League of Legends MSI Semi-Final Preview: Invictus Gaming vs. Team Liquid

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Invictus Gaming.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Key Match-Up: Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning vs. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero

It would be an understatement to assert that the jungle match-up has the potential to decide the entire series on Friday. It’s the current best jungler in the world up against one of North America’s all-time greats. The type of match-up to expect could not be made more clearer than when looking at the two players’ champion pools so far this tournament. Ning opts towards carry-oriented junglers like Camille, Lee Sin, and even Kayn, whereas Xmithie prefers sitting on the tankier picks, like Jarvan IV, Sejuani, and Trundle.

Ultimately it boils down to whether Ning can break down Team Liquid’s rock in the jungle, or if Xmithie has enough control to prevent the Invictus snowball. As previously mentioned, IG’s jungler likes to focus on putting TheShy and Rookie ahead and this will be key to the result of Friday’s series. While Impact and Xmithie are proficient at absorbing enemy pressure and not falling behind, Jensen could pose a threat to TL’s defensive approach.

On average, Ning has a gold difference of +309 at 15 minutes, while Xmithie sits at -278 in the same time frame. It is likely that these figures will be similar throughout the BO5, but the more important statistics lie with the solo laners. Preventing Ning from impacting the top and mid lane is imperative for Team Liquid to have a successful evening in Taipei, and it is up to Xmithie to ensure that this is possible through intelligent pathing and strong vision control.

MSI Semi-Final Prediction: Invictus Gaming 3 – 0 Team Liquid

Unsurprisingly, the discussion heading into Friday’s semi-final is not about whether Team Liquid can win the BO5, but whether they can win a single game. The gap in skill between IG and the other teams at this tournament has been apparent since day one and it would be a shock if they don’t continue their incredible record with a 3-0 win against TL.

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Who do you think will come out on top in Friday’s semi-final? Do you agree with our predictions? Hit us with a #IGWin or #TLWin in the comments below!

The first MSI semi-final starts on Friday at 06:00 ET / 11:00 CET on the Riot Games Twitch channel.