Hey, folks! Another week, another weekly news update for all of you. With the MSI Play-In stage concluding and a lot of roster changes happening, we’ve got a lot to take notice of. Let’s get right to it!
2017 Mid-Season Invitational
As mentioned above the Play-In stage has finally concluded. After GIGABYTE Marines and Supermassive won their groups, both squads had to face tougher competition. The Marines took on Team SoloMid in a gruelling five game series. Although the expectation was that TSM would more than likely win it convincingly, the Marines put up one heck of a fight even starting the series with a 2-0 advantage before getting reverse swept. Both Levi and Optimus played incredibly well and continued to show why they are top tier players in their role. Although TSM played very poorly in the first two games, as the series went on they got better and better until they finally took home the victory.
In the other side of the bracket Supermassive took on the Flash Wolves and this one went as expected. The Flash Wolves won the series in three swift and dominating games. After both Wildcard teams lost their respective matches, they had to face each other to determine who would take the final spot in the Group Stage. Despite winning one game with an impressive performance from AD Carry Zeitnot, Supermassive just couldn’t keep up and the GIGABYTE Marines took the victory 3-1 and advanced.
Heading into Groups the obvious favorites are SK Telecom T1, although the Flash Wolves are known to perform better than others against Korean crews like SKT. They are certainly looking strong after winning both the spring split of the LMS and IEM Katowice. G2 Esports, Team SoloMid and GIGABYTE Marines are likely on a similar skill level although it’s possible G2 may be better than expected as they haven’t played any games since winning the EU LCS spring split. Team WE is the dark horse in the group due to their unique style of play which combines some LPL aggression mixed in with controlled and balanced play. Depending on how their style matches up against other regions, TWE can certainly make a big impact at MSI.
Oh boy, there have been a lot of roster changes. With that being said buckle up because there’s a lot of them to mention. Starting off in Europe, Upset the former AD Carry for Schalke 04 has joined G2 for MSI as a substitute player. Splyce have found themselves a new coach named Gevous as well as a new Analyst that goes by the name of GuySake. Meanwhile, their former coach YamatoCannon has found a home in Team Vitality but is pending Riot’s approval to make the transfer official.
Sticking with the support staff changes, Misfits Academy’s coach Unlimited has announced his free agency with CozQ, Jisu and Yuuki60 also announced their free agency. Operation Kino has also lost their coach Dionrray who has left the team and joined Pro Gaming eSports. Continuing on with the coach wave, Hermes has left Immortals over in NA while MiT has left Pain Gaming over in Brazil. H2K’s assistant coach Stardust has also left his squad while over in the LCL former head coach of Vega Squadron Sharkz has rejoined the crew.
This also comes with the news of Edward’s departure from the team. The former Moscow 5 and Gambit support spent a lot of time with Vega Squadron so this is a big loss for the crew. Dark Passage Jungler Obvious and Head Coach Shanei have left the squad. Meanwhile the former support for TSM Lustboy has joined CNB eSports Club as their new analyst with coach Strong also joining the team. And the final news regarding coaches is S0NSTAR leaving Giants as their strategic coach and announcing his free agency.
Other than that there’s some other things worth mentioning. Danagorn has left Kabum eSports after spending a lot of time with the organization. Certainly a tough blow for Kabum. YoDa from the RED Canids who was recently fined from Riot has retired. Other minor news include Cake leaving Team Liquid Academy, MANTARRAYA leaving Rebirth eSports, former Copenhagen Wolves jungler Airwaks joining Team LDLC, Slow leaving Kaos Latin Gamers, Fenec leaving Predators eSports, MarioMe joining Lyon Gaming and finally danz0r leaving Pro Gaming eSports.
Finally, the mid-season patch has arrived and Patch 7.9 brings some changes to the tweaked champions. Sejuani, Zac and Maokai have received a lot of changes. Sejuani’s damage and CC has increased as well as her ult being stronger now however she requires more setup time for her Permafrost. Luckily for her, even allies within her range can get off stacks of Permafrost on enemies. Zac has more stickyness now and can provide more reliable CC to his team.
Meanwhile, Maokai’s passive has taken a hit having a bigger cooldown rather than using a stacking system. His new ultimate is also a little too slow and harder to use but his new E is very good and provides more than it used to. Rift Herald has been overhauled and after being slain, the buff it gives to someone allows them to summon the rift herald on the map and have it attack an enemy tower for massive damage and then go after any enemy targets it encounters.
There are also a lot of item changes but the big ones to note is that Banshee’s Veil is now a mage item that gives AP while Abyssal Scepter is more of a tank item that gives HP instead of AP. And finally, Guardian Angel is now a physical damage item that doesn’t give any magic resist and provides a little bit of armor. It still has the same effect of revival though.
There are a few new items known as Gargoyle Stoneplate and Adaptive Helm. Both seem solid on paper but will have to be played a little bit on the live servers before they hit pro play. Overall the changes as a whole seem decent however as with all big patches, it’ll take some time for players to figure out what’s best on the patch and how to play around it.
Thanks for reading this weekly news update. Look for another article next week, and I will see you next time! Good luck!