MSI 2021’s group stage is getting more and more exciting as the days pass. The first three days of the tournament have been played and half of the group stage matches have taken place in Iceland. Here are the match recaps for the third day of the action!
Unicorns of Love – Royal Never Give Up
The first match of Day 3 ended about as quickly as it started. League of Legends fans saw nothing but pure domination from the side of Royal Never Give Up as the Unicorns of Love failed to get anything going.
RNG wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, and by the time the 15-minute mark rolled around, the LPL representatives had 14 total kills, with UOL top laner Vladislav “BOSS” Fomin and support Aleksandr “SaNTaS” Lifashin each having died five times. From there, it didn’t take long for the Chinese juggernauts to close out the game, as jungler Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei picked up three kills in the final fight, closing out a 24-minute stomp with a KDA of 9/0/10.
Pentanet – Unicorns of Love
After a brutal loss to Royal Never Give Up, the Unicorns of Love of the CIS attempted to rebound againt Ocenia’s Pentanet.GG. However, thanks to an all-around performance from the opposition, Unicorns of Love were shut down in 31 minutes. PGG star Jackson “Pabu” Pavone racked up two kills and 13 assists in the jungle as Morgana, while bot laner Mark “Praedyth” Lewis finished with a scoreline of 9/0/4.
The win marked the first for Pentanet.GG in the Mid-Season Invitational, tying the two teams in the group standings. While it is most likely impossible to catch up to RNG in first, the two League of Legends orgs will continue duking it out to determine who will advance.
Detonation FocusMe – DAMWON KIA
Following yesterday’s upset versus Cloud9, Detonation FocusMe were looking to pull off the second upset against the defending world champions. And surprisingly, DFM was looking like the one to actually pull off the upset.
They were able to hold their own by making multiple routine trips to Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, putting him extremely behind with three deaths in 10 minutes. DFM controlled the pace of the game off the game with the assistance of Mun “Steal” Geon-yeong. For the first time, a team was able to have better objective control than Damwon KIA. Yet off the zoning of Heo “Showmaker” Su and engagement abilities of Cho “Beryl” Geon-hee, the game was stalled with three barons being taken.
But it was Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu who pulled off the miracle Black Shield within nanoseconds to protect Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun and aced DFM and continued its undefeated streak.
Infinity Esports – Cloud9
North America fans were clenching their jaws after DFM pulled the upset over C9 in yesterday’s games. Now the North American top seed needed to take a win off Infinity Esports to keep its hopes at the second seed in Group C alive.
The game started with relatively little action. Although Diego “SolidSnake” Vallejo Trujillo made some repeated trips across the map to put Infinity up in kills, but Rober “Blaber” Huang made work of the objectives across the map and setting up Luka “Perkz” Perković and Jesper “Zven” Svenningson up for multiple kills. And as the game grew longer, the Tristana and Jinx grew more deadly as Perkz and Zven played cleanup duty across the rift.
It wasn’t just action from Cloud9, SolidSnake and Matías “WhiteLotus” Musso made good efforts to engage and keep Cloud9 at bay. But a well-timed flank from Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami and an elder take by Perkz locked Infinity out and left Cloud9 another day alive.
paiN Gaming – MAD Lions
PaiN Gaming and the MAD Lions had perhaps the most tense and dynamic match out of the lineup today at MSI. The Lions and paiN duked out a ceaseless tug-of-war over control of the dragons and summoner’s rift while trading hard punches on each other’s bases.
This match was most characterized by deft and ruthless play on the part of both teams as MAD Lion’s Javier “Elyoya” Pardes Batalla ate paiN Gaming’s lunch and snatched a kill on the Infernal Drake from the paiN trio of Marcos “Cariok” Santos de Oliveira Jr., Han “Luci” Chang-hooon and Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Maintaining the Lions’ narrow lead, Irfan “Armut” Tükek and company swept in to snatch another kill from paiN and secure the Rift Herald to later be summoned by Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság to topple paiN’s bottom lane turret. By midgame, both teams were locked in a neck-and-neck struggle with the MAD Lions holding four down turrets and six kills to paiN Gaming’s three turrets and five kills at the 20-minute mark.
Even at a disadvantage, paiN Gaming had another 20 minutes of struggle and hell to throw the Lions’ way. The Lion’s Carzzy went on a self-sacrificial rampage in the upper forest before being taken out by paiN, allowing Thiago “tinowns” Sartori to return the favor to the Lions by snatching the Baron from the Rift.
Meanwhile, Leonardo “Robo” Souza seized the opportunity to make a midlane charge for the Lion’s base that’s backed up with brTT and Luci pushing the charge to the Lion’s Nexus and taking out Armut. But the Lions were narrowly able to hold the nexus once Carzzy and Elyoya showed up on the scene to snatch away paiN’s first near victory.
In the last late-game gamble, the Lions threw five members at the barron to keep a paiN trio at bay only for brTT to make another shot at the Lion’s nexus backed up by Luci and tinowns. They once again came a hair away from clipping the MAD Lions’ maine and securing a win only for Elyora and Humanoid to come in and to shut it all down and team wipe paiN Gaming. Though paiN’s late-game push was noble, it wasn’t enough to stop the Lions from pouncing on the opportunity to storm paiN’s base and take the nexus just before the 40-minute mark ending this tautly stretched match.
fastPay Wildcats – PSG Talon
If paiN Gaming vs. Mad Lions was a drawn dog fight for the win, then the istanbul Wildcats vs. PSG Talon was a complete blowout. At the start, the Talons’ Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan and Ling “kaiwing” Kai Wing secured a double kill on Berk “Farfetch” Badur and Tolga “Serin” Ölmez. Doggo was then knocked out by a respawned Serin only for Doggo to respawn, charge through the lower lanes and land a kill on Soner “StarScreen” Kaya while also toppling the Wildcats’ lower lane turret. Before the Wildcats even have a chance to recover the Talon’s Mapple and Hanabi carve through the Wildcats ranks securing an early seven to three and one to zero turrets lead.
The Talons sunk their claws even deeper into the Wildcats as multiple kill streaks racked up the Talons’ kill lead to 22 to six by the end of the game with Doggo, River and KaiWing making repeated pushes into the Wildcats’ base shortly crushing turrets, inhibitors and eventually the nexus under foot.
You can have a look at the standings below:
From now on, we won’t see every team play on the same day. Instead, each group will have its own day of action.