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League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational Friday Semifinals Preview

League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational Friday Semifinals Preview
Image: Riot Games

The semifinals are here and will kick off tomorrow May 21st at 9PM EST.  The first match will be between Royal Never Give Up and PSG Talon, a fight between the LPL and PCS.  Both of these teams have veterans and newcomers alike and will deliver on the high octane action that fans are starving for!

Royal Never Give Up

Image: Riot Games

Xiaohu

The former mid lane veteran of RNG needs little introduction – Xiaohu has seen RNG through its worst and best performances.  Taking on a new look, Xiaohu swapped to top lane and brought his champion pool with him.  As a result, he now presents a multitude of threats to the enemy team, being able to play carry mages, carry bruisers, weak side tanks, and able to lane swap back to mid.

Wei

The youngest and most unproven member on the team, Wei’s performance on RNG has been stellar during the Spring Split.  The 18-year old will have to fight blow for blow and keep up the tempo to make a name for himself.

Cryin

Like Wei, Cryin originated from Young Miracles and has had middling success until this past split with RNG.  Many criticized his ability to fill Xiaohu’s shoes, but winning MSI would absolutely silence his critics.  

Gala and Ming

Arguably the best bot lane duo in the tournament, Gala and Ming are the best insurance policy one could purchase.  Gala has carried teamfights consistently and has saved RNG multiple times by either sniping out carries or contesting objectives.  Ming is a terror in his own right, able to win laning phase 2v2 and making his presence known mapwide. 

PSG Talon 

Image: Riot Games

Hanabi

A former Flash Wolves member, Hanabi is no stranger to international play.  He is also no stranger to carry top laners, preferring to outplay opponents and apply another avenue of pressure rather than sitting and waiting.

River

The sole import on the team, River has bounced from the LJL to PSG Talon.  He has a great history in the LJL, constantly placing in the top three, and has continued that trend on PSG.  

Maple

The other former Flash Wolves veteran, Maple has the experience and champion pool to match those of Tier 1 mid laners.  Like Hanabi, Maple’s playstyle leads him to choose high damage and skirmish heavy champions to drive the dagger further into his opponents.

Doggo and Kaiwing

Both Doggo and Kaiwing are veterans of the LMS (now PCS), but not necessarily experienced internationally or on PSG Talon.  That being said, Doggo especially has outperformed many of his counterparts with mechanical precision.  Kaiwing remains Doggo’s sentinel, providing him with ample defensive pressure and, if needed, engage on command. 

The Matchup

The first semifinals will be a battle of counter-picks and technical skill.  Xiaohu and Hanabi are known for being bloodthirsty, skirmish heavy top laners and will be focused heavily by the jungle and mid laners.  Both River and Wei are the youngest on their respective teams but will have to duke it out to see who can maintain priority in the top and mid lanes.  

Past the early game, RNG has a distinct advantage when team fighting.  Ming’s engages coupled with Xiaohu’s flanks have been RNG’s bread and butter thus far.  PSG Talon will have to try and find a way to either delay an early Dragon Soul or steer RNG away from Baron.  

In the end, RNG is one of the favorites to win the tournament and have been since Day 1.  PSG Talon have a mountain to overcome, but if they manage to do so, they will have momentum on their side.

 

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