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LoL Recap: MSI Day 4

Britton Hess

Britton is a League of Legends writer. Besides esports, he enjoys playing NFL and UFC DFS.

With every team but SK Telecom T1 within striking distance of one another, the race for the final three semifinals spots continued on Day 4 of the Group Stage of the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational in Rio de Janeiro. North America's Team SoloMid fell victim to SKT but still can make the semifinals with a strong showing on Sunday.

The first match of the day saw G2 Esports and World Elite face off in a fight to claim sole possession of second place. G2's composition was filled to the brim with map mobility, with a Shen in the top lane, Ryze in mid and Tahm Kench as support. However, every attempt by G2 to make use of its tools was sloppy, and WE had no trouble turning them in its favor. A sizable lead granted WE an easy Baron take at 25 minutes, and from there on, the Chinese squad had no trouble closing out the game in 31 minutes.

Next up was Team SoloMid vs. Gigabyte MARINES in a crucial match for both 2-4 teams. Puzzlingly, GAM seemed to give TSM some of the latter's best champions, both giving up Lulu and allowing Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen to draft Lee Sin, the only champion he has found much success on in the tournament so far. With a strong, lane-dominant draft, TSM was able to win the early game all across the map, even grabbing 2-vs-2 kills in the bottom lane, where the team has been struggling. TSM used that lead to keep its tourney hopes alive, taking the game in 30-and-a-half minutes.

Flash Wolves jungler Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan popped off on Lee Sin in the early stages of his game against SK Telecom T1. He maintained perfect kill participation up until 28 minutes in, when a 2-for-0 fight granted Flash Wolves a Baron buff, the first given up by SKT all tournament. FW continued to play immaculately as the game continued, capitalizing on all of SKT's small mistakes and giving the Korean squad no avenue back into the game. Flash Wolves broke SKT's undefeated record at MSI 2017 in just over 38 minutes.

The day's fourth match featured Gigabyte Marines taking on G2 Esports. No kills were found by either team until G2 mid Luka "Perkz" Perkovic's Syndra found one onto the Zed of Văn "Optimus" Cường Trần at 13 minutes. Afterward, the game turned into an all-out bloodbath, with 20 kills total coming in by the 27-minute mark. GAM's map control allowed it to sneak a Baron at 29 minutes, immediately using it to break the base of G2. G2 was able to mount a comeback with a teamfight victory and a Baron buff but overstayed its welcome on the enemy side of the map, giving up four kills and allowing GAM to charge down mid and end the game in 40 minutes.

For the fifth game, Team SoloMid got another shot at taking down the Korean juggernauts of SKT and fell flat on its face. With top laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell falling behind on his Kennen due to some laning mistakes, TSM had no split-push pressure to speak of and bled turret after turret in all three lanes. TSM consistently made an effort to find plays around the map but rarely found advantages off of them that were not instantly traded back by SKT elsewhere. SKT was up a whopping 19,000 gold by the time it took TSM's Nexus at 34 minutes.

World Elite and Flash Wolves battled it out in the last match of the day. The two teams skirmished a bit early on, but both failed to secure any sort of real advantage for most of the game. Finally, at 33-and-a-half minutes, World Elite pulled the trigger with a charge from Ke "957" Changyu's Kled, taking a 1-for-0 fight and turning to Baron. After taking the buff alongside two more kills, WE immediately flooded into the bottom lane to end the game in 37 minutes, giving it a 5-3 score heading into the last day of groups.

Despite its loss, SK Telecom T1 retains its spot at the top of the standings, with World Elite trailing by two games. It's still anyone's tournament, however, as far as the remaining two spots go, and the pressure is on for the four other teams.