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The confetti is being swept from the floors of the Heping Basketball Gymnasium in Taipei as we look back on the incredible events of MSI 2019.
It was a record-setting tournament that’s helped change the landscape of the League of Legends scene as we know it. The script has been flipped and the kings of the world have been dethroned—at least, for now.
There were so many memorable moments during MSI, some of which will be etched in history among the most iconic matches and series of all-time. Which moments will people remember first when people think of MSI 2019?
5) Phong Vũ Buffalo and Invictus Gaming get into a 50-kill bloodbath on day one
Invictus Gaming were almost unbeatable up until the knockout stage. They exacted their will over almost every single team in the tournament. In fact, they only dropped one game to SK Telecom T1, which was in a way, expected by some people. No one, however, expected that Vietnam’s Phong Vũ Buffalo would be the only other team to challenge the Chinese powerhouse throughout the five days of the group stage.
It was the first day of the main event and Phong Vũ Buffalo had barely gotten into the next round after playing a close five-game series against Vega Squadron. No one thought that they could come close to the defending world champions who have some of the best players in the game.
Yet, the hometown heroes dragged Invictus through one of the bloodiest games in MSI history. By the 20-minute mark, there were already 27 kills between both teams as they continued to take almost every skirmish they found themselves in. Even though PVB ended up losing, it showed that any team could surprise and no one was safe from a huge upset.
4) Invictus Gaming destroy SKT in 16 minutes
It was touted as the most awaited matchup of 2019—China’s superteam vs. Korea’s legends. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok against Song “Rookie” Eui-jin. The best teams in the world were facing off for the first time this year. But the hype soon died out as Invictus erased SKT in a short 16 minutes.
It was the fastest international game in League of Legends history, beating the former record held by Edward Gaming in which they beat Bangkok Titans in 20 minutes and 20 seconds. The kills came early and often for IG, especially in the bottom lane as Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo bought a Bloodthirster seven minutes into the game. Nine minutes later, the game was over and one of the most hyped-up matches of the tournament was done and dusted.
SKT simply looked outmatched by IG’s aggressive style of play as they fell on the backfoot right from the first minute. No one expected a stomping of this sort against the 2019 LCK Spring Split champions, but then again, Invictus were on another level during the group stage.
3) G2 Esports defeat SKT in the semifinals
G2 Esports had shown that they could stand up to the best teams in the world at MSI, including Faker and SKT. The Europeans were undefeated against SKT and they continued to shock the world by taking down the Korean juggernaut in five amazing games.
By staying aggressive and staying creative in the draft, G2 kept SKT on the back foot for a majority of their games. Whether it was Martin “Wunder” Hansen on Pyke or Syndra in the bot lane for Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, SKT simply couldn’t weather the storm that G2 brought in games one, three, and four.
By taking down SKT, they guaranteed that for the first time in history, an international League event was going to be decided between a North American and European team.
2) G2 beat Team Liquid in less than two hours to win MSI 2019
It looked like both Team Liquid and G2 were in top form for their first international finals. Unfortunately for NA fans, G2 were simply on another level. They outdrafted, outjungled, and outplayed Liquid in every single game.
It was the fastest international best-of-five series in League of Legends history as G2 took down Liquid in a stunning 70 minutes and 43 seconds—a full 10 minutes faster than the previous record set by Edward Gaming in 2018.
Whether it was Wunder’s Pyke or Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Irelia, Liquid couldn’t keep up with the proactivity that G2 brought throughout the series. Simply put, it wasn’t even close between these two teams, and for the first time since season one, Europe had an international champion.
1) Liquid shock the world, defeat Invictus Gaming in four games in the knockout stage
It was a true case of David vs. Goliath when Liquid prepared to face off against Invictus. Not many people expected too much from the North American representatives, especially with how they were manhandled in the group stage by IG.
With all the hopes and dreams of NA behind them, Liquid took down Invictus in four amazing games. With the help of some great jungling from Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, Liquid were able to match IG’s aggressive playstyle and counterattack in style. Liquid’s willingness to teamfight might have taken Rookie and company by surprise, and the North Americans outplayed them in many teamfights.
It was undoubtedly the best series that an NA team has ever played at an international event. Each player on Liquid had their moment to shine and they made history as a result. Although they weren’t able to bring the MSI trophy home, their performance in Vietnam is one to remember.
In fact, this entire tournament will be one that people remember for a very long time.