The first round between Europe and North America goes to the samurais.
Rejoice, LEC fans. G2 Esports have pulled off the perfect start to Europe’s run at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, with a win against Evil Geniuses to go undefeated through day one of the tournament.
G2 was looking great after a pretty strong win against the LCO’s ORDER, but this victory was even more impressive. This time around, the LEC champions opted for an unorthodox Anivia pick in the mid lane that surprised fans and analysts. They also leaned heavily into the catch composition by throwing Pyke into the bot lane, along with a ton of damage from Graves, Zeri, and Gwen.
EG, on the other hand, went for a dive composition punctuated with Samira, Nautilus, and Karthus. The team’s star jungler Inspired, however, last played the Deathsinger in 2019 when he was back with Rogue’s Academy team in the Ultraliga, and the lack of playmaking tools hindered their teamfights.
Caps’ Anivia also made it difficult for Vulcan to engage with Nautilus, since she could easily separate him from his teammates with a well-placed ice wall. Her massive area-of-effect ultimate, Glacial Storm, was also a powerful tool to zone EG from objectives and skirmishes, preventing them from ever getting in range for a possible fight.
The draft was a masterpiece from the European representatives, and they steamrolled the game in 31 minutes. G2 also showed off some smart macro play, from their sneaky Baron take at 22 minutes to their ability to fend off EG’s Baron attempt while also securing Dragon Soul later on in the match.
Although this is a disappointing start for the Geniuses, this shouldn’t raise any alarms for any LCS fans just yet. G2 have plenty of veteran stars with a ton of international experience, while EG might need some time to adjust to the evolving meta. This is also Danny and Jojopyun’s first international event, which won’t help with their nerves on stage.
Both teams will get to face off against each other multiple times in the group stage, with the next round of the eternal feud between NA and EU kicking off on day two of MSI 2022. Catch the match when the tournament continues tomorrow at 3am CT.