The Worlds 2021 play-In stage is nearly done, and all eyes are moving towards the group stage.
With Hanwha Life Esports expected to advance and get seeded into Group C, underdog PCS representative PSG Talon is facing dire odds.
PSG Talon took the League of Legends world by storm with an upset top-4 finish at the Mid Season Invitational 2021. This performance earned the PCS region a direct seeding in the group stage of Worlds 2021. During this time, PSG was fielding fellow PCS player Doggo as a substitute bot laner.
With their roster expected to face Fnatic, Hanwha Life Esports, and Royal Never Give Up, things look dire. What are the odds PSG Talon actually advance? Who are the players that make up the PCS’ first seed?
PSG Talon is centered around a duo from one of the most legendary giant-slayer rosters for old-school fans, Flash Wolves. Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang in the top lane and Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang in the mid lane both made their names on the team, and they’re joined by Hong Kong Attitude alums Wong “Unified” Chun Kit and Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing in bot. Maple is the latest addition to the roster, arriving in 2021. This year’s iteration of PSG Talon is the most promising a PCS representative has looked when it comes to making a deep run at Worlds.
Maple’s addition to the mid lane has been a crucial part of PSG Talons’s newfound success. With 65% of his opponents banning his Leblanc throughout the PCS Summer Split, it’s clear the Flash Wolves veteran still commands respect. Maple’s enormous champion pool meant he played 15 unique champions in summer, the most out of his team. With 67% KP, he’s set to be a central playmaker for PSG.
Hanabi came in second in terms of champion variety, focusing on picks like Gwen, Renekton, Ornn and Gnar. He was still able to reach out and flex to more obscure picks like Kennen and Malphite throughout the season.
With jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo focusing on skirmishing picks like Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, and Diana, the roster’s playstyle requires them to skill-check opponents. The viability of this playstyle at Worlds 2021 is significantly lower against expert teams.
It’s highly unlikely that PSG Talon will make it out of the group stage.
It’s always hard for a minor region seed to punch up into a Worlds group, especially one as strong as Group C. Should HLE advance, PSG’s players have strong contenders from the strongest major regions to contest with. Success will require them to maintain the playstyle that got them this far against the best of the best. With a promising performance at MSI 2021 and first seed status, the sky’s the limit. One thing’s for sure, we won’t be seeing Sejuani from Kaiwing.
Advancement for PSG Talon will likely mean needing top seeds HLE and RNG to drop games to EU representatives Fnatic. But anything can happen at Worlds, and PSG has a fighter’s chance at that crucial top 2. No matter what happens, PSG has endeared its roster to fans around the world through MSI and its tribute to the VCS. It may be a tough fight, but PSG will have plenty of viewers cheering for a Knockout Stage qualification.