The top four is beginning to take shape as we enter the last two days of the Main Stage at MSI 2018.
Team Liquid and EVOS are predicted to struggle from here on, while Kingzone DragonX are the only team in a clear position to secure one of those coveted semi-final spots.
Remember: whichever side finishes top of the table in the Main Stage can choose to face either the third or fourth seed in the semis, with the leftover teams playing it out in the other match.
Kingzone DragonX vs. Royal Never Give Up
2am PST / 5am EST / 11am CEST
RNG have looked a bit shaky, citing losses to KZ and FW within the first couple of days. On the flip side, KZ have only been gaining traction since their upset and continue to be a dominant force.
Uzi is doing his best to try to carry the games, but the team that surrounds him cannot operate from behind. Most teams that have won against RNG have either outpaced them in teamfighting or prevented that scenario altogether. KZ, on the other hand, have had significant strain in the jungle, as Mlxg either makes a good situation better or a bad situation worse.
These two teams are still in contention as the most powerful two teams in MSI, but as the tournament round robin nears its end, every game will count for the top four spots.
Prediction: Kingzone DragonX – -270.27 at Arcanebet
Fnatic vs. Flash Wolves
3am PST / 6am EST / 12pm CEST
These two teams have impressed so far. Flash Wolves came out of the gate with all guns ablaze, while Fnatic have ramped up over time.
Many believe that FW should not have been relegated to a second-tier region considering their accomplishments at this tournament. Hanabi, a rookie on the team, has successfully gone head-to-head with the best top laners in the world, with Betty and Maple doing a lot of work in teamfights. For Fnatic, Bwipo has recovered from a difficult first day and is looking great despite a lack of experience on the big stage.
This match will fall upon FW’s tempo versus that of Fnatic’s, as to who can break the first tower, pull off rotations and take neutral objectives. The team that initiates first blood tower will be the likely team to secure victory.
Prediction: Flash Wolves – -151.52 at Arcanebet
EVOS Esports vs. Team Liquid
4am PST / 7am EST / 1pm CEST
EVOS Esports and Team Liquid are both looking at the guillotine.
Warzone has undergone a famous transformation for EVOS over the past year and looms as the danger man in this clash. Slay and RonOP still have their work cut out for them, facing the heralded four horsemen of ADCs in the group stages. And although Yijin will have the advantage in the jungle, the same cannot be said for each individual lane across the board.
Team Liquid need to shore up Xmithie’s early game pressure and their support situation. Whether or not Joey or Olleh plays, the teams needs a more cohesive strategy rather than playing a solo queue style.
Prediction: Team Liquid – -169.49 at Arcanebet
Royal Never Give Up vs. Flash Wolves
5am PST / 8am EST / 2pm CEST
The last bout between the Taiwanese and the Chinese led to a surprise win for Flash Wolves. RNG aims to equalize the series with this match.
Flash Wolves have not necessarily become a flexible team, but rather a team that controls the flow of the game. By consistently making their enemies play their style of game, FW essentially determine where the pieces fall. Their champion pool also allows them to be varied in how they execute their plans.
RNG are also masters of controlling tempo in order to teamfight under Uzi’s banner, but have yet to consistently achieve that goal. However, with a few more days to practice and remedy their problems, they are still on paper the more experienced and powerful team, at least when it comes to pushing a lead.
Prediction: Royal Never Give Up – -119.05 at Arcanebet
Kingzone DragonX vs. EVOS Esports
6am PST / 9am EST / 3pm CEST
KZ end their day with a match against Vietnam’s EVOS Esports. It is a daunting prospect for Warzone and co., but also an opportunity to send shockwaves throughout the tournament.
EVOS pride themselves on high tempo, fast-paced jungle skirmishes that in turn net the team sizable early-game advantages. Using that lead, they can continue to rotate until an opportunity arises for RonOP and Yijin to engage. By contrast, KZ usually see, understand and adapt to their situation, which causes teams plenty of headaches.
Although KZ may not be able to match the early bloodthirstiness of EVOS, they have more than enough skill and mechanics to temper the aggression and pace the match at their level. After all, these guys were top of the pops in Korea – the most recognized League of Legends region in the world.
Prediction: Kingzone DragonX – -909.09 at Arcanebet
Team Liquid vs. Fnatic
7am PST / 10am EST / 4pm CEST
Despite the fact that Pobelter blind picked Yasuo in their last bout, Fnatic seem to have a better grasp on just about everything. Team Liquid desperately need this win to have any chance of progressing and, as such, will most likely draft completely meta or comfort champions.
TL need to storm Fnatic using early pressure or deep warding to track down Broxah; otherwise they will be trampled in the midgame by a far more cohesive unit. For Fnatic, Caps looks the most viable playmaker alongside any heavy CC champions. Consequently, Rekkles will most likely have the opportunity to pick any kind of ADC he wants, whether it be something like Sivir for backline shredding or Tristana for the bunny hop executions.
Either way, Fnatic hold the cards and it is up to Team Liquid to call their bluff or fold completely.
Prediction: Fnatic – -166.67 at Arcanebet