Team Liquid and Fnatic are the best North American and European LoL teams right now, but they’re being shown up on the international stage at the Mid-Season Invitational.
Vietnamese team Evos Esports from the VCS are the least known team in the group stage of MSI, but they’re performing against the odds, ending the first day at 1-1.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid have lost both of their games, and they join fellow western team Fnatic at 0-2. They’ll both end the first day at the bottom of the MSI standings.
North America’s Team Liquid joins Europe’s Fnatic at the bottom of the MSI standings on day 1
Team Liquid held their own for a while against Kingzone DragonX, but made a few mistakes
The story was similar for Fnatic and Team Liquid today. They both had a closely fought game against a top team in the tournament, and then under-performed against an arguably weaker team.
TL started their MSI campaign against Kingzone DragonX, Korean champions from the LCK spring split. Korean teams have a history of dominance at international tournaments, but TL held their own for a time.
However, after Kingzone’s Ezreal got a slight lead, it became harder and harder to deal with his damage.
TL support Kim ‘Olleh’ Joo-sung got caught out in the middle of a recall, and it all started to fall apart. More players were caught out of position, and Kingzone were able to break open their base.
Their second game against Evos Esports was a torturous one for Liquid fans. Evos always seemed to have the upper hand, but Liquid equally always seemed to be on the edge of getting back into it.
In the end, Evos were able to see out the game in a calm and professional manner, which many expected they wouldn’t be able to do in the tournament.
Team Liquid then had a surprising loss against Evos Esports, considered the weakest team left
Vietnam isn’t a traditionally strong League of Legends region, and Evos had to come through the Play-In stage to get to the group stage at MSI. VCS games are bloody and chaotic, and it seems the pressure was too much for Liquid, who are used to more methodical games in the NA LCS.
Once again, western League of Legends teams have been defeated by their Asian counterparts at an international tournament. A western team has never won MSI, and the only western team to win a World Championship was Fnatic at the first ever tournament in 2011 – a tournament in which only two weak Asian teams participated.
Both Fnatic and Team Liquid have eight more games to play over the next four days, so there are plenty of chances to improve. But early signs all point towards Asian dominance as usual.
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