League of Legends MSI finals preview: G2 vs. Team Liquid

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Team Liquid.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

The 2019 MSI tournament comes to a close on Sunday and to everyone’s surprise it will feature a match-up between two western League of Legends teams: G2 Esports and Team Liquid.

It all comes down to this. Tomorrow, the League of Legends Midseason Invitational will conclude with the showdown almost no one predicted at the start of the tournament. The west has won, as Europe’s G2 Esports will face down with North America’s Team Liquid for not only regional bragging rights, but the chance to bring glory to their region and show they should not be overlooked by the Chinese and Korean teams of the world.

After a very rough group stage in which they went 4-6, barely sneaking into the knock-out stage, Team Liquid were assumed to be an easy out when facing the defending World Champions Invictus Gaming. After all, IG had their choice of opponents in the semi-finals and selected Liquid, assuming they were the weakest team in the field.

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Instead, Liquid dominated their match-up handily defeating Invictus 3-1 in a series that frankly could have been a 3-0 if not for Rookie hard-carrying Game 3 of the series. Across the map, Liquid outplayed their counterparts and – most stunningly – their macro game looked superior.

G2, on the other hand, entered with far better odds against perennial giant T1, but still decidedly the underdogs. But when T1 jumped out to a 2-1 series lead, looking like they were back to their old dominant form, even the most ardent hopes for an all-west final seemed to die.

But G2 would not go down, bouncing back in Game 4 on the back of a brilliant performance by Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Ryze. In Game 5, they jumped out to an early lead on T1 and seemed to be fully in control of the game, but mid game teamfights started to swing T1’s way as Teddy’s Varus got rolling.

It seemed the T1 comeback was inevitable until the team that never makes mistakes made a massive and costly mistake to try and take Baron. They flubbed it, taking far too much damage from the Baron buff, allowing G2 to clean up the fight and push for the win.

This leaves us with just two contenders remaining. NA vs. EU. The final showdown for glory and regional bragging rights is coming, so who is going to come out on top?