MSI 2021 has been very entertaining as it is set to start the Rumble Phase and we preview the stage and many more about MSI 2021.
MSI 2021 so far has seen some upsets and has had some great games in a showcase of talents from different regions. RNG has looked unstoppable but they were in a 3 team group where RNG was overwhelmingly better than the other teams. On the other hand, DK has stumbled in some of their games and they have not looked as dominant as they did in the LCK. Meanwhile, other teams have had their ups and downs like MAD Lions and Cloud9 and are eager to prove they are better than how they played in the Groups Stage. Hence, let’s jump into analyzing MSI 2021 so far and the upcoming Rumble stage.
MSI 2021 Meta
The MSI meta is similar to the playoffs meta for the regions. Many of the old picks have stayed relevant while new picks have flooded in. This has been the case, particularly in the jungle. We have seen the rise of the Morgana’s and the Rumble’s in the jungle so far. Both jungle champions have been in high priority since the start of MSI 2021.
The interesting part about this is that while both junglers have been on high priority. Morgana has been the champion with the highest win rate amongst the two. That does not mean that Morgana is better than Rumble in the jungle. However, it’s rather indicative that teams know how to play around a Morgana better than a Rumble at the moment barring RNG. RNG Wei has played the best Rumble by far at MSI. With a few days of respite, the teams will be ironing out this issue and get a better gist of playing around these junglers.
However, Jungle meta does not just end there, as picks like Udyr are still very prevalent. In the second half of the group stage, teams have looked more into picking Udyr vs Morgana. In some games, teams on blue side have started banning Udyr before the Morgana to force a Morgana ban from red side or force a trade between Morgana and Rumble.
There are still some junglers on the outskirts of relevance such as the Volibear, Kindred, and Diana. Niche picks aside, Diana is probably the most interesting out of the junglers that are yet to properly break into the meta. It has been mostly seen as a solo queue pick and Canyon did play it in their last game as it did not mean much for them. We expect to see some Diana come out as well since teams are yet to find proper answers for the likes of the top three jungle champions.
Mid and Top:
The solo lanes have been relatively the same since the last few patches barring the introduction of Lee Sin. Gnar seems to be the favorite of the lot at the moment with Jayce and Urgot right behind them. Lee Sin and Renekton are interesting cases at the moment considering they are both regarded as flex picks for both top and mid. Nocturne also falls in that category.
The teams have maneuvered around top lane quite a bit in the sense of banning Nocturne if their intention is to pick Lee Sin and so on. Also, the rise in AD-based champions in mid is a lot due to the change in the jungle meta. We are expecting teams to still pick a lot of Gnar and Jayce while other picks like the Urgot and Lee Sin are still prevalent.
Mid lane has been interesting as well. Orianna, Viktor, and Zoe have been the blind pick mid laners so far. Viktor is the safest mid lane pick at the moment and Zoe has been preemptively picked to cause Viktor some trouble in lane. Sylas has also been a very fascinating pick as he has been picked and used very well by teams. However, he is strictly a situational pick still even though he does a lot of great things for a team composition.
Bot Lane and Support:
Bot lane and Support have been relatively the same since the last patches. We have seen a lot of Kai’sa and Varus. However, other picks like Tristana and Jinx are still very viable. Varus has been the surprise one of the lot given his versatility in build paths he can go for. However, he has been banned more than he has been picked which indicates teams do highly value the champion.
Support picks have defined the bot lane picks particularly with Thresh. Teams have opted to go for the immobile carries like the Aphelios and Jinx when paired with a Thresh, who gives them so much security to go forward and take the lantern back. Besides that, Nautilus, Thresh, and Leona have been the go-to picks for support. Hence, teams have gone for the Kai’sa or Tristana more often for the mobility and kill threat alongside a primary engage support.
With that, we wrap up the meta we have seen in MSI. Let’s move on to the Rumble Stage preview.
Rumble Stage Preview
The Rumble Stage is set to start tomorrow and we have the six best teams to duke it out against one other to qualify for Semifinals. Let’s look at each of the teams individually and their run so far at MSI 2021.
