This semifinal perfectly encapsulates the new kids on the block versus the older and more mature adults. Of course, this is a metaphor as all the players participating are near their young twenties. MAD Lions has not had great success internationally and is a young organization and, while Damwon KIA is also a young organization, was able to secure a World Championship title within a couple of years. Many have written off the European representatives as a stepping stone for DWK but if you do not look at the opponent in front of you, you may just be mauled by the lions.
Khan is one of the eldest and most veteran players in the LCK, let alone DWK. He is known as a stalwart in the top lane, constantly playing weak side, picking team oriented champions while punishing any jungle pressure aimed at him.
The term ‘jungle gap’ can be improved upon further by spouting ‘jungle canyon’, a term originating from how much more skilled Canyon is compared to his competition. The DWK jungler has the sixth sense when it comes to pathing and is flexible enough to adapt to any meta.
The show must go on! Showmaker is a rare breed of player that cannot be restricted despite how many counterpicks or bans a team throws at him. Famous for his Zoe, once Showmaker the ball gets rolling in mid lane, expect him to dominate the map.
Ghost and Beryl
In 2020, Ghost and Beryl were THE bot lane duo to beat. In MSI 2021, they are overshadowed by their team but remain one of the top tier late game threats. Do not sleep on these two, as both have proven time and again that an Ghost is a ticking time bomb and Beryl is the catalyst to speed up the explosion.
The Turkish top laner has made a name for himself this tournament by dominating lane using power picks like Jayce and Gnar. Coming from the powerhouse of SuperMassive from the TCL, Armut will always look to push advantages and apply side lane pressure.
Elyoya has to be one of the shining stars of MAD Lions – he has stepped up huge on the international stage and secured many early game leads for his team. This is all the more impressive once one considers that this is his debut season on a professional team.
One of the stars on the team, Humanoid is known for his Qiyana debut in the LEC. That being said, Humanoid’s champion pool is vast, from ADCs in the mid lane to zone control mages to support mages. He is one of the veterans on MAD and holds down the fort across the board.
Carzzy and Kaiser
Carzzy is one of the unsung heroes of MAD. Nobody notices him until a teamfight breaks out, and then he gets a triple kill and is now an item ahead. Kaiser exists to support the team but is more often than not playing a secondary engage champion. The duo lane is not the flashiest in the world but they will get the job done.
Like most teams in the tournament, this matchup will be the Jungle Mid synergy. Unleashing Showmaker or Humanoid on the map by allowing them to roam will spell disaster for the receiving team. Canyon and Elyoya excel at slightly different characteristics – Canyon is an intelligent pathing jungler that can pull out a lot of aggression while Elyoya tends to play for the team and puts a lesser focus on farming. The first blood or significant lead in the game will most likely stem from the jungle, followed closely by the influence that lead will have in the solo lanes.
Nothing volatile should take place in the top lane as Khan is not known for a super bloody laning phase. This is a double-edged sword for Armut who will most likely gain the upper hand against Khan in CS and gold but may be pigeonholed into an isolated island away from his team, thus being unable to actually utilize his lead in a teamfight.
The botlane for both teams will likely be the focus once a lead is established in the jungle or mid lane. Both ADCs are top-tier hypercarry players, and both supports tend to play the tanky half-engage half-peel variants. The main difference will be the powerspikes that each ADC reaches when it comes to champions picked; Kai’sa will spiked earlier in the mid game, Tristana in the late game, and any super niche picks will have to be considered even more carefully.