The only team predicted to finish Friday’s MSI fixtures 2-0 is Kingzone DragonX, with Flash Wolves an outside chance if they overcome Fnatic’s ability to hard carry. Going into day two, Team Liquid will breathe a sign of relief at their schedule while EVOS Esports will have to pull off something miraculous to take a game today.

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Kingzone DragonX vs. Fnatic

2am PST / 5am EST / 11am CEST

Despite how the matchup looks, all hope is not lost for FNC. The ‘baby Faker’ Caps was promoted as will unfortunately not be playing Faker, but instead Bdd in the midlane. Caps makes just as many mistakes and outplays as any other midlaner, but Bdd will barely put a foot wrong.

Pray and Gorilla will definitely be targeted by the entirety of FNC to not only be set behind, but also to boost Rekkles’ impact in the game. Playing through Khan in the toplane against the rookie Bwipo or even a recovering sOAZ could be KZ’s ticket to a win, but KZ is strong across the board aplenty.

Prediction: Kingzone DragonX

Royal Never Give Up vs. EVOS Esports

3am PST / 6am EST / 12pm CEST

This may prove a dangerous game for RNG, as EVOS’ early skirmishing may stifle Uzi’s ability to transition into the mid-game with ease. However, RNG are the second favorites for a reason – against all odds, no matter how distraught, they have been able to support Uzi and depend on him.

When it comes to early pressure, Yijin from EVOS is no more favored than Mlxg. However, Stark and Warzone may be able to hold off their counterparts as long as jungle pressure does not enter the top or middle lanes.

RNG have one priority here and it is to feed Uzi – because as the game drags on, EVOS becomes less and less cohesive as a unit and teamfighting will undoubtedly go in RNG’s favor.

Prediction: Royal Never Give Up

Team Liquid vs. Flash Wolves

4am PST / 7am EST / 1pm CEST

Flash Wolves are known for their well rounded, macro-style gameplay, as opposed to the botlane focus and linear team composition of Team Liquid. It’s well documented that Impact does not play much in the way of carry, something FW may want to exploit by drafting a split-push toplaner. Moojin and Xmithie, however, will probably end up on opposite sides of the map, aiming to get their own laners ahead.

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Wolves will try to control the topside, while TL’s objective will be the botside. The biggest thing to look out for is SwordArt’s roaming versus Olleh’s roaming, as Olleh tends to stick with his ADC until a sizable lead is accrued. If that factor is indeed met, Olleh may have just as much pressure as SwordArt, a terrifying prospect.

Updated: Team Liquid announced earlier today they are going to substitute Joey for Olleh as support, as Joey is largely untested in International tournaments i believe this may give Flash Wolves the edge they need to win.)

Prediction: Flash Wolves

EVOS Esports vs. Kingzone DragonX

5am PST / 8am EST / 2pm CEST

It is unfortunate for EVOS that they have to play the top two teams in this year’s MSI. On paper, Kingzone are stronger in every respect.

In the toplane, there is some ability for Stark to pull off some of his flashy outplays, but almost every other lane is favored for KZ. The botlane is where it open up, with Kingzone’s stars holding a massive advantage.

This matchup hinges on whether or not EVOS can create their playstyle in the early game, or whether they dance to KZ’s beat. The latter is much more likely.

Prediction: Kingzone DragonX

Flash Wolves vs. Royal Never Give Up

6am PST / 9am EST / 3pm CEST

Likely the most watched match in the entire day, these two teams have a long standing rivalry as significant as Taiwan and China have in terms of identity.

As good as Betty and SwordArt are, matching up against Uzi and Ming is nearly black and white – SwordArt is the more pronounced player for FW and Uzi for RNG. It is clear what RNG’s strategy will be, and one would think adapting to prevent the focus on botside would be simple, but Xiaohu has the experience and matches at least even with the aggressive-pushing Maple.

RNG simply have to stave off the FW early game pressure that may result in a fiesta botlane. If they can do that, the win should be easily secured.

Prediction: Royal Never Give Up

Fnatic vs. Team Liquid

7am PST / 10am EST / 4pm CEST

The age-old question of which region is stronger, EU or NA, has actually fallen in favor of Europe for the past couple of years. While Team Liquid are newcomers to the international stage as a unit, their players are no strangers to the big time.

Fnatic will play around Rekkles and, to a lesser degree, Caps. Thus, it will fall upon TL to either reduce the impact of such a player or create a better opportunity for themselves. Fortunately, Pobelter is not one to make many mistakes and is more of an opportunist himself, with high reward low-risk plays. Bwipo should also make a lot less headroom with stalwart Impact in the toplane.

Jungle pressure early will be the deciding factor in this game, with Broxah and Xmithie having similar styles and champion pools. Although teamfighting may be FNC’s forte with Rekkles hard carrying, Doublelift does not intend to take a second seat to his European counterpart.

Prediction: Team Liquid

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