Day four of the 2021 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational rumble stage has come to a close, and with it, the biggest shake-up of the tournament’s standings has come to fruition. After a day that saw the field’s top team dethroned from its place atop the standings, as well as the tournament’s Oceanic sweethearts finally securing a victory in the eleventh hour, the MSI rumble stage is set for a heart-pounding finale.
The top four teams advancing to the final bracket are all but decided, but the way in which they’ll enter the knockout stage is still up in the air. Plus, there’s a slim, mathematically intact chance that Cloud9 still have some North American magic left in them. But their chances are looking grim.
Regardless, these are the biggest takeaways and storylines after the fourth day of the 2021 MSI rumble stage.
Stick a fork in Cloud9
After defeating a tournament favorite in Royal Never Give Up to open their day, C9’s hopes of advancing to the MSI knockout stage had the wind promptly taken out of their sails when the team stunningly fell at the feet of the previously winless and already-eliminated Pentanet.GG to close out the fourth day of the rumble stage. The loss moved C9’s rumble stage record to a dismal 2-6 and practically nailed shut any hope at a potential “miracle run” to the top four.
Dreams of C9’s first 2-0 day of the rumble stage were squashed by Pentanet’s pair of carries, Chazz and Praedyth, during the final game of the day. Together, the duo combined for a scoreline of 15/0/14 in their unstoppable showing against C9. Plus, Pabu’s ability to out-jungle Blaber and secure a tide-turning Infernal Soul at the back end of the game swung the momentum in favor of Pentanet at the last moment.
Now, the LCS champions face a near-impossible task of running the table and securing a spot in the knockout stage.
With two games separating C9 from a share of fourth place alongside MAD Lions and PSG Talon, the road to a potential tiebreaker becomes immensely bumpy for NA’s representative. Luckily, C9 will play both of those teams tomorrow on the rumble stage’s final stay. Had C9 beaten Pentanet to close out day four, though, they would have had control over their own destiny heading into the final day of the rumble stage. Instead, C9 will need to get some help from RNG, as well as the apparently threatening Pentanet, who play against MAD Lions and PSG, respectively, tomorrow.
Pentanet go out with a bang
Speaking of Pentanet, the team became the first squad in the field of six to be eliminated from top-four contention today. After the LCO champions were mathematically eliminated, the team turned on the jets against C9 and played with a sense of agency and flair that we hadn’t seen since their group stage matches.
After picking bizarre champions like Zed, Qiyana, and Yorick throughout the rumble stage, Pentanet drafted a surprisingly “meta” team composition and used it to wipe the floor with a C9 team that was caught extremely off-guard. Pentanet no longer just threw champions at the wall in an effort to see what would stick.
It would have been considered a massive win for Oceania even if Pentanet simply went winless after advancing past the group stage at an international event for the first time in the history of the region. Instead, the team etched itself into the history books once again by taking a win off of a major region team and shaking up the entire landscape of the tournament in the process.
DWG KIA finally sit alone at the top (for now)
It was only a matter of time until either DWG KIA or RNG blinked and the deadlocked tie atop the MSI rumble stage standings was broken. With a loss to the now all-but-eliminated C9 earlier today, RNG put themselves a full game behind DWG KIA heading into the final day of the rumble stage.
Tomorrow, RNG will face off against MAD Lions while DWG are slated to close out their rumble stage run against Pentanet, a team that DWG came just one death away from securing a perfect game against last time they faced each other.
But the most important match of the day will occur right at the top of the schedule. DWG are set to go back to the drawing board against the only team to take a game off of them in the rumble stage. The rematch between RNG and DWG should garner all of the attention tomorrow since the difference between securing the one or two seed in the bracket stage could make a world of difference moving into the tournament’s final phase later this week.
If RNG win that game and the two teams finish off the rumble stage with identical records of 8-2, RNG will automatically take first place thanks to their 2-0 record over DWG in that scenario. But even still, don’t count out DWG and their impressive seven-game winning streak heading into tomorrow’s do-or-die game.
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