Pro Play By Play - MSI Finals

Pro Play By Play - MSI Finals

During the first game of the MSI finals, a close fight erupted in the top lane as both teams tried to gain control; let's break it down.

State Of The Game

At the beginning of the play, T1 have a slight lead of around 2000 gold. RNG are up 2-0 in kills after pulling off a successful gank in the bot lane, but T1 have the gold lead by taking 9 turret plates and having CS advantages in jungle, mid and bot. T1's main engage tool is their Nocturne ultimate, while RNG can engage with Nautilus and Galio.

Setting The Trap

Before the team fight even begins, T1 have a drastic advantage. They were able to place down an excellent lane ward some time before the play started, which spots Ming and Wei heading through the brushes for a lane gank:

With this critical information, T1 lay their trap: Gumayusi, Keria and Oner move up the top lane, while Zeus baits RNG into thinking he is alone. Zeus moves forward as Jayce as if he is going to farm the incoming minion wave, so RNG immediately engage with the Nautilus ult:

However, this ult is completely nullified by Morgana's Black Shield:

The Turn

Though Keria is now vulnerable without his Black Shield, he is able to dodge the incoming hook from Nautilus with some good movement. RNG have just expended two of their best engage tools, but failed to deal any damage to T1. Therefore, T1 counter-engage by popping the Nocturne ultimate and engaging on the Nautilus.

Not only is Nautilus only level 6, but he is running Glacial Augment instead of Aftershock so he isn't particularly tanky. Therefore, T1 are able to blow him up between the Jayce and Nocturne damage:

However, Oner's Nocturne is also pretty squishy and is forced to retreat after being snipped by Bin's Gwen. At this point in the fight, the two mid laners join the fray with Faker teleporting on Azir and Xiahou using Galio's ultimate on the Gwen.

Wei appears to be in a precarious position on Viego, as he's surrounded by 3 T1 members on low health. However, he is able to land a critical stun of the extremely squishy Morgana, buying time for Bin and Xiahou to move over and help out:

Xiahou then lands a beautiful Flash+taunt combo on Zeus, allowing Bin time to shred through him and pick up a kill:

Although Wei is able to take down Keria and possess Morgana, he lacks the health to chain resets and is quickly killed. Therefore, the fight ends in a 2 for 2 as the remaining members of both teams disengage.


This fight was an example of two key concepts: utilising vision, and target selection. T1 were only able to bait RNG into this fight thanks to the deep lane ward they had placed, as it revealed RNG were heading into the top lane bushes.

Meanwhile, both teams knew which targets to focus on. T1 initially nuked down the low level Nautilus before turning on the isolated Viego, while RNG blew up the squishy Morgana and the CC'd Jayce. This target selection was the primary reason why T1 and RNG went even in this close team fight.

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