The 2021 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational will have the best teams of most regions competing in Reykjavik, Iceland, on May 6.
Though most of the teams from the dominating regions have swept their regional tournaments, the South Korean overlords of DAMWON Gaming are poised to take the organization's first consecutive international tournament.
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DWG have the most versatile and dominant stars on their roster, and arguably, the best players in the world at each of the positions. To add to their already monstrous roster, have two coaches of previous SK Telecom fame: Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun, former head coach that helped lead SKT to multiple League of Legends World Championships, and Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon, former support player-turned coach that won worlds in 2013 with SKT.
As the team is stacked across the board in talent, they also dominated in the League Champions Korea circuit, only tying each series against Fredit BRION and playoffs finalist, Gen.G, for the spring season. DWG finished first in the spring standings with a 16-2 record.
The spring playoffs only made DWG look even more far ahead than the rest. With a first-round bye, DWG swept Hanwha Life Esports, 3-0. HLE was also equipped with a roster that had both mid laner Chovy, and former worlds-winning AD carry, Deft, unable to stop the DWG pain train.
Although DWG did show some weaknesses early on in this series, once HLE made a mistake, DWG was able to capitalize and turn the other team's advantage around. The bot lane of Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee and Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun was essential in this series by being able to shutdown Deft and take over the game, despite early mistakes from Kim "Khan" Dong-ha.
Finals turned to be exciting for the first two games as Gen.G were slowly trying to force their way to a victory, but to no avail. In game two, even after Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk was dominating on 14/2/8 with Tristana, DWG persevered into the late game and took the match after a fight in the Baron pit. DWG was down five kills in the end of the match, and Gen.G looked defeated.
DWG took game three with ease with the spirits of Gen.G crushed after game two.
The group stage for DWG will prove to be an easier one as they go against Cloud 9, DetonatioN FocusMe, and Infinity Esports. There will likely be little-to-no threats in the group stage as DWG sets their eyes on defeating Royal Never Give Up.
RNG will likely be a formidable foe against DWG, as they are equipped with worlds-caliber players and a difficult bot lane. If RNG is able to shut down Ghost and BeryL and capitalize on a weak early game, then they could squeak out some wins in the rumble stage and bracket.
Even if RNG is able to shut them down, DWG's Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu is still the best jungler in the world right now with a fairly deep champion pool to choose from. As long as DWG's bot lane asks for help, any mistake could be capitalized on and turned into a victory from this power house team.
DWG is looking ready to win MSI following their 2020 worlds victory, and it doesn't look like they'll stop after this tournament either.