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The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational Rumble stage has officially kicked off with all teams playing their first two games on Friday. Day one of the 2021 MSI Rumble stage started with an interesting showdown between China and South Korea. There were no major upsets seen today; all games went as expected. However, day one featured a lot of strange and exciting champion picks from certain teams. With day two of the MSI 2021 Rumble stage beginning on Saturday, here are the most important points to note from the first day.
RNG remain undefeated after MSI Rumble Day One
Although RNG went undefeated in the group stages, many still doubted the team given the low level of competition they faced previously. However, the RNG 2-0 record on the opening day of Rumble suggests that the level of competition doesn’t really matter for them.
The LPL representatives began their Rumble stage journey against World Champions, DWG KIA. The game between these two teams started off slowly, but RNG changed the course of the game with a 2v2 fight in the bottom lane. DK had a relatively better early game as they secured all objectives through Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and two quick kills in the bot lane.
However, RNG took control of the game through the incessant mid-lane team fights. Even though DK found several openings to restore parity in the game, they were unable to fully regain control. After securing the Baron, RNG marched down mid to take down DK’s base which they did after a successful team fight. The LPL Spring champions finished the game with 17 kills and a 5,000 plus gold lead.
— Royal Never Give Up (@RNGRoyal) May 14, 2021
RNG also defeated Cloud9 through their signature backdoor move. The Chinese representatives started off the match with an early game advantage and secured first blood after a kill onto C9’s top laner, Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami. RNG then secured a huge lead against C9 after successful top lane picks. However, C9 clawed their way back into the game with a perfect team fight taking down all RNG members. C9 looked to take Baron continuing their comeback in the game. Unfortunately, RNG quickly teleported into the bleeding C9 base and ended the game. With this win, RNG remains undefeated at MSI 2021.
Pentanet.GG and Cloud9 go 0-2 on Day one
Oceania’s representatives Pentanet made history for their region as they became the first ones to advance from the group stage. However, the Rumble stage has not begun well for the team. Pentanet kicked off their first game of the day with their traditional off-meta picks. Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney brought back Kassadin on stage as MAD Lions countered with a Vayne pick. Pentanet picked a very short range composition with little wave clear overall. MAD Lions punished the Kassadin pick, leaving him mostly stuck under turrets throughout the game and killing him three times.
Pentanet lost their first game in under 26 minutes with a 12,000 gold deficit. After losing the first game, Pentanet lost again to PSG Talon. Chazz entered the game with an off-meta Zed pick in the mid lane. PSG Talon dominated the game from start to finish with a 5-0 kill lead in the early minutes. They closed out the game in just under 22 minutes with a huge 15,000 plus gold lead and no turrets lost.
Cloud9 also came out of Day One of the Rumble stage at 0-2. After getting backdoored by RNG, MAD Lions asserted Europe’s dominance over North America in their first meeting of 2021. Luka “Perkz” Perkovic decided to pick an off-meta Kindred for the game. Things started to go bad for C9 after a fight for a scuttle crab saw them lose three players. After this, Javier “Elyoya” Parades found successful ganks in the bottom lane, securing three quick kills for his team. MAD crushed C9 in all the team fights, leaving no room for a comeback. C9 lost the game in under 26 minutes as MAD Lions secured the Ocean soul and marched to take down their base. C9 finished the game with just 7 kills and a 16,000 gold deficit.
DWG KIA struggling with MSI best-of-one’s
Heading into MSI 2021, DWG KIA was listed as the tournament favorite. However, it seems they are struggling to adjust to the overall meta and the best-of-one system being used for now. After their shaky performance against DetonatioN FocusMe and defeat to Cl0ud9 in the group stages, DK have certainly not looked their best. Their composition in the game against RNG was also strange. They lacked any form of tank support or build, allowing RNG to easily come out on top in team fights. While DK seems to be struggling at the MSI, it is still expected that the World Champions will easily advance to the knockout stage. Perhaps, DK will find their form in the next phase where matches are played as best of five’s.
MAD Lions are Glad Lions
Europe’s new kings, MAD Lions, showed strong performances today. They had a very composed game against c9, with all team members playing excellently. After finishing the group stages with a couple of close games, there were doubts about how MAD would perform in the Rumble stage. So far, they have shown that they can maintain leads and execute game plans cleanly.
Tune into day two of the Rumble Stage of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational on May 15 at 8 a.m EST with Pentanent vs RNG as the opener.
2021 Mid-Season Invitational Standings as of May 14:
- RNG (2-0)
- MAD Lions (2-0)
- DWG KIA (1-1)
- PSG Talon (1-1)
- Pentanent.GG (0-2)
- Cloud9 (0-2)
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.