cloud9
.Fudge
.Blaber
.EMENES
.Berserker
.Zven
Cloud9 is LCS' first seed, and home to some of the best players playing in the LCS right now. Fudge and Blaber are both first class in their lanes, and both LCS and C9 staples. New to the fold we have EMENES, known for aggressive picks like LeBlanc and Akali. Though NA has never won an international event, C9 has been at almost every Worlds and MSI in years past, getting their best results in 2018, when they ended in top 4 but sadly lost to EMEA’s Fnatic.






.
β€Žβ€Žβ€β€β€Ž β€Ž
JD Gaming
.369
.Kanavi
.knight
.Ruler
.Missing
The LPL first seed JD Gaming is a superteam cobbled together from some of the best LPL players in every lane. The members of the team may not always play super cohesively, but individually they are so far ahead of their competition that it just works. Arguably the scariest members are Kanavi and knight, for whom the meta seems perfectly suited. Kanavi is known for playing carry junglers, and knight can play just about everything, without or without resources poured into him.





.


β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž MSI Stage 2 Overview


Admittedly, the MSI bracket stage draw was a bit of a disappointment. In the coming days, we'll be able to watch the two LCK teams battle the two EMEA teams, then the two LCS teams battle the two LPL teams. LCK and LPL, are, naturally, favoured, which may lead to a lower and upper bracket run that will be entirely local region vs local region. That said, if there are any upsets to be had, MSI will be very interesting. Speaking of potential upsets, let's talk about Gen.G versus G2 Esports, which will be the first best-of-five at the MSI bracket stage.




β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž Group Stage Preview



G2 Esports
VS
Gen.G

EMEA's second seed G2 Esports will face Gen.G, LCK's champions. As second seed, G2 has just finished playing two series in the play-ins for a chance to join this bracket stage. While their Spring Split was somewhat shakey, and they did lose to MAD Lions in the playoffs at LEC, G2 had basically immaculate games in play-ins, which spells good stuff for LEC fans. Of course, G2 were facing teams of a far lower calibre than what they will have to fight at Stage 2 now. Gen.G. is the kind of team you expect to face in the finals, but G2 will have to defeat them off the bat to advance more smoothly through MSI. Can the clean and clinical Gen.G be thrown off by G2's more happy and messy gameplay? As an LEC fan, I say yes, though, objectively? Maybe not. Probably not. We'll see!

Players to Watch

JUNGLE
Yike
G2 Esports
$202

TOP LANE
BrokenBlade
G2 Esports
$195
MID LANE
Chovy
Gen.G
$212

BOT LANE
Peyz
Gen.G
$213

I wanted to highlight Yike out of all of G2's fantastic lineup because he has been performing phenomenally both in the LEC and at MSI (his first international event) so far. His KDA at MSI is a crazy 7.7, and especially impressive is his Nidalee, on whom he has a KDA of literally 20. Caps and Hans Sama are likely to do very well, considering they are the primary carries, but I had to also highlight BrokenBlade who has been performing far above expectations, even though he's been considered G2's weakest player in the past.

Chovy's been on Gen.G for the past year, but was previously known as the mid laner of Hanwha Life, DRX, and especially Griffin. He is notorious for his nearly flawless laning and insane creep scores, making him a perfect fantasy league mid lane pick-up. In the bot lane, you may also want to consider recruiting Peyz. This 17 year old superstar golden boy was hyped up as an insane talent, and he's delivered on that promise and then some. This will be Peyz' first international event, and he certainly will be working to make it a memorable one.


MAD Lions
VS
T1

We already talked about the miracle run MAD went through to get to the LEC championship. A few weeks ago I'd have said there was no way they'd even get one close game against T1. That may still be true, but it's hard to keep doubting this team after all they've been through. T1 is an iconic team, strong in every lane, yet they bleed, as was proven by DRX at the last international event, and by Gen.G more recently.

