LPL, LCK Dominate MSI Semifinals

Royal Never Give Up and T1 demolished their western opponents on the way to the finals.The LPL champions did not lose a game against LCS’ Evil Geniuses, while T1 had their revenge against G2 Esports with a decisive 3-0 of their own.

T1 Fans had reasons to celebrate! | © Riot Games

With the Mid-Season Invitational entering the playoff stage, it was time for the top four teams to switch to Best of 5 mode. All of them had gone through their region’s playoffs and come out on top. All of them had faced off the best international teams and found wins and losses. With Royal Never Give Up choosing to face Evil Geniuses and T1 having their much-awaited rematch against G2 Esports, both semifinals would feature an East vs West confrontation. Would the Western teams be able to pull off an upset, or would we be heading for another LPL vs LCK fight for the top spot?

RNG Never Give Up

As the first seed from the Rumble, Royal Never Give Up got the right to choose their opponent from between the LEC and LCS Champions - and they elected to take on Evil Geniuses. The first game was quite one-sided, with the Chinese team getting a big early lead and easily outplaying their opponents in the teamfights.

Things started getting hairier for the LPL champions in the second game, however, as despite them once more starting well EG equalized the game with great play from Joseph Joon "jojopyun" Pyun on Ahri. The game went back and forth, with RNG getting a Baron steal but paying for it with 4 deaths, until eventually the LPL team found a clean ace in the blue jungle that let them end the game.

EG weren’t willing to throw in the towel, however. Despite another good start by the LPL teams they made several positioning mistakes that kept the NA champions into the game. A big fight at the Baron ended in a clean ace for EG, but they could not prevent RNG from getting the Hextech Soul. The teams continued brawling but RNG had the advantage - and 42 minutes two kills were enough for them to end the game and secure their spot in the finals.

T1 Get Revenge on G2

After RNG secured its spot in the finals and a chance to defend their 2021 title, the home crowd was eager to see T1 take the win against their frequent rivals G2 Esports. Game 1 started well for the LCK champions, who had a strong early game and completely dominated the map. T1 was leading 5-0 in towers just 15 minutes in and G2 struggled to decide where to defend. The first inhibitor went down less than 20 minutes in, while an early Baron was the final nail in the coffin.

The second game saw T1 keep their proactivity, but this time G2 had a better time answering. Despite falling behind early on, they were able to get some fights and the game looked close until a decisive fight near the Baron. With an ace and the purple buff, the LCK champions were now unstoppable and ended the game shortly afterwards.

It was time for G2 to dig back, but instead, T1 were back with a vengeance. What looked to be the closest early game fell apart after two skirmishes near the first Rift Herald and T1 delivered a masterclass in how to use an advantage. They snowballed the game hard, nearly acing G2 just outside their base 19 minutes in. The end came less than a minute afterwards as T1 completed the sweep against the team that had frustrated them in the past.

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After such one-sided wins, it is time to see which team is truly the best in the tournament. The LPL and LCK champions will clash in the MSI grand final, which starts from 10 AM CEST on Sunday, May 29th.