In the first match of this year’s MSI semifinals, Team Liquid faced off against the reigning League of Legends world champions, Invictus Gaming. The crowd in Taipei went wild as Team Liquid destroyed Invictus Gaming in four games, qualifying for the MSI finals. Let’s see how the games went!
The match started off explosively, with a lot of action in the early game. In typical iG fashion, Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning tried to impact the map with his ganks, but Liquid were there to counter. They forced iG into unfavorable fights and took the early game lead. Invictus Gaming made a split-second decision to go for the Baron, which paid off tremendously. They took the lead, winning several of the upcoming fights.
While it looked dire for Team Liquid, a failed Baron attempt from iG brought hope to the North American fans. Invictus Gaming were able to secure that Baron in a second attempt, pushing towards Liquid’s base.
With nothing to lose, Team Liquid engaged on iG in their base. They were successful, as Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong landed a massive Neeko ultimate to win the fight. After winning further fights, Team Liquid took the game back into their own hands. They secured Elder Dragon without contest and went on to roll over iG in their base, finishing this treat of a game in 41 minutes.
Following the success that Neeko had in Game 1, Invictus Gaming picked the Curious Chameleon for the top lane in Game 2 themselves. It started similarly as Game 1, with Ning impacting the map early. This time, it went better for iG as it led to them acquiring a small gold lead. However, Liquid didn’t let them run off with it as they secured some kills of their own. Teamfights were neck and neck with multiple members traded on both sides.
After Liquid made an attempt at baron, iG won an important team fight, which led to picking up three kills and the Baron for themselves. However, Liquid once again used their superior team fighting to pull themselves back into the game. Finally acquiring a Baron of their own, Team Liquid pushed through the middle lane to win the game and move to match point in the MSI semifinals.
With their backs against the wall, Invictus Gaming had to do something to keep their MSI finals hopes alive as Song “Rookie” Eui-jin went for his signature LeBlanc pick. In similar fashion to the previous games, both teams traded kills back and forth in the early game. iG put the most focus on the bottom lane, trying to shut the Liquid marksman and support down. This brought a slight gold lead to the Chinese team in the early game. Rookie’s LeBlanc pick was troublesome for Liquid as he picked off targets left and right.
Invictus Gaming won the team fights even with a member disadvantage as Rookie simply wasn’t killable. Liquid desperately tried to stop iG’s Baron take, but it only resulted in them losing members. Catching Rookie in their base brought a bit of hope to Team Liquid. However, it wasn’t quite enough as iG went on to convincingly win the third MSI semifinals game.
In their fourth game, Team Liquid shocked everyone by picking Lux in the middle lane. They completely took over the early game with a combination of great team play, as well as domination from their bottom lane. Chaotic fights went in their favor as Invictus Gaming just weren’t able to match them.
Team Liquid’s Skarner selection once again paid off, as he was instrumental in picking off important members of iG. After picking up Baron, Team Liquid shredded through iG’s health bars in the next fight. Invictus Gaming desperately tried to fight them off, but Liquid came out on top in every single fight. They took it slowly and methodically, holding on to their massive gold lead.
Another baron helped them finally break into iG’s base. Slowly but surely, Liquid pushed through the enemy structures to complete the upset, qualifying for the League of Legends MSI finals.
Match 2 of the 2019 League of Legends MSI semifinals between SKT T1 and G2 Esports kicks off tomorrow at 9 AM CET / 4 AM EST. Catch all the action live on Twitch and stay in touch with Daily Esports for all MSI-related content!
Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.