DWG KIA vs. MAD Lions MSI 2021 betting analysis

By Christian Vejvad


May 20, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

The second semifinal of this year’s Mid-Season Invitational will be played between defending world champion DWG KIA and European challenger MAD Lions. 

A best-of-five series between the LCK and LEC has been anticipated ever since the 2020 World Championship and now it’s finally here. While it will be a new representative from the LEC in MAD Lions, it’s looking to be a great match that will add to the rivalry between the two regions. The LCK will of course be represented by DWG KIA in this one, looking to take another international trophy home. 

So far at this MSI, DWG KIA has had the upper hand against MAD Lions. The Europeans will have to play at another level. Even though MAD Lions has had some good showings so far, the team seems to play a bit scared when facing the tournament favorites. This has led to DWG KIA controlling the pace of both games they have played so far, with MAD Lions falling behind on the map. 

To avoid this happening for the third time, MAD Lions will have to shake off any such insecurities and play the aggressive style that it is known for from the LEC. MAD Lions proved how good they can look against RNG during the last day of the rumble stage and it paid off with an important win. Unfortunately. MAD Lions didn’t capitalize on the momentum and lost its final match to Cloud9. 

Rebounding quickly against DWG KIA will therefore be crucial. Taking down DWG KIA in one game is definitely doable, but in a best-of-five, the reigning world championship team is usually a different beast. The focus will once again be on jungler Javier “Elyoya” Batalla, who needs to enable his lanes to avoid falling behind against the highly skilled lanes of DWG KIA. 

Luckily for MAD Lions, DWG KIA hasn’t looked invincible this tournament. While the record has been impressive from the South Koreans, there are cracks in the armor that can be punished. Most notably has been the bot lane of DWG KIA, where Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee have lacked coordination at times. 

The weakness in the bot lane leaves a small door open for a MAD Lions upset, but with the strength of DWG KIA in a best-of-five in mind.

MAD Lions

DWG KIA vs. MAD Lions rosters

DWG KIA roster: 

  • Top – Kim “Khan” Dong-ha
  • Jungle – Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu
  • Mid – Heo “ShowMaker” Su
  • Bot – Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun
  • Support – Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee

MAD Lions roster: 

  • Top – İrfan “Armut” Tükek
  • Jungle – Javier “Elyoya” Batalla
  • Mid – Marek “Humanoid” Brázda
  • Bot – Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság
  • Support – Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser

DWG KIA big favorites to send MAD Lions packing at MSI 2021

It’s clear that DWG KIA will be the big favorite to advance from this semifinal. In fact, it will be considered one of the biggest upsets in a long time if MAD Lions manage to win. This is mainly because of the structure that DWG KIA brings to the table, which seems to pair well against MAD Lions’ looser play style. With that said, there’s always a chance that MAD Lions cracks the code and delivers consistent play over the course of the series. If DWG KIA is by any means underestimating MAD Lions, the series could end up closer than expected. 

Betting on DWG KIA for this semifinal won’t give more than odds of 1.11 while MAD Lions gives greater odds of 5.55. While DWG KIA is expected to win, not much value will be found on the team without putting a handicap on the bet.  

The semifinal between DWG KIA and MAD Lions takes place on Saturday, May 22.