| Tags: League of Legends
| Author Manny Gomez
League of Legends: Diving Into Group A of MSI
MSI is around the corner, and many of the emerging regions are looking to make a splash. Group A is stacked, with the representatives of Turkey, Vietnam, Latin America, and Oceania battling it out for a chance to face Team Liquid. All four teams have hype around them with high hopes of making it into the full MSI tournament. Let's take a look at the squads.
1907 Fenerbahçe Esports (TCL)
1907 Fenerbahçe is representing the TCL and looks like the best team in the play-in stage. Many fans will remember Fenerbahçe back from 2017 World's, as the casting team was requested to pronounce their full name as in Nineteen Oh Seven Fenerbahçe. Although they were able to make the Worlds Group Stage, they were unable to pick up a single victory. As for their 2018 season, they were again behind SuperMassive in the standings and unable to beat them in the playoffs. Additionally, they had a no-show in terms of international tournaments.
Fenerbahçe started 2-2 in the opening two weeks of the season, losing to Royal Youth and Team AURORA. Since then Fenerbahçe has gone on a 20 game win streak, including the playoffs, and proving to be one of the hottest teams in the world going into MSI. This streak includes two 3-0 wins against Galatasaray (finishing 5th in the regular season) and SuperMassive (finishing 2nd). Fenerbahçe is ambitious to prove that the TCL can compete against the top regions, and with the way they have been playing, it's hard to argue against it.
Phong Vũ Buffalo (VCS)
Phong Vu Buffalo will be remembered by many as the team that helped G2 make it out of the Group Stage at 2018 Worlds. Well, Mr. Buffalo is back and looking to make it into their next international tournament, representing Vietnam and the VCS. VCS first broke into the scene with the massive success of Gigabyte Marines, using unique play-styles and taking down big names Fnatic and Longzhu Gaming in dramatic fashion. PVB has a more traditional style of play that has given them a strong case in the VCS, finishing with a 13-1 record. They also have the added benefit of having the same roster as last year.
PVB was considered one of the top teams in play-in, now that they are slotted into the group of death it feels like it is a two-way race. Sadly for PVB, they will have a tough time against the representatives from TCL. With two of the better teams on the same side of the bracket, we should see as a very entertaining set of group games.
Isurus Gaming (LLA)
Isurus Gaming became the first LLA Champion since both LLN and LAS joined forces. They were able to do so against the 10-time champions in Rainbow7 with an impressive 3-1 showing. Isurus Gaming is lead by veterans that played in international stages with Rainbow7 or as part of Kaos Latin Gamers.
Isurus Gaming might have high expectations, but the reality is they were placed in the toughest group possible. This usually doesn't mean much for teams that are just looking to showcase their skills internationally. For Isurus however, their ambitions are much higher. They want to become the first Latin American team to get past the play-in stage. They want to be a team that someday challenges for knockout stage games. It does seem like a long shot due to the current draw, but nothing is determined until the nexus explodes.
We covered the LLA Final, the in-depth article can be found here.
Throughout LoL history, we can say the OPL has mainly been dominated by one team. This year however the Dire Wolves had an abysmal Spring Split and no chance to represent their region at MSI. However, The Bombers had a fantastic season and finished first throughout the regular season. They qualified for the final and played against Order, who had a Cinderella run. Even though the score seemed one-sided with a 3-0, the Bombers still struggled to put games away. This can cause some skepticism going into MSI, but the Bombers will want to show up on the big stage.
Also see: The Top 5 Champions to Watch for at MSI & The 4 Most Interesting Strategies Going Into MSI