G2 Esports faced and defeated Team Liquid, led by tournament MVP Rasmus “Caps” Winther, to win the 2019 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational. In doing so they became the first Western team to win the event since its inception in 2015.
The event was stacked with international talent, and the NA vs EU final was made all the more impressive by the route each team took through the semifinals. Team Liquid provided the upset of the tournament by defeating Invictus Gaming 3-1. On the other side of the draw, G2 Esports beat three-time world champion SK Telecom T1.
The implications here for the upcoming 2019 World Championship cannot be understated. Both teams now have the experience of victory on huge international stages versus top-tier opposition. If G2 can dominate the next split of the LEC and maintain its momentum, the squad will enter the tournament not only as the champion of European League of Legends, but perhaps even as one of the favorites for the title.
Although the manner of the loss for Team Liquid in the final will be a disappointment, eliminating the current World Champions is a fantastic achievement. They know they can achieve the level to beat the best teams in the world, and will be working on keeping and improving that level of play.
The 2019 World Championship will begin later this year with the finals to be held in Paris. The home-field advantage and vocal support will reach meteoric levels if G2 can equal Fnatic in making it to the final of a World Championship tournament. Fans may even be treated to an MSI rematch of Team Liquid versus G2 Esports depending on the draw.
The representatives of the LPL and LCK will surely arrive at Worlds seeking to avenge their MSI defeats, with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok looking for his fourth major title. The World Championship of 2019 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting tournaments we have seen in League of Legends thus far.