Although Phong Vũ Buffalo impressed with their performance in the play-in stage at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, they were no match for the superior firepower and team play of North America’s Team Liquid. The LCS Spring Split champions overwhelmed the hometown heroes on their own turf today, sweeping them in convincing fashion.
Each game played out in a similar way. Phong Vũ Buffalo started off pretty strong with their skirmish play alongside Hoàng “Meliodas” Tiến Nhật. As a result, Phong Vũ pushed Team Liquid and took leads in a couple of the games.
Unfortunately, Phong Vũ Buffalo couldn’t seem to find their win conditions during any of their games. Phong Vũ’s mid-to-late game decision making was pretty lackluster throughout the series, and it cost them multiple times down the stretch. Additionally, they failed to play through their top lane carry, Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc, even though the team had him on strong carry champions.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid used calm, calculated aggression combined with some amazing performances from Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Nicolaj Jensen to take the series win. Their individual efforts were a key factor in Liquid’s victory, and although it wasn’t incredibly clean, a win is a win.
This was an expected end to this series, but Phong Vũ Buffalo’s MSI run isn’t done yet. They still have one more match to go against Vega Squadron, where they can punch their ticket to the Main Event and play for their home crowd.
Liquid, however, look forward to the group stage, where their real test begins. North America’s hope will march forward to face off against some of the best teams in the world. They’ll need to keep this level of controlled aggression high and play without fear if they want to succeed at MSI 2019.