Back on top where the samurai belong.
After three games of furious gameplay at the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, G2 Esports finally got some payback for their early departure from the 2023 LEC Spring Playoffs by eliminating MAD Lions today with a commanding sweep.
In front of the fervent crowd at the Copper Box Arena in London, both G2 and MAD collided as they wrestled for control across the Summoner’s Rift from the top lane to the bottom lane. It was, however, a master class from Hans Sama’s Aphelios as he racked up 11 kills and nine assists in game one to help his team lock in a speedy 22-minute stomp.
The second match, on the other hand, was one of the most exciting games of the tournament for EU fans, with MAD Lions roaring out of the gate to a six thousand gold lead by 20 minutes. The LEC champions played around the bottom lane perfectly, pushing their AD carry Carzzy to a significant lead over Hans Sama as they set their sights on a tie series.
One mistake, however, would tip the scales of balance into G2’s favor. With such a huge lead, MAD opted into an ill-advised Baron call without their mid laner Nisqy, and their opponents pounced on the four-vs-fivep opportunity. G2 obliterated MAD in the teamfight, and it only took one Baron buff and eight more minutes for them to take game two. That second loss was clearly demoralizing for the MAD Lions, as they were forced to fight for their tournament lives in game three.
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But with all of the momentum on their side, G2 finished off their opponents in 25 minutes thanks to a stellar performance by Broken Blade with Cassiopeia where he found several individual outplays and huge angles for her ultimate ability, Petrifying Gaze. He ended the match with seven kills, and was a massive help in stabilizing the team when the early game looked relatively shaky.
With this loss, MAD has gone from the champions of Europe to winless at MSI 2023. The team has experienced so many ups and downs over the last few months, but this result shouldn’t be acceptable for a team that just won the trophyespecially after losing to G2, who ended the past Spring Split in fourth place.
Meanwhile, the 10-time LEC champions will be heading off to the next round as they await their next opponents. It should get pretty spicy in the third round of the bracket stage, because they are guaranteed to face off against a North American team in a best-of-five.