All the non-Chinese teams looked on with envy in London this past Sunday as JDG Intel Esports Club dominated Bilibili Gaming 3-1 in the finals match of the Mid-Season Invitational. This year’s MSI was a showcase of the level that the LPL is currently playing at, as the two Chinese teams absolutely decimated the competition on their way to the MSI finals. Meanwhile, the Westen teams had yet another abysmal showing on the international stage.
The Mid-Season Invitational was a month-long parade of Chinese dominance over the international League of Legends landscape. The Chinese teams didn’t lose to any other regions. The only matches lost by the LPL representatives were the two matches where JDG beat Bilibili. Everyone is going to keep their eyes on the LPL heading into worlds at the end of the season after the showing put on this past month.
Bilibili Gaming came in with a ton of questions circling the team. The team had a mediocre regular season before making an incredible run in the playoffs. Many wondered how the team would fair during international play. They didn’t miss a beat making an easy run through the play-ins bracket. They then went into the main bracket and dismantled Cloud9 before being sent to the losers by JDG. In losers, they took down both Korean teams, Gen.G and T1, with ease securing them a spot in the finals, where they lost to fellow LPL representative JDG.
JDG Intel Esports Club had a dominant showing, only dropping 3 games all tournament in their run through the winner’s side of the bracket and through the finals. The tournament-defining match was T1 vs. JDG, where JDG won a close 3-2 match. Many expected JDG to have a great showing, but how could anyone bet against the GOAT himself in Faker? The match offered all the drama one could ask for as JDG narrowly squeaked out the win.
The other glaring result other than China’s stellar results was the lack of fight put up by the Western teams during the tournament. Outside the wins that G2 Esports and Golden Guardians had during the play-ins, both the LEC and LCS failed to produce any match wins over international opponents.
Cloud9’s performance was especially disheartening for the North American League of Legends fans as they failed to take a single game off of any international opponents. Losing to both Bilibili Gaming and Gen.G Esports in 3-0 matches. The only success Cloud9 found was against fellow LCS representative Golden Guardians.
Europe’s MAD Lions didn’t look any better, losing in the first round of the bracket to T1 3-0 before losing to fellow LEC representative G2 Esports in another embarrassing 3-0. G2 Esports didn’t impress, either. Though they were able to find a way to take games off of Gen.G Esports and Bilibili Gaming, they still found themselves with an early exit, much to the chagrin of the local European fans in attendance.
The Mid-Season Invitational was yet another fun tournament that saw the best in the world compete on one of the biggest stages. You can expect the Western teams to keep an eye on the LPL this upcoming split as all regions try to close the skill gap between now and the World Championships at the end of the year. With enough hard work, anyone could be lifting the Summoners Cup this fall.