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Photo via Riot Games

Istanbul Wildcats upset MAD Lions for their first win at MSI 2021

The Turkish representative has made Group B a little bit more interesting.

The fifth day of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational has started off spicy with the TCL’s Istanbul Wildcats taking down the LEC’s MAD Lions to kick off today’s action.

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Many League of Legends pundits had doubts about the Wildcats after they lost their first three games of the tournament. On the other side of the Rift, many European fans were feeling great after their own representatives swept through the competition early. But it felt like MAD Lions were one step behind their opponents during the later stages of the game today.

Early on, MAD Lions actually set themselves up for success with some great skirmishes through smart rotations. They even got to Dragon Soul point at the 17-minute mark while also holding a 3,900 gold lead at 19 minutes.

But the later the game went, the Wildcats began to find favorable front-to-back teamfights—a style of play that heavily favored their team composition with champions like Orianna, Volibear, and Leona. MAD Lions also failed to find any meaningful picks in the late game, even though they had great champs like Zoe, Nautilus, and Lee Sin to pull off some quick kills.

Veteran AD carry HolyPhoenix found a handful of kills that allowed him to scale and shred through MAD Lions as the Wildcats continued to dominate the teamfights from the 20-minute mark onward. The Kai’Sa ended the match with seven kills, six assists, and no deaths. IW’s support Farfetch also had some great engages with his Leona ultimate, catching out key MAD players to throw engages heavily into his team’s favor.

By taking this win, IW (1-3) have made this group a lot more interesting. If they can continue playing at a higher level than before, they could challenge paiN Gaming (1-2), PSG Talon (2-1), and MAD Lions (3-1) for a spot in the rumble stage of the event. They now have to take on PSG and PNG next. MAD, on the other hand, must bounce back quickly before they play against the rest of their group at MSI 2021.

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Image of Tyler Esguerra
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.