5 unexpected things from the 2016 MSI group stage


The group stage for the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) was filled with nothing but excitement this year, and more good things are to come. The 2016 MSI bracket stage period is about to take place where a champion will be revealed.

Five days of a grueling and exciting group stage play for the 2016 MSI has finally concluded in Shanghai.  Many instances of success and failure spread throughout the group stage that much of the community did not expect.  Here are some of the things that really stuck out in the first week of MSI.

1.) Gods can bleed

SK Telecom T1 (SKT) was challenged to the degree no one expected coming into MSI.  They finished with a 6-4 record and a fourth-place finish because of a tie breaker with the Flash Wolves.

SKT looked shockingly bad during a four-game losing streak in the middle stages of the tournament.  Nothing seem to be clicking, and although each individual player was guilty of making mistakes,  jungler Sun-gu “Blank” Kang took most of the heat for SKT’s dip in performance.

While, SKT looked infinitely more vulnerable than anyone could have imagined in the group stage, they should still be viewed as a serious threat to take the title.

2.) Stixxay is better than most people thought

Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes has been one of the biggest stories of the tournament.

He was one of the worry spots for Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) coming into the tournament, but he has put on a show. While he has had a struggle or two in lane – vs. SuperMassive (SUP) in particular –  Stixxay’s been incredible for CLG at making plays and team fighting.

He boasts the second-highest kill participation percentage of anyone in the tournament at a whopping 77 percent.

CLG will need Stixxay to continue his success in this tournament to have a shot at winning.

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3.) Mlxg is one of the best junglers in the world

The young Chinese star has established his dominance at MSI.

Shi-yu “Mlxg” Liu has demonstrated a proficiency well above anyone else in the tournament on carry junglers.  Mlxg finished the group stage with the highest kill-death-assist ratio (KDA) in the entire tournament at 9.7. While everyone goes crazy for his Nidalee (rightfully so), his Graves is also amazing: 3-0  with a 38 KDA .

No other jungler in the tournament has been able to stand up to Mlxg.  If he continues to perform at this level , Royal Never Give Up (RNG) will have a very good chance at delivering China their second MSI trophy in a row.

4.)  Achuu is a great attack damage carry (ADC)

Despite being on a team that finished the group stage 1 – 9, Nicolaj “Achuu” Ellesgaard displayed some League Championship Series (LCS) quality skills.

He finished with the top creep score per minute at 9.2 and was able to put that farm to use for his team. He lead his team in damage in 70 percent of their games and had the most damage in the entire game four times.

There are a lot of teams in Europe (EU) and North America (NA) that could use an English speaking upgrade at ADC.

5.) RNG brought the meta with them

Anyone who has watched NA and EU this year can agree that some of the games have been extremely stale. The Chinese region has always been an action-packed league with tons of excitement, and it was nice to see that RNG was able to bring their blood thirsty meta and play style with them to MSI.

RNG are never afraid to fight as they have great carries who will deal tons of damage, but even more importantly, they have great engage and control with their front line stars.

Everyone should be looking forward to more excitement in Shanghai as we get into the bracket stages to who is really the best team in the World right now. All four of the teams left look to have a legitimate chance to take home the title and represent their region.

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