Living up to expectations: T1 obliterate Saigon Buffalo in MSI 2022 opening game

No surprise here.
Photo via Riot Games

Coming into this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, T1 were the heavy favorites in the eyes of many experts to take the trophy. After a record-breaking run in the 2022 LCK Spring Split regular season and after convincingly winning the playoffs a few weeks later, it was tough to imagine a better candidate to be named the best team at MSI 2022.

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And in today’s opening game of the tournament, T1 proved they deserve the respect they have been given so far. Their rivals, Saigon Buffalo, despite having some highlights in the early game, didn’t stand a chance against the cohesive teamplay of T1 and their map domination.

At the beginning of the game, it seemed like a potential upset could be on the horizon after SGB’s Shogun grabbed first blood on Gumayusi after a level one skirmish between two bot lanes. The four players clashed a few more times during the laning phase, with most of those trades going heavily in favor of Vietnamese representatives.

While Saigon Buffalo were grabbing minor victories in the bot lane of Summoner’s Rift, however, T1 was winning everywhere else. Faker and Zeus got ahead in mid and top lane respectively while Oner was securing every Rift Herald and assisting his laners whenever he could. Once the game hit the 15-minute-mark, T1 were superior in every part of the map and started suffocating their opponents.

Saigon Buffalo had a couple of admirable last stand attempts looking at how far behind in gold (over 10 thousand in 25 minutes) and neutral objectives they were. But it wasn’t enough for T1’s explosive team composition, who closed the game decisively in 26 minutes.

Both teams won’t play again at MSI 2022 until tomorrow, when T1 will face Team Aze, while Saigon Buffalo is going to clash with DetonatioN FocusMe. The action, though, continues today with other teams going on stage in Busan, South Korea. You can catch all the action at lolesports.com.

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Author
Mateusz Miter
Polish Staff Writer. Mateusz previously worked for numerous outlets and gaming-adjacent companies, including ESL. League of Legends or CS:GO? He loves them both. In fact, he wonders which game he loves more every day. He wanted to go pro years ago, but somewhere along the way decided journalism was the more sensible option—and he was right.