Players to Watch

TOP LANE
Chasy
MAD Lions
$190

BOT LANE
Carzzy
MAD Lions
$185
BOT LANE
Gumayusi
T1
$208

SUPPORT
Keria
T1
$201

There are lots of worthy players to highlight on the MAD Lions team, but I'm gonna have to give it to Chasy and Carzzy. Chasy was pivotal in MAD's final few series in the LEC playoffs, defeating the best top laners EMEA had in Adam and Photon, and he made it look easy too. Chasy is a fairly versatile top laner, but what's most impressive is that he can bring out the carries - Fiora, Gwen, Jayce, and do really really well with them. Carzzy has had a lot of meh, and even below meh games in the LEC, but something flipped in him after they made it to the group stage in Spring this year. Now, anytime he gets a little ahead, he goes, well, crazy. His Jinx is absolutely terrifying and he's proven that he can play really well under pressure, which is vital when you play against a team like T1.

Gumayusi has been T1's star bot laner since 2021, and he's back with his team at another international event, this time hoping for more than just second place. Guma has always been a reliable player and the current hypercarry meta suits him to perfection. Keria has been his trusty support since the dawn of time, and the man is indisputably the best support in league right now. There's nothing Keria can't and won't play on stage, and we're sure to see plenty of his spicy and traditional picks carry T1 to victory.


Cloud9
VS
BiliBili Gaming

This may arguably be the most favourable western match-up in round 1 of the bracket stage. Not to say C9 won't struggle against BiliBili, but if Golden Guardians were able to take a game off them, then C9, who are the better LCS team, has got to have a chance as well. If (and it's a pretty easy if) BiliBili can get Elk ahead, though, this chance could slip away from NA’s grasp.

Players to Watch

TOP LANE
Fudge
Cloud9
$185

BOT LANE
Berserker
Cloud9
$190
JUNGLE
Xun
BiliBili Gaming
$197

BOT LANE
Elk
BiliBili Gaming
$208

Fudge is probably the best LCS toplaner right now. He's had a great Spring Split, and, like Chasy, has been able to whip out some aggressive picks like Fiora with success. In the bot lane, we have the role-swapped former beloved ADC-now-support Zven, alongside Korean prodigy Berserker, who had previously spent a year playing for T1's academy team. He has been positively dominating in the LCS so far, and he's ready to shine at his second ever international tournament.

If you've watched the play-ins, then you already know to watch out for Xun, and Elk in particular. Xun was styling in all of his games, and his aggressive playstyle should serve him well as MSI goes along. Elk should've chosen a carnivorous animal for his IGN because the man is a monster. The only game BLG dropped was because Elk was able to be muzzled by GG. And BLG will probably take steps to make sure that doesn't happen again.


JD Gaming
VS
Golden Guardians

Golden Guardians have truly performed admirably so far at MSI, and after a great split in the LCS, I expect them to show some good stuff even in the bracket stage. That said... it's JDG. LPL's 1st seed. Against LCS' second seed. To say GG is an underdog in this match-up would be a severe understatement. However, when JDG can’t solely rely on their mechanics (hands diff), they can be beaten. If GG can get an early game advantage, there is some hope to defeat these LPL giants.


Players to Watch

TOP LANE
369
JD Gaming
$213

MID LANE
knight
JD Gaming
$211
TOP LANE
Licorice
Golden Guardians
$183

BOT LANE
Stixxay
Golden Guardians
$186

Basically everyone on JDG is a terrific pick-up, though I will highlight 369 and Knight, former solo laners of TOP Esports, in particular. 369 is arguably the best top laner in the world, or at the very least the most versatile one. He can play all styles at a high level, and, most crucially, he performs well in high-stakes games. Similarly, Knight is probably the best Chinese mid laner. He had a top three KDA among mid laners in both regular season and playoffs, and can play about anything as well.

In their play-in matches, I was most impressed with Licorice and Stixxay's performances. Licorice has brought games around at multiple junctions with his excellent play and decision-making. Stixxay has a KDA of nearly 6, playing especially well on Zeri, Jinx, and a special mention goes to his pentakilling Tristana.


β€Žβ€Ž β€Ž Conclusion


You've reached the end of our second article covering MSI! International tournaments can be quite daunting for fans who normally only watch one or two regions, and it can be quite hard to form the right fantasy team when you don't know half of the teams or players participating in these huge events. We hope this article helped you, and wish you the best in the fantasy tournament!

Once again I must extend a huge thanks goes to Silverman43 for his thoughts and insights on all of the above teams! Credits also go to LoL.fandom Wiki for their collection of player portraits, up-to-date statistics, overviews and all-around fantastic work documenting LoL esports.

by jhoijhoi

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