The first round of MSI 2021 is in the books with the six representatives moving on to the Rumble Stage. This is where the teams will face each other in a double round-robin format with the top four teams making it to the Knockout Stage. With the new format, fans will get to see matchups that were not possible in previous years due to the way teams were seeded. Before the games get started, here are the TGH power rankings for the Rumble Stage of MSI 2021.
What a Cinderella story for Pentanet.GG. Just one split after Oceania’s pro league dissolved, the LCO sent PGG to MSI. Even though Vietnam’s representative had to sit out the tournament, Riot decided to keep Group A as three teams, and PGG showed up enough to upset Unicorns of Love and make it to the Rumble Stage. This is a fantastic opportunity to play spoiler for a team that has nothing to lose at this point. Pabu seems to be the key player on the team, as he looks bad in PGG’s worst games, and he shines in PGG’s best games. No one should rank them higher than the other five teams, but hopefully they can have some fun with picks like Fiddlesticks, Zed, Karthus and Kog’Maw.
5. PSG Talon
Even with Doggo subbing in, making it this far was expected for PSG Talon. Now comes the challenging part. They were easily able to take down the Wild Cats and paiN Gaming but struggled mightily against the MAD Lions. Because of this, it is hard to rank them above any of the major region teams. Don’t sleep on them though. They will take at least one game off a top-four team and could slip their way into the knockout stage should an opening appear.
The Cloud9 that advanced to the Rumble Stage is not the same team that entered MSI. Cloud9 came into MSI with high hopes which were promptly smashed after a disappointing 1-2 record after week 1. However, something must have finally clicked for C9 during their small break before the last day of Group play. The LCS representative bounced back in a big way with a massive upset over Damwon Kia, and finished the day 3-0 to secure the second spot in Group C. Cloud9 look to bring their momentum into the Rumble stage for a deep bracket run.
The reigning World Champs made it out of groups. It shouldn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but Damwon had to fight hard to escape with the first-place finish in Group C. Even though their only loss came at the hands of Cloud9, DK found themselves in tough positions in both matches against DetonatioN Focus Me. At the end of the day, Damwon Kia is still one of the best teams in the world. They are incredibly dangerous with Canyon and ShowMaker swapping between which player earns the honor of carrying that day. Heading into the Rumble stage, DK does remain one of the favorites to win the whole thing.
2. MAD Lions
The loss to the Wild Cats was a bit surprising but overall the MAD Lions looked nearly unbeatable in a group with some well-respected minor region teams. Now with DAMWON and C9 showing plenty of holes in their armor, the Lions have found themselves in a pretty enviable position. Carzzy has been an absolute monster with Armut continuing his dominance from the LEC playoffs. This is a scary team that can win MSI as long as they don’t revert to their regular season ways. It will be exciting to see them duke it out with the other three major regions for six games before likely heading to the Knockout Stage.
Royal Never Give Up are in the unique position of coming into MSI as a possible favorite and not showing any weakness in the Group Stage. Every other team has losses and shaky wins, making it difficult to place them above RNG. That being said, Unicorns of Love and Pentanet.GG might just be the two weakest teams in the tournament, leaving RNG essentially untested. Their 25:01 average game time (also average win time since they did not drop a single game) is about six minutes faster than DWG KIA or MAD Lions. Odds are, RNG will not start 6,522 gold ahead at 15 minutes against the top six teams, but the LPL representatives have still been impressive given the circumstances.
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