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MSI Semifinals Preview – Fnatic vs. Royal Never Give Up

The first of two Mid-Season Invitational semifinals will take place on Friday in Paris. Royal Never Give Up are overwhelming favorites in their series with Fnatic. RNG have looked like the best team at MSI with some great performances in the group stage and knocked off Fnatic twice during that stretch. However, Fnatic were not uncompetitive in either one of those games.

In the first, they took a gold lead late after a successful team fight before losing the next team fight a minute later and losing. In the last match between these sides, Fnatic were the better team through the laning phase and the mid game, but ended up blowing a 6k gold lead in a loss.

Angels vs Mariners

MSI Betting Odds (Courtesy of BetDSI)
Royal Never Give Up -588
Fnatic+362

Matchup to Watch

Coming into this series, most of the attention is on the battle in the bottom lane. RNG’s Uzi and Fnatic’s Rekkles have been two of the best AD Carries in the world over the last half-decade. Rekkles has been the top AD Carry in Europe, while most experts believe that Uzi is the best AD Carry in the world.

However, Rekkles has had some issues at MSI. After one of the best splits of his career, he has had some problems in the laning phase and hasn’t always made the optimal decision in team fights. Meanwhile, Uzi has been the best AD Carry at the tournament by a decent margin. Finally winning a domestic title has erased some of the nerves that he dealt with in the past. He has an 11.8 KDA and is averaging 12 CS per minute, topping those categories by a healthy margin.

Uzi’s play was the difference in the first game, as his Kog’Maw was able to find Fnatic’s entire team hiding in the brush. He carried the subsequent team fight, giving RNG the win.

Player to Watch

In order to pull off the upset, Fnatic is going to need some good play from Caps in the mid lane. Caps has had some highlight reel plays, particularly on Yasuo, during MSI. However, he has had some missteps in team fights that have cost Fnatic.

He has the skill to defeat xiaohu in their 1v1, and he was able to pick up some solo kills from his counterpart in previous meetings. Caps has some very quirky picks that cause teams trouble, and Fnatic will need to be able to capitalize if they can get an early edge.

Analysis

There is no way that Fnatic should be this big of an underdog. Although they have not had much success beating RNG in the past, they have some advantages in certain areas that they can use. Caps can outplay xiaohu in the mid lane, and RNG’s top laner LetMe has not proven that he can play carries effectively against good teams. Bwipo can bully him in the right match-up and that could give Fnatic two winning lanes to play through.

Additionally, if we see the bad version of mlxg, that could give the underdogs a game or two. RNG’s jungler is notoriously high risk, high reward. That could backfire at the worst time.

Prediction: Fnatic 3, Royal Never Give Up 2

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MSI Semifinals Preview - Fnatic vs. Royal Never Give Up
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About Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis has written on virtually every sport imaginable over the last decade. His specialties are college football, eSports, politics, the NFL and the NHL. He is always looking for soft markets to pounce on, and he will have you in the black by the end of the year.

About Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis has written on virtually every sport imaginable over the last decade. His specialties are college football, eSports, politics, the NFL and the NHL. He is always looking for soft markets to pounce on, and he will have you in the black by the end of the year.

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