[toc]Day one and two are in the books at the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational. So far there have been some thrilling matches and surprise picks (Aurien Sol anyone?).
We’re here to recap all of the action and provide our daily fantasy insight for days three and four.
Counter Logic Gaming perseveres
One of the teams with a lot of uncertainty heading into MSI has performed relatively well in day one and two. Counter Logic Gaming is notorious for choking in international tournaments, with the most recent IEM being a prime example. It’s still early, but what we’ve seen so far has been encouraging.
CLG’s first game on day one was against hometown favorite and reigning Chinese champions, Royal Never Give Up. This was one of the most exciting, back and forth games we’ve seen all year and befitting of the inaugural game for MSI 2016.
CLG’s mid laner, Huhi, gave the crowd something to cheer about when he locked in Aurien Sol for the first time in an international tournament. Even RNG was surprised by the pick, stating after the game they had never faced the new champion in a competitive environment.
CLG’s rookie ADC, Stixxay, provided a mix bag of plays, scoring an epic quadrakill after his entire team died but also being caught out of position multiple times. The team fight in bottom lane where he took tower agro before being punished by Alistar was downright embarrassing. CLG would bounce right back though, scoring an ace just four minutes later.
The game looked to be in CLG’s control after RNG attempted a fifth dragon, only to be aced once against by CLG. However, an overaggressive play by Darshan in the mid lane left the rest of CLG out of position and vulnerable. It ended up being a fatal mistake, as RNG would ace CLG and take the game.
After losing a heartbreaker to RNG, CLG desperately needed a win on day one against a Flash Wolves team that had just come back to win against G2 eSports. The action started about four minutes in the game, with Flash Wolves sending their jungler down to gank bottom lane.
While they initially catch Aphromoo out of position (he eats both an exhaust and Grave’s Smoke Screen), they can’t quite finish him off. A clutch heal by Stixxay keeps Aphromoo alive, who then makes a stellar play by hooking Lucian on the tower for first blood.
If not for prioritizing Dragon, CLG most likely loses this game. FW was consistently able to win the team fight engages, but CLG always had that win condition in their back pocket. After grabbing the fifth dragon 40+ minutes in the game, CLG was able to grab Baron and end the game on an excellent finish by Stixxay.
On day two, CLG’s first game was against a struggling G2 eSports team that looked severely underprepared for this tournament. The game couldn’t have started any better for CLG, with Stixxay picking up first blood just 1:40 into the game. The team would essentially end the game just three minutes later, picking up four kills with three going to Darshan’s Poppy.
The rest of the game was a one-sided bloodbath, with CLG winning 18-4 in 30 minutes.
CLG’s second game on day two was against the 0-3 wild card team from Turkey, SuperMassive. A win here would put CLG in second place at 3-1, a great position to be in two days after the tournament. Of course this was CLG we’re talking about, so a massive letdown was also in play.
For starters, SuperMassive’s jungler, Stomaged, was huge in this game. Catching Huhi out of position for first blood allowed Stomaged to secure an early lead, translating in another kill for him after catching Darshan over extended in the top lane.
Dumbledoge and Achuu also severely outplayed Aphromoo and Stixxay in the bottom lane. Combine that with Huhi getting out roamed by Naru and CLG had every lane losing in this game. It resulted in a nasty 9-24 loss and a disappointing way to end day two.
They weren’t the most disappointed team on day two though. That distinction belonged to SKT, the overwhelming tournament favorites.
SK Telecom T1 struggles on day two
Well this is shocking to say the least. We’re not used to seeing SKT lose on the international stage, but it happened twice on day two.
SKT’s game against Royal Never Give Up seemed to have really rattled this team. Blank is the rookie wildcard on this team, and he made the mistake of over pursuing on a kill attempt against the enemy jungler, giving RNG’s mid laner, xiaohu, first blood.
That seemed to get xiaohu pumped up, as thirty seconds later he solo killed the best player in the world, Faker.
This is a day Faker just wants to forget completely about. Xiaohu’s LeBlanc was able to repeatedly abuse him in the mid lane, and there was nothing he could do about it. He finished the game 0-6-2, as RNG just had their way with SKT.
Up next for SKT were the 2-1 Flash Wolves. This was a game of skirmishes and objective control, but it felt that SKT was always one step behind and just reacting to FW’s aggressive moves. SKT could never get anything going in this game, as FW just bled them out of resources, securing six dragons and two Barons.
We’re only two days into MSI, but the idea that SKT is unbeatable has been proven wrong, and we now have a wide open tournament. Now on to our DFS lineup recommendations.
Day 3 lineup recommendations
Looper (RNG vs FW/G2) – $8,000
Looper has had a great start to MSI, posting a 7.0 KDA ratio (6th highest) and participating in over 50 percent of his team’s kills. He could have a tough matchup against FW’s MMD, but that will be offset by playing against G2 (G2’s Kikis has given up 15 kills, almost double the next top laners).
Mlxg (RNG vs FW/G2) – $7,800
The stats that he’s put up in four games is quite remarkable for a jungler. His 10.2 KDA is second-highest in the tournament. He also is participating in over 70 percent of his team’s kills (top 5) while maintaining just six deaths (also top 5).
Go with the hot hand here.
Maple (FW vs RNG/SKT) – $7,400
This won’t be the popular pick, as many will rank Faker and xiaohu over Maple, but I think he provides plenty of value for almost $1,000 less then both of them. With Maple, you’re getting a player who has a 11.4 KDA (1st), 81.4 percent kill participation (1st), 28 kills (3rd), only 5 deaths (1st), all while maintaining a top ten CSPM (8.5).
That’s quite a bit of value without having to pay the maximum price for a mid laner.
Bang (SKT vs CLG/FW) – $8,000
Bang was considered the most polished AD Carry entering this tournament and he hasn’t disappointed. His 7.4 KDA is fourth best and his 9.4 CSPM is tops in the tournament. You’ll have to pay a bit to get him, but it’s well worth it.
Aphromoo (CLG vs SKT/SUP) – $7,000
He’s cheap, he provides value, and besides Darshan, he’s the only player on CLG I trust. I look for CLG to bounce back and win game two against SuperMassive on day three.
The SKT game is a potential road trap, but they haven’t looked invincible by any means. Also, only four fantasy points per game separates the top five supports.
Wuxx (RNG vs FW/G2) – $8,300
He’s averaging 23.2 FPPG (fantasy points per game) and has a favorable matchup on day three. If you can afford him, take him.
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG vs SKT/SUP) – $3,500
If you’re playing a standard AlphaDraft league, you should have $3,500 left, the exact amount for CLG. Flash Wolves is an option here as well ($3,400), but I’d rather bank on the probability of CLG beating SUP and having an outside chance of competing with SKT then FW beating both RNG and SKT.