League of Legends MSI 2022: What’s at stake for the Final Four

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Composite image of players from G2, RNG, T1 and Evil Geniuses in the MSI 2022. (Photo: Riot Games_
G2 Esports, Royal Never Give Up, T1, and Evil Geniuses; these four teams remain standing ahead of the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) Knockout Stage. Who will take the title and stake their claim as the best team in the world? (Photo: Riot Games)

The Rumble Stage of the League of Legends (LoL) Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 has concluded and what a rumble it was indeed.

Fans were left holding their breath through most of the competition with unexpected turns at each day of the competition.

But as the dust settled, only four of the strongest teams in the world remained —: Royal Never Give Up (RNG), T1, G2 Esports, and Evil Geniuses (EG).

Aside from the 2022 MSI championship and the lion’s share of the US$250,000 prize pool, what else is at stake for the teams in the final four? What will the MSI title mean to each one?

Is it glory? A chance at redemption? A bright future?

Let’s take a look at what the final four teams in the 2022 MSI are fighting for:

Royal Never Give Up

RNG want their third consecutive MSI title. Photo: Riot Games
RNG want their third consecutive MSI title. (Photo: Riot Games)

All eyes are on League of Legends Pro League (LPL) representative RNG, as they attempt to win their third-straight MSI title.

Currently, the Chinese juggernauts are leading the pack with an 8-2 record in the Rumble Stage, even overcoming T1 and G2 Esports. While the team have been in their best form thus far, there’s still much at stake for them.

This is the team’s chance to become the second team to be a three-time international champion.

RNG already have two back-to-back MSI titles, after winning the MSI in 2019 and 2021 (the MSI was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

While the MSI is only second to Worlds, winning the MSI title is no small feat, with only a handful of the best teams invited to participate.

The competition is always cutthroat, and there’s no telling what happens next.

The Chinese team have faced many challenges, especially because they had to play remotely due to the COVID-19 situation in their country.

This even led to having to play more games than most teams, as RNG had to replay their first three games in the Group Stage due to latency issues in Busan, only to win all three games yet again.

While RNG’s coach Zhu "KenZhu" Kai has briefly mentioned that this is unfair, RNG have said in a statement on Twitter that they will play their matches "to the best of our ability" even with "any unexpected events or unfair treatment".

Despite all the pressure (and extra games to play), RNG continued to dominate the competition all the way through to the Rumble Stage.

Can they keep this momentum until the end and claim their third MSI title?

T1

T1 are looking to take back their dynasty when they win the MSI this year. Photo: Riot Games
T1 are looking to take back their dynasty by winning the MSI this year. (Photo: Riot Games)

Much is expected of T1.

Not only are they the most decorated organization in all of LoL esports — having won 10 regional titles, two MSI titles in 2016 and 2017, and three Worlds titles in 2013, 2015, and 2016 — they’re also in their home court.

South Korea is looking to them to return the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) to the top of the LoL world.

More importantly, T1 are looking to reclaim the crown once again after a four-year drought of international titles.

This year, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, the G.O.A.T. and the man that brought T1 to glory all those years ago, is attempting to do just that.

Faker now leads a younger team, most of them having experienced three years or less with T1’s main roster. In fact, this is Choi "Zeus" Woo-je’s first time stepping into the world stage.

While their 26-win streak has already been broken, Faker has his eyes set on a couple of things: exacting revenge against G2 Esports and taking the MSI title.

Not over yet. Faker is still looking to take revenge against caPs in the coming matches. Photo: Riot Games
Not over yet. Faker is still looking to take revenge against caPs in their coming match. (Photo: Riot Games)

G2, led by Rasmus "caPs" Borregaard Winther, were the team that crushed T1’s hopes in 2019 and the ones that brought T1’s 26-win streak to an end on the first day of the Rumble Stage this year.

But while T1 were able to take revenge for their Day 1 loss against G2 on Day 4 of the Rumble Stage, to secure the title, they must first face their international rivals one last time at the Knockout Stage semifinals.

Will T1 choke against the Europeans once again, or will they finally overcome their rivals when it matters to secure a slot into the 2022 MSI grand finals?

G2 Esports

G2 wants a comeback for their team, and for the European Region. Photo: Riot Games
G2 wants a comeback for both their team and for the European region. (Photo: Riot Games)

A lot is riding on the shoulders of G2 Esports. They have been dubbed the 'Hope of Europe', and they have so much to prove as a revamped squad.

After a disappointing showing in 2021, missing both the MSI and Worlds that year, G2, under the leadership of caPs, want to make a comeback, both for their team and for the European region that has not seen an international title since 2019.

Many doubted G2 at the beginning of this season, as only caPs and Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski remained from the roster that brought multiple regional titles and the MSI title in 2019 amid a slew of fresh faces.

Much like Faker, caPS and Jankos had to bring this unusual mix together with a bit of difficulty.

The team had a lackluster showing in the Spring Season, with caPs even missing a League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Season Award for the first time.

But G2 eventually pulled through, taking the European region by surprise after a win-streak in the playoffs that brought them the LEC Spring title this year.

"We are the hope of Europe," caPs said in a feature at the MSI 2022. (Photo: Riot Games)
"We are the hope of Europe," caPs said in a feature at the MSI 2022. (Photo: Riot Games)

But G2 were just beginning. The team kept their win streak in the Group Stage of MSI 2022, taking back-to-back wins against even the strongest teams in the competition.

That win streak started to waver midway, and the European powerhouse settled for third place after the Rumble Stage, tied with the Evil Geniuses with a 5-5 standing.

Will G2 pull another miracle at the Knockout stage? Or will they fall once again in a bittersweet defeat against T1? Only the next match will tell.

Evil Geniuses

Newcomers on the international stage, Evil Geniuses have much to prove. Photo: Riot Games
As newcomers to the international stage, Evil Geniuses have much to prove. (Photo: Riot Games)

Nobody expected Evil Geniuses to make it to the international stage, yet here they are.

The team is a mix of seasoned players — like Jeong "Impact" Eon-young who was with Faker when T1 won their first championship in 2013 (under SKT), former Rogue Esports member Kacper "Inspired" Słom, and Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme who’s been with C9 since 2018 — and young prodigies in the North American region like Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, who’s been dubbed “America’s Pentakill King”.

The team struggled their way into the Group Stage, settling for the second seed after failing to win against G2, and recording an inconsistent string of wins and losses.

In the Knockout Stage, EG are facing the biggest giant in the competition yet in RNG, the defending champions, and another team that EG have yet to win against.

Will they finally face their demons and pull off an upset win, and perhaps go on to take the MSI title?

The Knockout Stage is coming and it seems that each team is chasing the impossible. Which one will fulfil their dream in the MSI this year?

The Knockout Stage will kick off on Friday (27 May) and conclude with the grand finals on Sunday (29 May).

RNG will face EG on Friday while T1 will take on G2 on Saturday (28 May). The winners of those two matches will then face each other in the grand finals for the 2022 MSI title.

To watch the MSI, you can go to the official LoL esports website or the official YouTube and Twitch channels.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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