The first day of the 2018 Mid Season Invitational group stage is finally upon us. With it comes the top teams from every region competing to show that they are the best international team.
Today’s first match of Fnatic VS RNG, saw Fnatic’s pride on the line with a worlds rematch. However, once again Fnatic fell to the ever-dominant Chinese team.
Jumping into champ select, we see a lot of target bans coming out from both teams. Both teams used their first phase bans to triple ban a role. Fnatic banning out Morgana, Karma and Rakan to pinch RNG’s support (ming), Morgana and karma being flex pick bans out on mid laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao as well. RNG, on the other hand, decide to ban out Gangplank, Swain and Sion in an effort to target ban top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, whilst also banning out a mid lane flex pick in Swain.
Moving onto first phase picks, with Kai’sa being left on the table for the first time during the tournament, Fnatic quickly snapped it up as their first pick. RNG responded with another scaling ADC in the form of Kog’Maw, a great pick for the absolute monster that is Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, and snowballing jungler Olaf. Fnatic rounded out their first phase picks with the jungle trundle and support Braum. Braum is a very good pick here for Fnatic as it means that bot lane becomes very hard to gank, thus allowing Martin “Rekkles” Larsson to scale up and play Kai’sa to her full potential. To round out the first phase RNG’s final pick came in the form of the ever-popular Ryze for Xiahou.
Moving onto second phase bans. RNG came out with a Zoe and Ornn ban, both of which historically are picked whenever they get through the ban phase. Fnatic responded with a Shen and Lulu ban, with the Shen being a very good top laner with his ability to quickly respond to threats around the map with his ult and the teleport summoner spell.
Onto the final pick phase of the match. RNG finally pick up a support in Tahm Kench, a good aggressive playmaker that can also quickly get his carry out of danger. Fnatic responded with the Yassuo and Vladimir, setting themselves up for a high risk/high reward game, where if they can keep themselves safe early and not fall behind, whilst also making a pick or two they will be able to create side lane dominance. RNG rounded out their comp with the Cho’gath response coming out to counter the Vlad and keep him pushed under the tower.
RNG took command of the early game, placing multiple deep wards to neutralize any gank attempts from Fnatic jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, keeping the game in RNG’s favour as Fnatic had no tempo in any lane whatsoever. The game began to turn around for Fnatic when Rasmus “Caps” Winther got a solo kill off on Xiahou in the bottom lane, allowing for Fnatic to also pick up a tower and close the gold gap.
Later in the game, Fnatic begin trying to take baron resulting in a 1 for 1 trade and one of RNG’s towers going down, putting the match in favour of Fnatic. However, with Caps dead, there was no one to put enough pressure down to stop RNG taking baron. RNG immediately began to set up for a 5 man gank onto the members of Fnatic in the mid lane, but a nice sidestep of the Olaf engage allowed for Fnatic to turn the tables and pick up 2 kills and even an inhibitor.
With the match looking all but won for Fnatic, they decided to go for a 5 man bush to put the final nail in RNG’s coffin. However, it failed and RNG wiped the floor with them, leaving only 1 man up for Fnatic to defend the nexus against 5. Thus, allowing RNG to close out the game moments later.
The 2018 MSI Group stage is now underway.
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