T1 open up MSI 2023 run with second-fastest international game in LoL esports history

Europe's champions went out with a whimper.

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

Although some European League of Legends fans were given a smidgen of hope by MAD Lions today, the third day of the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational was a masterclass from the most iconic organization at the tournament.

In game one of today’s showdown between T1 and MAD Lions, fans held their breath as MAD actually broke out to a whopping 7,000 gold lead by 15 minutes by finding multiple picks across the map. It was a very different situation than most T1 fans were used to seeing since they’re usually the ones that would enjoy a dominant early game.

Related: MSI 2023: Scores, standings, and results

Later on, however, T1 bounced back with ease as MAD became a bit too overzealous with some plays in the mid game, including a horribly timed Baron call that was easily stolen by T1 jungler Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun. With enough time, the LCK representatives had AD carry phenom Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong scale to unreachable heights on Aphelios, and he blasted away the competition in the teamfights.

Outside of the first 15 minutes of the series’ opening game, T1 dominated the LEC champions across Summoner’s Rift, whether it was great roams from Oner or exceptional two-vs-two play from Gumayusi and Ryu “Keria” Min-seok. Faker also showed off his flexibility in the mid lane, excelling on a variety of champions like Nautilus, K’Sante, and Ahri.

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The first game signaled the beginning of the end for the series as MAD lost their confidence moving forward. For example, support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov looked decent during the first game but began making some ill-advised engages through games two and three, leading to multiple unforced errors. The team also looked more and more disjointed as the series went on, as they reached for desperation plays to get some semblance of control.

A crushing macro performance and individual brilliance from Gumayusi was eventually capped off by the second-fastest win at an international LoL esports tournament in the third and final game. T1 made short work of their opponents in a blazing 16 minutes and 50 seconds. The fastest win in international League history belongs to Invictus Gaming, who beat SKT in 16 minutes and one second at MSI 2019.

MAD Lions must now fight for their tournament life in the lower bracket against G2 Esports this coming weekend, while T1 will meet with Gen.G in a 2023 LCK Spring Finals rematch. You can catch all the action when MSI 2023 continues throughout this week.

About the author
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.