League of Legends: MSI Play-In Round 2 Recap

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League of Legends: MSI Play-In Round 2 Recap

This morning, four teams battled in the MSI Play-In Round Two for a ticket straight to the main stage. The first best-of-five series debuted Team Liquid (“TL”) taking on Phong Vu Buffalo (“PVB”), and was a fairly one sided affair. After that, the Flash Wolves (“FW”) fought Vega Squadron (“VEG”) to the same effect. This series was technically closer than the prior one but overall dominant. Though PVB and VEG did lose, it is important to note they will face each other in another best-of-five tomorrow for the last spot on the main stage.

Team Liquid vs Phong Vu Buffalo

pvb v tl msi 2019
Photo via LoL Esports.


This first match was probably the closest of all of them. PVB Meliodas played Lee Sin and was very active on the map, especially towards the bottom lane duos. BigKoro's Kai'Sa got quite fed through the constant skirmishes and PVB looked like they could actually take the first game from TL. Unfortunately for them, Naul made a huge mistake in a team fight around the Dragon and TL capitalized on it. Once they won this fight, Jensen's Azir came online and they won every fight. Their snowball was quick and efficient, and destroyed PVB's first Nexus at 32 minutes.

The second game was similarly close for about 15 minutes, but TL's decision making proved superior in the end. Impact's Gangplank was a main point of the match, it was quite far behind early on but due to good Cannon Barrages (R) and him outplaying a dive 1v3, he came back stronger. Frequent skirmishes went in the favor of TL, Jensen specifically picked up a bunch of kills, and they capitalized on PVB mistakes well. After TL carved out a lead for themselves PVB had no chance to come back, and lost their Nexus at 25 minutes.

The final game was one-sided for TL, and proved how far ahead of PVB they are as a team. The focus of this game was on the bottom side of the map again, and it played right into TL's strategy. Doublelift's Tristana was fed kills, and at the end of the game had a 4k gold lead on BigKoro's Varus. Along with this, Impact and Jensen skirmished with Xmithie to grab some kills of their own. They didn't close it out as fast as game two, but throughout the game it was impossible to see an avenue in for PVB. TL smashed their third Nexus at 29 minutes to force PVB to play another series for a spot in the main stage.

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Flash Wolves vs Vega Squadron

fw v veg msi 2019
Photo via LoL Esports.


Games One and Two

The first game of this series was very exciting. Whenever a team tried to make a play on the side lane, both teams collapsed in full to brawl it out. It had many great skirmishes and team fights, with most of them going fairly even. But crucially, VEG's carries received more gold than their counterparts, and with Vayne and Karthus, VEG's scaling was incredible. After a slower mid/late game, they won an explosive team fight at Elder Dragon due to Nomanz's Vayne performance. This gave VEG the opportunity to run into FW's base and take their Nexus.

The next game was action-packed as well, but was not close at all. FW ran over VEG at ever point in the game, with Bugi's Rek'Sai being the primary catalyst. He ganked every lane and created a massive lead for himself, which he used to slaughter VEG members. Betty was also huge, pumping out a crazy amount of damage throughout the game. VEG tried to come back into the game after finding a pick onto ShiauC and turning to Baron, but FW collapsed on their play quickly. They killed multiple members and the Baron, and easily closed out the game at 24 minutes.

Games Three and Four

The FW dominated in game three, and definitely had VEG's number. FW's bottom lane duo absolutely smashed their counterparts and the game snowballed through them. In addition, all of FW's other roles were ahead, which made the game seemingly easy to play.VEG made attempts to stay afloat, but lost a team fight 0-4 at the Dragon pit. FW gained an Infernal Dragon, a Baron buff and 13k gold lead from this play, but it didn't result in any more immediate advantages.

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The match stalled for a little bit longer until the second Baron spawned. FW naturally started it up, but AHaHaCiK miraculously stole it away. VEG lost two members and their middle Inhibitor for the steal though, which was enough for FW. The steal proved insufficient to mount a comeback in the next team fight though, as FW completely routed VEG and destroyed a second Nexus in a row.

In the fourth and final game VEG appeared desperate. Their Morgana-Shen bottom lane was abusable, but VEG managed to slow down the early game significantly. It was a good look for them, but it was only a matter of time before FW forced them to fight. After one big team fight win in the bottom lane, Hanabi became quite powerful and FW controlled the map. They Ace'd VEG at 26 minutes and secured a Baron buff, which wasn't utilized to the fullest due to some mistakes from FW. That didn't matter though, as FW out macro'ed their opponents and back-doored the third Nexus of the series.


Watch the PVB vs FW series on Tuesday and the rest of the Mid Season Invitational right here at ESTNN TV. For more information on the tournament, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Stay tuned here at ESTNN and follow us on Twitter for more League of Legends news, articles, opinions and more.

Featured image via LoL Esports.

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Brandon Sturak
Brandon is a writer and editor for ESTNN with a passion for esports. He writes about League of Legends and esports generally, providing analysis and commentary on both. He is a founding member of Niagara University Esports, while being the previous mid laner and Head Coach for the NU Esports LoL team as well. Twitter @GhandiLoL