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MSI

We now know who will face off in the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational finals

This year's MSI was full of surprises. The finalists, however, are not that surprising.

On Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 12:00 CEST, the grand stage of Zenith Paris will welcome China's Royal Never Give Up and Korea's Kingzone DragonX. This doesn't come as much of a surprise. They were lauded as the two strongest teams in the tournament and most probable to fight for the championship in the finals.

But this wasn't as obvious in the group stages. Everyone was surprised by Flash Wolves' strong showing. The Taiwan wolves managed to defeat both RNG and KZ (scoring two wins over the Korean team). Before the tournament began, Kingzone DragonX were regarded as the most dominant team in the world (they were the best in the Korean league, commonly viewed as the best globally). This meant it wouldn't come as a surprise if they managed to finish groups with a 10-0 score; meanwhile all they could manage was 6-4, which secured a promotion, but from the 3rd place in their group. That would be a great result for many teams, but for them it was below expectations.

Kingzone DragonX

Kingzone DragonX

Royal Never Give Up on the other hand seemed to be barely hanging on. On the third day they were in the middle of the leaderboards with a score of 3-3, including losing to Team Liquid, who were terrible performers at the time. However on the next day they managed to join the other elite teams that managed to claim victory over the undefeated Flash Wolves. From then on they haven't lost a match and faced Flash Wolves in the play-offs for the top spot in their group.

China and Korea's record in this tournament is 1-1. RNG may try to juggle junglers in the finals – they might bet on more conservative and supporting Karsa or the unpredictable and sometimes aggressive MLXG. The Korean team seems at home in the best-of-5 format, having time to adapt and analyze the opponents' strategy. They can also choose between two junglers, Peanut and Cuzza, which means the most interesting duel of the finals could take place in the jungle. Regardless, everyone will certainly be watching the bottom lane. On one side we have a formidable AD Carry, Pray; and on the other – Uzi, who's hungry for an international win.

Royal Never Give Up

Royal Never Give Up

A rough road to victory

Uzi has shown his determination in the semi-finals. As the top dog in the leaderbords, RNG had the luxury of choosing their opponent and it was no surprise when they picked the European Fnatic, considering their uneven showing in the tournament. The Chinese team was surely perplexed – although they won 3:0, victory did not come easy. The opponents rallied around Rekkles's Ezreal and were aggressive from the start, often getting kills on their opponents. Bwipo showed his abilities as a split pusher, pressuring the enemy base and single-handedly almost winning one of the games. RNG answered them with their own tricks, such as Xiohu's Irelia on mid and Uzi playing Caitlyn in all three matches, which was unsurprising but effective. Fnatic couldn't have been happy about the result of the match, but their performance was great. If you were to see just one game in the tournament, it should be these three matches.

Fnatic

Fnatic

In the second semis, Kingzone DragonX vs Flash Wolves, it was evident that both teams tried their best to surprise the opponents. In the first match Bdd showed the Wolves that not only the Chinese can play Irelia. Moojin tried to save the team from Taiwan with his Lee Sin, and Maple with the often-picked Yasuo, which was in turn answered by Khan's Jayce. Flash Wolves managed to take one win, but Korea took the match as expected. The team from Taiwan had to settle for the 3rd-4th spot in the third MSI in a row.