DK has been the favorite going into MSI 2021. However, the group stages have thrown some doubt into that. Despite their 5-1 record, they looked shaky in their games. Khan is particular has looked out of sorts. Most top laners in the group had an edge over Khan in groups and that is a worrying sign.
Ghost and Beryl have been consistent in lane and are playing the same way they have been playing since the start of the season. ShowMaker has had moments where he was at the top of his game and also made some key mistakes. They have not looked as dominant as they were in the LCK. Their early game in particular has been exploited by teams in their group. We will have to wait and see if they improve upon their mistakes and adapt more to the meta.
Royal Never Give Up
RNG has been the best performing team at MSI so far. However, given their group was a quadruple round-robin and they were way better than their opponents does undermine their accomplishments a bit. They have been excellent in the Group Stages. Wei has been so good with the Rumble pick and they have been very aggressive early game.
This will bode well when they face DK, who are struggling early game. RNG has also looked like the most complete teams at MSI. Gala and Ming have been sensational as usual and Xiaohu has been dominant in the top lane. Going forward, it will not be surprising if RNG was the best team in the Rumble Stage in MSI 2021.
MAD has also been shaky in their groups, although topping the group with a 5-1 finish. The irony here is that their cleanest games were against PSG Talon, undoubtedly their biggest competitors in the group. This can indicate that they play up to their competition but there is not enough evidence to back up that claim. The Rumble Stage will be a big indicator of that.
On the team side though, Carzzy and Kaiser have stepped up for the tournament. Carzzy has been one of their best players MSI if not their best, which is between him and Kaiser. Armut has been solid as well. However, Elyoya has shown some inconsistencies and their mid-game has been a question mark. It did get better at the second half of the double round-robin, but it needs to be better as they face better competition now. So far, they look like a strong team but they still need to improve more if they want to be title contenders.
C9 has been a weird team to watch this MSI. In the first half of the round-robin, they looked dead in the water with most of the team, barring Fudge in one game, looking out of sorts. Blaber in particular was not good in any way in that first half.
However, the turnaround in the second half by beating DK handily and then two more wins should feel very good for them. Everyone turned it around in the second half of the round-robin, especially Perkz who was great. Their inconsistency is a concern for the team particularly because a situation like the one in the group stage is not likely to occur again. They have to be better as a team from the start and use the momentum they have built up to go as far as they can in the tournament.
PSG Talon came 2nd in their group and qualified for the Rumble Stage. They had fairly convincing wins against IW and PNG both times. However, when it came to facing MAD, they looked out of sorts. Doggo has been good in spurts but has fallen behind against duos who can outplay them in lane. This is not a good sign since they will be facing the likes of Gala and Ming, Zven and Vulcan, and so on in the Rumble Stage.
Maple has also looked great in some of their games but Humanoid has outplayed him in lane. This is another concern going against mid laners similar or better than Humanoid in this stage. Whether they can find success in the Rumble Stage is yet to be seen but it will be an uphill battle as they will have to usurp one of the major region teams to get a spot in Semifinals.
For PGG, achieving Rumble stage is a different kind of achievement. They are just happy to get it beating UoL so many times in the last day of Group A. This team has come far since the start of MSI. The team has look better with every game they have played and it is very good experience for that. Though, it is unlikely they go any further in the tournament. Still, they should have some great games and surprises for us going into the Rumble Stage and teams should not count them out for some upsets.
Now we will give our predictions for the entire Rumble Stage to mention who we think will qualify for the Semifinals. In our opinion, here is how the standings will go.
RNG, in our opinion, will be top of the group followed by DK, MAD, and C9. Those are the four teams that will qualify for Semi-finals in our opinion. Also, we do not expect any team to go undefeated in the group so expect many back and forth games. For, PSG has many holes to fill and working with a sub is not helping them and PGG is not talented enough to break into top 4.
MSI Rumble Stage is set to start tomorrow and it starts with the first matchup between RNG vs DK and its going to be a great match to watch.