The first match of the MSI 2021 will be between Cloud9 and DWG KIA. Both teams have recently won their domestic leagues and will now represent the LCS and LCK respectively at the first international event of 2021. As the defending world champion, DWG KIA is entering the tournament as clear favorite. But Cloud9 will look to disrupt that right from the first game of the group stage. The teams are also fighting against DetonatioN FocusMe and Infinity Esports in the group stage, but this match looks like the one to keep an eye on.
Not only will this be the first match at MSI 2021, it will also be a highly anticipated clash between Cloud9 mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković and DWG KIA mid laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su. The two have a lot of history at international events, dating back to when Perkz played for G2 Esports. The two stars met at the 2019 World Championship as well as at the most recent 2020 World Championship. Perkz was then playing down in the bot lane. but at this MSI it’s time for the two to clash in mid.
Fans and experts will be watching this exact matchup, and for good reason. Perkz is known as possibly the best western player of all time, having achieved many trophies throughout his career and being the only defending MSI champion at the event. ShowMaker is a young Korean star who might even be the best mid laner in the world.
The match is looking to be of the highest mechanical caliber and might even deliver some one-on-one kills during the laning phase. The winner of this mid-lane battle might just be the one to decide the outcome of the game.
Not to forget that the rest of the map will also be packed with world-class talent. The jungle matchup is also looking to be key, where Robert “Blaber” Huang will take on Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu who has looked unstoppable since Worlds last year. The jungle meta looks like it might take a shift at MSI’s patch 11.9, so the jungle matchup combined with mid lane might be where most action is at.
DWG KIA roster:
As the world champion and the dominant winner of the LCK, DWG KIA is entering the tournament without many weaknesses. Cloud9 will likely get a taste of this, which is why the bookmakers are heavily favoring DWG KIA. Since it’s the first international event of the year and a best-of-one format in the group stage, there is obviously a chance that Cloud9 can pull out an upset. To compensate for that, the odds on Cloud9 haven’t skyrocketed.
A win for DWG KIA will only give an odds of 1.23 while a much higher odds of 3.75 can be obtained if Cloud9 manages to win. With only a few days until the match, it’s expected that this line stays as it is.