SuperMassive made a successful return to MSI this year by dominating the group stage of the play-in draw.
The Turkish super team made it to MSI last year and took a game off CLG, who made the finals. After a disappointing summer the squad reloaded with new players, notably Berkay “Zeitnot” Aşıkuzun, the best ADC in the region. With Zeitnot they dominated the TCL regular season and playoffs, going 28-8 in games.
SuperMassive continued to show strong form an ocean away from home. Zeitnot in particular has been fantastic. Even when the team has encountered early struggles, they have been turned things around by giving priority to the ADC and controlling the macro game.
On the first day of the tournament, it looked like SuperMassive was on a collision course with the home-country team RED Canids. Both teams destroyed the the other squads in Group A, Japan’s Rampage and the OPL’s Dire Wolves. SuperMassive played brilliantly through their bot lane and Zeitnot was unstoppable in fights. RED Canids used clever macro and map control to strangle their opponents.
But when the two met in the final match of the day, SuperMassive stepped up big. They put together nearly a perfect game and gave RED Canids a lot to think about heading into today’s matches.
SuperMassive continued to show weak early games, with particularly questionable decision making from mid laner Koray “Naru” Bıçak. Naru somehow was caught again and again on Ekko, a champion with a built-in escape. But Zeitnot continued to carry and SuperMassive rolled on.
Meanwhile, RED Canids continued to play smart. Potentially needing three victories, including one in the rematch against SuperMassive, to force a tiebreaker the Canids started the day strong. After eliminating Rampage, they found an early counter-gank kill in the top lane against Dire Wolves and looked like they were going to roll again.
Dire Wolves had found good situations earlier in the day but were too hesitant to pull the trigger. This time, down big, they went for broke and turned things around. The somehow got top laner Ryan “Chippys” Short back in the game on Fizz, and he became a menace all over the map. Only two straight Baron steals from Canids jungler Carlos “Nappon” Rücker stabilized the game.
But despite dropping all three inhibitor turrets, the Canids were unable to push into the Dire Wolves base. Eventually, Fizz became too much to overcome and Dire Wolves finally grabbed a clean Baron. The cheering from the Brazilian crowd was unable to save their team as the loss eliminated RED Canids and sent SuperMassive into the next portion of the group stage. The Canids will have one more shot at the TCL for glory, but their run at MSI ends today.
SuperMassive will move on to face either North American team TSM or Taiwanese team Flash Wolves in a best-of-five on May 3 or 4. The winner will advance to the six-team main event of MSI.