MSI 2021 Semifinal Preview: RNG vs PSG.Talon

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
9 Min Read
Image Credit: LoLEsports

With the semifinals upon us, we preview semifinals 1 between RNG and PSG.

MSI has been a fun tournament to watch. So far, we have seen a lot of upsets, turnarounds, and disappointments. PSG.Talon has turned around their MSI run with great performances in the Rumble Stage. On the other hand, RNG has looked more vulnerable in the Rumble Stage compared to the Group Stage. Hence, we preview the series that kicks off tomorrow in this article with some insights into what we can expect from the series as a whole.

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Series Preview

There are many aspects we can touch on in this series. However, PSG did beat RNG twice so RNG should be on guard against them going into this. There are some clear observations that can be made of their previous encounters. For one, PSG has simply been better against RNG in the early game. PSG has shown some agency in the early game against RNG and that has ended in victories.

Another point is that Cryin has clearly been RNG’s weakest link. PSG has attacked that well with Maple as their centerpiece. Lastly, PSG seems to be on a roll with built-up momentum from the stretch of wins they have had in the Rumble Stage. Hence, it will be a competitive series. Now let’s look at the teams individually and dissect their win conditions.


RNG was the favorites to win MSI until they started losing their games as the Rumble Stage progressed. This can be looked at from a number of different perspectives. Against PSG, it was mostly the early game plays that PSG was willing to take that set RNG off guard. The same thing can be said for the games versus MAD. However, MAD’s game was more of a snowballing effect than all their other losses. The C9 game was also a nip and tuck, but C9 simply outplayed them in teamfights.

Looking at all the games as a whole, RNG may have a problem with their early game plans. PSG will clearly try to take advantage in the early game as much as possible to stop RNG from doing what they do best. The other big concern for RNG should be Cryin. He has been their weakest link in the tournament thus far and teams have taken advantage of that.

There are some other problems for RNG such as Wei’s performances and the bot lanes’ inconsistencies. Those are problems we expect RNG should be able to shore up. However, they will need a good game plan to combat PSG’s early game and make sure Cryin does not fall behind in the mid lane.

It’s not all doom and gloom for RNG though as they do have some strong points in their games. Xiaohu has been their best player in the tournament thus far and he has been the consistent player. In most RNG games, Xiaohu has gotten leads for himself in lane with Wei’s presence. The other thing that has gone well for them is that they play the teamfights really well. Although the precondition for that is having an advantage that they can use in fights.

This is a team that is very capable of capitalizing on mistakes and they are really decisive in those situations. If RNG can do that, it will be a series they can win convincingly given the talent they have on their roster.


PSG has really turned around their MSI run with the sheer number of wins they got since Day 3 of the Rumble Stage. Beating RNG twice, MAD once, and knocking out C9 is a momentum builder for them. This is a hungry team that is trying to prove they are one of the best teams this year. RNG will be a tough opponent for them in a best of five series but they have already beaten RNG twice.

Doggo and Kaiwing have significantly gotten better as the tournament progressed and so has River. Their teamwork as a whole has improved leaps and bounds compared to the Groups Stage. They look like a very formidable team at the moment even for RNG. However, they do have certain chinks in their armor that RNG can exploit.

For one, Hanabi is a good top laner but RNG has a better top laner at their disposal. RNG can look to exploit that side of the map and PSG should be aware of shutting that down. RNG’s bot lane is still very formidable and mistakes in the bot lane can cost PSG games. Also, teamfighting will be a key part of this series. PSG should be wary of taking fights against RNG in disadvantageous positions.

What is going right for PSG is that their strength matches RNG’s in one part of the map. One of PSG’s strengths is their mid-lane and Maple has looked strong in the tournament. Facing against the weakest member of RNG, Maple should be able to take advantage and roam to the side lanes to cause havoc. Also, PSG’s early game is solid and they are a proactive team. If they keep up their proactivity and gain advantages in either mid or bot lane, that should give them an edge they can use to beat RNG in a best of five.

On The Match Up As A Whole

The interesting part about this match-up is how RNG shows up in the first game given PSG has beaten them twice previously. Nerves will definitely matter in these situations. RNG main key to winning would be getting the best outcome in the top lane as possible while PSG’s main key will be doing the same in the mid lane. Both bot lanes are solid and can tip either way depending on matchups and other variables.

The biggest contest in that game will be River vs Wei. The junglers will need to assert their pressure early in the game to give their team the time to build up items and playing at their own pace. Drafts will certainly be important as certain picks like the Udyr has been very impactful early game. The outcome of the game could certainly be in the hands of these junglers as their impact can cause the lanes to get leads and snowball the game out of control. If their previous encounters say anything, it’s that this series can be very competitive.

The real question is does RNG adapt to their losses or not. If RNG cleans up their games and shows up, this may be a rout. Given how the previous games have gone and knowing how strong of a team RNG is, we predict that this series will go in RNG’s favor on a 3-1 scoreline. However, it would not surprise us if our prediction is incorrect as PSG is a very strong team and should not be underestimated.

We expect RNG to level up and play better in a series and PSG to take their best shots at them. However, we do not see PSG beating RNG in a series as of yet.

The playoffs is set to kick off on Friday at 1 pm GMT+0. It will be a great series to watch and fans should not miss out on the match up.

By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.