The unkillable demon king and his team have a chance to attain international glory after five years.
T1 took down G2 Esports with an imponent 3-0 showing today. The team punched their ticket to the League of Legends MSI 2022 grand finals against Royal Never Give Up, which will take place tomorrow in Busan, South Korea.
T1 had a phenomenal 2022 season after winning the LCK Spring Split this year, being undefeated throughout the tournament. At MSI 2022, however, they lost games to G2 and RNG in the rumble stages, possibly jeopardizing their status as the favorites to take the trophy. G2, on the other hand, had a similar undefeated tale in the LEC playoffs and even became the first team to take a game away from T1 in the rumble stage. On the other hand, they also lost games against smaller teams during the rumble stage, raising questions about their miracle run in the tournament.
Both teams had a lot at stake for today’s MSI semifinals. The last time they met was in 2019, and G2 came on top of that series. T1 looked to serve cold revenge to their foes, while G2 aimed to repeat history and knock the South Korean host out of the tournament.
Faker picked up his Tristana in the first match, on which he has been undefeated throughout his career. G2 tried to target T1’s bot lane through multiple dives, but T1 leveraged the lead on their other lanes to get an early game advantage. The Korean side funneled all of their resources and gold onto Faker, who enjoyed a monstrous upper hand in his lane and became the late-game carry the team required. After the early-game deficit, G2 fell off in the mid-game, where T1 continuously used the side lane pressure to win exchanges regardless of the teamfights. T1 ended the first match in 24 minutes, with Faker having the KDA of 5/1/2 to make a dominating statement in the opening game.
The second match of the series started with Caps’ Ahri going down as first blood. T1, with an early advantage, began to take the game away, but G2 held strong and punished the overextended aggression shown by the Korean team. G2 maintained their resolve leading into the mid game and secured more kills and objectives than their opponents, but T1 had a gold advantage that never put them out of contention. A fight for Baron at 26 minutes caught G2 in a vulnerable spot with a fantastic engage from Keria and Faker. Armed with the Baron buff, T1 took the slow siege and slowly choked G2 out of the game. They marched onto G2’s Nexus and secured game two, putting the series into match point.
The third match was do-or-die for G2. The match had a slower start, with players evading deaths until the seventh minute. An early teamfight changed the course of the match, and T1 secured a small lead. By using their strong skirmish team combination, however, the Korean side kept on fighting and secured a 9,000 gold lead at 15 minutes. T1 didn’t make any mistakes, and each of the players performed at their maximum potential to win every fight in the game. They cracked the opponent’s Nexus at 20 minutes to wrap up the series convincingly.
With the win, T1 guaranteed their spot at tomorrow’s MSI 2022 grand finals, when they face RNG again. Faker will play his first international finals since MSI 2017, and T1 will look to secure their third MSI title.
T1 have had a rocky road in the rumble stage of MSI, and this clean win over G2 would boost their morale going to the finals. On the other side of the Rift, however, the LPL representatives, RNG, would have their task cut easy to take down the Korean hosts and defend their MSI title.