MAD Lions beat Istanbul Wildcats, stay undefeated at MSI 2021

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LEC representatives MAD Lions remain undefeated at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational with a win over Istanbul Wildcats on day two of the group stage. 

After the first day of the event, it was clearly MAD Lions heading into this match as the big favorites. Istanbul Wildcats should have won its first game like the European representatives but threw a big lead away against paiN Gaming in an intense match. To bounce back, Istanbul Wildcats went back to basic with some common picks but it wasn’t enough to fool MAD Lions, who continue to look a step ahead of the rest of group B. 

From champion select, both teams decided to move away from some of the new high-priority picks and went for champions that have been seen a lot during season 11. MAD Lions went for a dive-heavy bot lane with Nautilus and Kai’Sa, while Istanbul Wildcats went for a fairly safe team-fight composition with lots of scaling. 

With lots of common season 11 champions on the map, the most exciting matchup was in the top lane. Istanbul Wildcats went with an aggressive pick in Nocturne, to which MAD Lions İrfan “Armut” Tükek answered back with his signature Wukong. 

As to be expected, MAD Lions was the one to control the early game with quick action down bot. After gaining a lot of confidence against PSG Talon yesterday, support Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser went in for an early engage on Nautilus and it paid off with a kill for bot laner Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság

The early advantage in the bot lane didn’t lead to a snowball, but instead over-aggression from the side of MAD Lions. This was punished by Istanbul Wildcats that kept the game closer than it probably should have been. But a couple of failed attempts didn’t stop MAD Lions from stepping on the pedal and keep forcing plays onto the TCL representatives. 

When it looked like MAD Lions was about to snowball the game out of control, Istanbul Wildcats found the perfect fight down in the bot lane. With great coordination, Istanbul Wildcats found an unexpected ace which suddenly made the game dead even once again.

The bad fight forced MAD Lions to rethink the whole game and start to play smarter without taking big risks. While it looked scary for the LEC champions, MAD Lions kept the head cool and started to focus on objective control. At 22 minutes, MAD Lions found the golden moment at Baron which led to four kills and the buff. 

A Baron Buff was enough to explode the gold lead once again and allow MAD Lions to hone in on the enemy base. Istanbul Wildcats didn’t give up without a fight and forced MAD Lions into hard spots through split pushing and well-executed fights. Ultimately, MAD Lions found the fights needed to close out the game after 37 minutes.

With another win in the bag, MAD Lions is now in pole position of group B. paiN Gaming could potentially challenge the Lions, but it currently looks like the group is clearly favored towards the LEC representatives. 

MAD Lions will take on paiN Gaming on May 8 in an attempt to keep the flawless record before the second round robin starts. 


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