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League of Legends: MSI’s OP 5 (Play-In Group A Edition)

With the first group stages of the Mid-Season Invitational Play-Ins complete, there have already been quite a few players to stand out. With high kill-count games all over the place, which players stood out the most? Here is a look at the OP 5 of the MSI group A Play-Ins.

Top: Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min (1907 Fenerbahçe)

MSI Play-Ins
Courtesy of: lolesports Flickr

By far the best performing top laner in Group A was 1907 Fenerbahçe’s Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min. While other top laners like Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc struggled at times through the group, Ruin was constantly one of the best players in any match.

Playing a large variety of champions from Irelia to Rumble, Ruin showed off an impressive champion pool; some of his best games came on Jayce where he had a total stat line of  18/4/11 across two games. On top of that Ruin proved to be a key playmaker for Fenerbahçe and one of their main sources of victory. While Fenerbahçe has been eliminated after an intense tiebreaker match against Phong Vũ Buffalo, they should still be a clear lock to represent Turkey at Worlds, especially if Ruin maintains his current form.

Jungle: Hoàng “Meliodas” Tiến Nhật (Phong Vũ Buffalo)

MSI Play-Ins
Courtesy of: lolesports Flickr

With some great junglers in group A, the one that stood out the most is Phong Vũ Buffalo’s Hoàng “Meliodas” Tiến Nhật. While most of the hype surrounding the team was towards top laner Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc, Meliodas was the most notable player during the group stage.

While Meliodas was making huge plays on the likes of Lee Sin and Gragas, his best champion by far was Jarvan IV where he drew a ban in the tiebreaker after having a combined stat line of 8/1/32 and a kill participation of 95% across two games. If Meliodas continues to play at this level, Phong Vũ Buffalo should be a clear favorite to qualify.

Mid: Võ “Naul” Thành Luân (Phong Vũ Buffalo)

MSI Play-Ins
Courtesy of: lolesports Flickr

Along with Meliodas, Phong Vũ Buffalo’s mid laner Võ “Naul” Thành Luân also played a big role in Phong Vũ Buffalo taking group A. Like Meliodas, Naul played an important part in Phong Vũ’s success. While Zeros was inconsistent due to his aggressive playstyle, Naul was a steady rock in the mid lane. Despite all the high kill games that Phong Vũ played through, Naul rarely died, averaging only two deaths across seven games.

While Naul showed a fairly diverse champion pool, his best champion was by far his Zoe, where he died a single time across three games. On top of that, Naul was a huge early game playmaker. This was most notable in the tiebreaker match where Naul was all over the map on Lissandra in the early stages of the game. With Naul acting as a steady source of playmaking for Phong Vũ, the team is looking good moving on to round 2. While they should have an easy time qualifying for the main stage, the real question is how far can they go?

ADC: Victor “FBI” Huang (Bombers)

MSI Play-Ins
Courtesy of: lolesports Flickr

Despite dropping out of MSI, Victor “FBI” Huang has been an incredible ADC and by far the best ADC in group A. Throughout all of his matches, FBI was constantly the key win condition for Bombers.  While mid laner Tommy “ry0ma” Le had some solid games as well, FBI was still the key player that needed to succeed.

Luckily for Bombers, FBI was often on the top of his game with some great games on the likes of Kalista and Ezreal. His best game came in their victory against Isurus Gaming where FBI popped off and had an amazing game on Kalista, ending the game with a stat line of 11/3/6. While FBI’s stats look rough due to the team’s overall results, it was clear for many that he was one of the best players in the group. With a long Summer Split awaiting him, FBI will need to continue his great play if Bombers want to represent Oceania at Worlds.

Support: Nguyễn “Palette” Hải Trung (Phong Vũ Buffalo)

MSI Play-Ins
Courtesy of: lolesports Flickr

Finishing off the OP 5 is support player Nguyễn “Palette” Hải Trung. While most of his games came on Galio, Palette did show that he can adapt and play to the needs of the team. Apart from Galio, Palette had some great games on the likes of Braum and Morgana as well on their way to qualifying out of group A.   

While Palette doesn’t get noticed as much on a fairly talented roster, it’s important to note how impactful he is in Phong Vũ’s victories. Whether it’s making big plays to start teamfights or keeping the carries alive, Palette has been playing some great League of Legends. While the eyes will be on the top side of the map, Palette will play a huge role in Phong Vũ’s success going forward.

To watch League of Legends tournaments, visit For more information on the Split, teams, standings and players, visit Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at

Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.

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