MSI 2023 Team Preview: GAM Esports

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MSI 2023 Team Preview: GAM Esports

After a flawless split, Vietnamese GAM Esports are looking to upset the whole Mid-Season Invitational 2023.

4 days remain until the kick-off of this year’s first international League of Legends tournament, the Mid-Season Invitational! The 13 participants are eager to begin their journey towards greatness, but before the Main Stage can begin, 8 teams will have to fight their way through the Play-Ins in order to secure one of the three spots left in the second half of the MSI. GAM Esports, the Vietnamese champions begin their adventure on Wednesday – but how far will they go after not dropping a game all Spring?

The Journey of GAM Esports

GAM Esports is a household name in the Southeast-Asian League of Legends scene, as the organisation has been around since 2014. They have won multiple VCS’s, finished 6th in the 2017 MSI, and attended Worlds on 3 occasions.

The core of this team has been together since the end of 2020, dominating the Vietnamese Championship Series. The only new member of the team is Nguyễn “Zin” Tuấn Thọ, the new support, who joined the squad at the start of this year – and GAM have definitely made the right decision by signing the young player.

GAM Esports after qualifying for the 2023 MSI

GAM Esports had an incredibly successful split so far: they ran circles around their opponents, finishing the VCS Spring Split with a 14-0 record, while the 2nd place squad, Team Whales only had a standing of 9-5. Afterwards, the team didn’t slow down either. In the VCS 2023 Spring Playoffs, they beat CERBERUS 3-1, knocking them down to the Loser’s Bracket, then had a hard-fought victory against SBTC Esports. After SBTC beat CERBERUS, they came back to fight GAM Esports with a vendetta, but were unable to get more than 1 win in the series. Just like that, GAM Esports have won the VCS 2023 Spring Season, securing the League’s spot for the MSI Play-Ins – but can they live up to the likes of T1, who also had a perfect split last year?

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Players to watch on GAM Esports

The line-up of GAM Esports is:

  • Trần “Kiaya” Duy Sang
  • Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh
  • Đặng “Kati” Thanh Phê
  • Mai “Sty1e” Hoàng Sơn
  • Nguyễn “Zin” Tuấn Thọű

The most recent addition to the team, Zin is an expert on things such as Nautilus and Rakan, always looking for potential engages. But other than the strongest picks in the meta, he also played the odd Alistar and Morgana with great success.

Next to the young support of GAM Esports, the main carry of the team can thrive. Sty1e has been known for his Zeri and Jinx, but the scariest pick of his is Varus, who is also the most banned Champion against the Vietnamese team. While he is an adept of his role, he has some aces up his sleeve such as Veigar and Ziggs, so he can catch his opponents off-guard with some off-meta Champions in the botlane.

The real bag of surprises is Kati though, as he played Ryze, Zilean and Sion mid to great success, while he is mostly on Lissandra and Orianna duty to facilitate Kiaya and Sty1e, he can definitely be a carry for his team as shown by his 24% overall Damage percentage according to Games of Legends – and hopefully, we can see his renowned Sion mid at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational.

GAM Esports Jayce
Jayce should be a pick to look out for while facing GAM Esports

Levi is not like the junglers of other wildcard teams: while he has 16 matches on Wukong, prompting opponents to ban the Monkey King, his second most played pick was Lee Sin with 10 matches, out of which he won 7. He also had multiple matches with Hecarim, Nocturne and Kindred, while dabbling in Nidalee and Rumble, so he strengthens GAM’s unpredictability – you can never know which position they will strike from until the Pick/Ban phase is over.

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But the real surprise is that alongside Sty1e, veteran of the squad Kiaya is the secondary carry of the team. The 22-year-old has spent almost his entire career with GAM Esports, joining them back in 2018. Kiaya had 7 matches played with Fiora, 8 matches with Jayce, 9 matches with Kennen and 10 with Jax, so he’s not the “sit back with a tank and relax” type of toplaner – he wants to beat his opponents, or at the very least carry his team from the midgame. This means that after Varus, Jayce was the most banned Champion against the VCS team, and if the Prodigy of Piltover stay in the meta, opponents of GAM will have to keep Kiaya in mind.

With all things considered, GAM Esports is an explosive team, who can strike from multiple different angles – hopefully they don’t run out of steam like Saigon Buffalo in the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational.

Where to watch GAM Esports

GAM Esports will play against LCS 2nd seed Golden Guardians on Wednesday at 17:00 CEST, closing the second day of the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational. You can find them on lolesports.com, the Riot Games Twitch channel and the LoLEsports YouTube channel. Don’t forget to check out ESTNN’s other previews, and our predictions for the MSI 2023!

MSI 2023 Team Preview: GAM Esports
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.