DWG KIA vs. RNG: MSI 2021 betting analysis

By Christian Vejvad


May 12, 2021

Reading time: 4 min

The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational will conclude with the grand final between DWG KIA and Royal Never Give Up. 

Both teams have fought consistently throughout the tournament and are now ready to fight for the trophy. Prior to the tournament, DWG KIA was considered the biggest favorite, and for good reason. The defending world champions have looked scary in all stages at MSI, only struggling against RNG during the rumble stage. For RNG, the players have surprised and played at a higher level than expected. By taking out PSG Talon 3-1 in the semifinal, RNG is entering this match as a well-oiled machine with only very few weak spots. DWG KIA had to go through a marathon against MAD Lions to get to the final but should be full of confidence as well. 

DWG KIA versus RNG is no easy match to predict, especially because their respective play styles have been very different so far. While RNG is known to be a slower team from the LPL, this hasn’t been the case at MSI. Playing against Unicorns of Love and Pentanet.GG in the group stage, RNG looked like an aggressive team in the early game and finished most bouts in just over 20 minutes. The fast play was mainly enabled by jungler Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei who seems to be on point in the new tournament meta. 

The fast-paced gameplay from RNG might have to do with weaker opponents in the group stage, but might also indicate that the LPL champions have a perfect grasp on the meta where aggressive picks are a focus. Against DWG KIA, this playstyle might be the perfect strategy to shut down the skilled individuals on the Korean roster. 

For DWG KIA, the team has played as expected but with a few flaws here and there. Going 5-1 in the group stage was enough to top the group, but DWG KIA might be more beatable than expected. The weakest point for DWG KIA so far has likely been the top lane where Kim “Khan” Dong-ha has had some shaky games with quite a lot of deaths. 

This could be a potential spot for opponents to abuse in the upcoming Rumble stage, starting with RNG where top laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao has been on fire with great assistance from jungler Wei. This makes the top and jungle matchups very important in this match between DWG KIA and RNG. 

If RNG manages to play an early game like it has been seen in the group stage, DWG KIA will without a doubt have a hard time keeping up. If RNG doesn’t succeed early, then we might see a game where DWG KIA can control the pace and win through coordinated macro play and greater synergy in team fights. 

A match like this might already be decided in the draft, simply because the skill of the players is so close. Keep an eye out for picks like Rumble, Lucian, and Varus.    


DWG KIA vs. RNG 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 

RNG roster: 

  • Top – Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
  • Jungle – Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei
  • Mid – Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei
  • Bot – Chen “GALA” Wei
  • Support – Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming

Bookmakers predict close match between DWG KIA and RNG in MSI final


As many would have expected, it is DWG KIA and RNG who will face off against each other in the final. This gives DWG KIA a chance to bounce back against the LPL champions, after losing twice to them this tournament. On paper, it looks to be a very close final but with a small advantage over RNG. The Chinese representatives have had an extra day to prepare for the final, giving them an edge in the preparation for DWG KIA. The whole game could likely come down to execution in team fights, as both teams don’t necessarily like to play an aggressive early game. 

Given previous results, it’s fair to consider RNG slight favorites in this one. With that said, DWG KIA is a completely different beast in games that really matter. The defending world champion has been in finals before and might be able to get an advantage based on previous experience. 

A win for RNG in the final will give an odds of 1.78, while DWG KIA gives a bit more with odds of 1.92. It’s almost a completely even match according to the bookmakers, so fans might be in for a treat. Who knows, maybe this final will go the distance to all give games. 

The MSI 2021 final between DWG KIA and RNG kicks off on May 23. 


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