MAD Lions take down PSG Talon with only 5 deaths in 28 minutes at MSI 2021

It's a good start for the Lions.

Photo via Riot Games

The MAD Lions proved on day one of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational that they’re here to make a statement with a strong win over PSG Talon.

Going into their matchup against PSG Talon today, there were some doubts about MAD Lions’ ability to live up to Europe’s international reputation. Their last international appearance was less than stellar and PSG Talon proved themselves to be a formidable opponent in previous meetings. 

It turns out those doubts were unfounded, though. MAD Lions put on a masterclass on playing through their bot lane with Carzzy producing an 18 KDA in a hard-carry performance on Tristana. From their humble beginnings at the start of the Spring Split to a stellar showing in the playoffs, MAD’s bot lane has gone from strength to strength over the course of 2021. 

With all the promises of wacky drafting that came with the dawn of Patch 11.9, the drafts in this League of Legends match remained fairly safe. The highly anticipated top lane Lee Sin made an appearance for Armut—a perfect pick for his aggressive playstyle and tendency to take fights. PSG responded with tanky picks in both the mid and top lane, leaving the responsibility to carry on the shoulders of substitute AD carry Doggo’s Kai’Sa. 

Despite PSG’s best efforts, MAD were in the driving seat of the game from the very beginning. A successful invade put PSG’s jungle on the back foot from the first minute—and that invade was quickly translated into a river skirmish that netted MAD’s bot and jungle two quick kills. From there on out, PSG tried to claw their way back to an even game state while MAD pushed them down every step of the way. 

This dominance in their first international game of the year is exactly what this MAD Lions roster needed. They’re the first MSI representative for Europe not named G2 or Fnatic, and that alone comes with a weight of expectation that even some of the most veteran teams would struggle to deal with. These plucky rookies have proven that they’re not the same roster that got buried alive in their own nerves at the 2020 World Championship. It’s only a one-game sample size, but if MAD can carry this confidence and momentum into the rumble stage, the LEC hopefuls might just be able to challenge the big dogs of the tournament. 

MAD’s next game will be against the TCL representatives, Istanbul Wildcats. This should be a matchup of two scrappy, high-octane teams that will be sure to provide, if nothing else, an entertaining game. You can watch their showdown at 12pm CT on May 7.

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