The MSI pool is down to six teams now that the play-in stage is complete. These are the best teams representing each of their regions, but despite this prestige, there are still some players that the general viewers may not be familiar with.
Liu “ShiauC” Chia-Hao & Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop – Flash Wolves
Despite not being from one of the major regions, the Flash Wolves are no strangers to the Mid Season Invitational. They have been a staple of the international tournament for several years now, and have a habit of exceeding expectations against some of the world’s top teams. However, these perennial upsetters are coming to the 2019 event with some new names on the roster. Longtime veterans Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh moved on at the end of last year, and their spots were filled by ShiauC and Rather, respectfully.
ShiauC has big shoes to fill, and has been doing an impressive job of it. Showcasing a variety of Tank Supports, he has been getting the job done as both a playmaker and protector for star ADC Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung. With ShiauC by his side, Betty has been able to post an impressive 6.61 KDA this split, and lead his team to yet another MSI.
Another reason for Betty’s success is new Mid Laner, Rather. On loan from LCK hot shots Griffin, Rather has shown his talents can be put to use in any league. Playing hardier Mages such as Vladamir and Lissandra, he is able to provide a little protection for Betty while doing damage of his own. This combination has worked for the Flash Wolves, and the combination of new and old talent has them poised to succeed at MSI once again.
Đặng “BigKoro” Ngọc Tài & Nguyễn “Palette” Hải Trung- Phong Vu Buffalo
A lot of fans are just learning about Phong Vu Buffalo as they made their way through the Play-In stage and into groups. For those who have heard of them, they most likely know of the solo laners, Võ “Naul” Thành Luân and Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc. Zeros, is known for his carry champions, and is expert play earned him the MVP of the split.
However, the team’s Bot Lane duo are often much less talked about. This is unfortunate, as both Palette and BigKoro have been playing well throughout the split. In a league that is based on fast paced plays and high kill counts, reliability can be overlooked. Palette has a 6-0 record on both Galio and Braum, and BigKoro has shown his versatility by playing a variety of ADCs as well as going 5-0 on Viktor. With the other MSI teams likely focusing on the solo lanes, it could all be up to the duo to give the home team some success.
Kim “Clid” Tae-min- SKT
To be fair, this one is relative. Though likely more widely known than the others on this list, Clid is probably one of the lesser known players on SKT T1. With teammates like Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok it’s easy to see why.
Clid joined the team in the fall of last year, and wasted no time settling in. In what was viewed as a comeback season after struggling through 2018, SKT needed something new to get them back on track. At 19 years old, Clid had played for a couple teams in the LPL with inconsistent results. However, it seems that all he needed was the right team alongside him. He had arguably the most to prove on the mostly-new roster, and continues to do so with every new challenge. Look for his hunger to drive SKT back to hoisting the trophy on an international stage.
Though the players on this list may be less well known than others at the tournament, they are no less deserving of a spot there. With the competition poised to face off during MSI, these competitors will be looking to make a name for themselves, and will likely no longer be unknowns when the tournament is done.