With there only being one larger League of Legends tournament than this, the Mid-Season Invitation (MSI) attracted the eyes of millions of League of Legends (LOL) players around the world. MSI is the tournament where the best teams of the first half of the year from each region compete to see which region will come out on top.
This years MSI 2022 was one for the history books. Taking the majority of the month of May, the best teams from each region meeting in country considered the video game capital of the world, South Korea. Representing South Korea was T1 (renamed from SKT in 2020), the most storied team in League of Legends history. To back that up, T1 also has the most storied player in professional video game history, the player with longest and most successful record on a team in Esports in any game of all time, Faker.
An equally fearsome team and the reigning MSI champs also came back to defend their title after battling it out in the region where the current world champions are from, China’s RNG. On RNG, an veteran of the highest level of League of Legends play, past world champion and MSI champion, Xiaohu.
Interestingly, RNG had to replay three of its early tournament games this MSI due to technical problems causing out of regulation high latency. This was caught after the original games had already taken place and RNG had won before the need for replays were announced. This has never happened in any international tournaments before and there was quite the commotion.
In the end, T1 and RNG were the two teams that made it the finals where they played an intense best of 5 series that lasted all 5 games. RNG won out the first two games of the series easily, but Xiaohu was not the player heading the charge on RNG. It was his jungler Wei and RNG’s adc GALA.
The next two games were taken by T1 who adapted their draft to counter RNG’s game plan and it worked out, however, these games did not come as easily for T1. Game 5 was the closest game of the series, however by about the 25-minute mark it was clear that RNG had the stronger team composition. RNG did come out on top to hoist the MSI trophy and retain their spot as MSI champions for the second year in a row.
A few honorable mentions from the western regions, G2 made it back to MSI after missing it in 2021. They dominated in the early part of the tournament, only dropping a game but in the semifinals lost to T1. The LCS sent their best team, Evil Genius, to represent the US in this high stakes tournament. While they placed 5th place, their youngest player Danny at 18 years old got valuable experience meeting with T1’s adc, Gumayusi.
While MSI tells us which team or region is best region in the middle of year, it also serves as important measure of how the game has changed on the highest level from year to year. There are a lot of take aways from this MSI 2022 based on the champion picks and plays all players make on the stage. These changes are relevant to any players of League of Legends and using them in your game play could help you improve: Here they are ranked by importance:
- The most recently released champions are the best champions to play competitively. All six of the latest champions were either picked or banned basically every game. Specifically, in the last two years, champions like Renata Glasc, Zeri, Vex, Akshan, Gwen, Viego, and the list goes on with other newer and/or reworked champions.
- Game style has shifted to a late game carry meta. Unlike MSI 2021, where the jungle and mid were always trying to get ahead and win early, MSI 2022 brought much more focus to the adc. Getting the adc gold fast then protecting them was the name of the game at MSI and mid and jungle were there to facilitate that.
- Top lane teleports still matter pre 14 minutes. At the beginning of the season, teleport summoner spell was changed so it could only go to allied towers before 14 minutes. Using them early and effectively for objectives for example 30 seconds before a dragon fight or deterrence from a bot lane tower dive against your team.
- Finally, the basics still matter. Last hitting minions, getting vision with wards, doing objectives, and everything else having to do with playing to win the game are essential parts of being able to win a game in League of Legends.