The first semifinal of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational is between two teams that have been closer than expected at the year’s first international tournament.
With Royal Never Give Up still being one of the clear favorites to win MSI 2021, PSG Talon could make it hard for them in the semifinals after finishing the rumble stage with some impressive performances. Having to play with a bot lane substitute all the way through the tournament, the PCS representative has exceeded all expectations. PSG Talon has already beaten RNG once, making this semifinal more interesting than most would have anticipated.
PSG Talon was the first team to beat RNG at the tournament and end a winning streak of 12 games. With that win, fans quickly started to realize what PSG Talon was made of, especially through the mid lane where Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang has been unstoppable on champions such as Zoe, Akali, and Sylas.
Maple will also be the big win condition for PSG Talon in this tough best-of-five. Not only because he has been the best-performing player individually for his team, but also because of his leadership. Maple has participated in three MSI events before this, reaching the semifinals in all of them. Maple hasn’t made it past the semifinals thus far, so there will be a lot to fight for here.
If PSG Talon was to win, this would go down as one of the biggest upset runs in LoL history. Before that happens, they have to get past a scary RNG team. In the rumble stage, RNG dropped a total of three games but kept play consistent when it mattered most.
The most noteworthy wins have been against DWG KIA, where RNG looks to be the stronger team of the two favorites. In the best-of-five series, RNG gets a chance to show its control on the map and a variety of strategies. With the bot lane of Chen “GALA” Wei and Ling “Kaiwing” Wing crushing it, RNG has a big win condition to play towards. And if the bot lane doesn’t do it, Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao up top has proven to be capable of the carry role.
This leaves PSG Talon with a win condition in the mid lane, where RNG’s Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei has been the weakest member of the team. This doesn’t mean that Cryin hasn’t been playing well, but it seems that Maple might be able to get an upper hand in that mid-lane matchup.
RNG vs. PSG Talon rosters
- Top – Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
- Jungle – Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei
- Mid – Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei
- Bot – Chen “GALA” Wei
- Support – Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming
PSG Talon roster:
- Top – Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang
- Jungle – Kim “River” Dong-woo
- Mid – Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang
- Bot – Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan
- Support – Ling “Kaiwing” Wing
RNG expected to make the MSI final over PSG Talon
For PSG Talon to win, the focus has to be put around the mid lane. Beating RNG three times will not be easy, so PSG Talon has to bring its absolute best game. If that happens, we might be looking at a closer series than the odds predict. If PSG Talon doesn’t bring its best, then RNG is likely looking to run through this series without much trouble. RNG in control of the map has been scary so far at MSI, so PSG Talon will have to interrupt the flow of the game and try to get control right from the first minutes. There is a slim chance for one of the biggest upsets in years.
As expected, betting on RNG will only give small odds of 1.12 while putting money on PSG Talon will give big odds of 5.35. Beating RNG will be very hard for PSG Talon, but the odds say there isn’t much value to pick up on the LPL champions. Therefore, this could be an opportunity for a big upset pick.