In the biggest upset of the Mid-Season Invitational so far, EVOS Esports took a 3-1 win over SuperMassive eSports on Tuesday in Berlin.
SuperMassive looked incredible throughout the group stage of the MSI play-ins, coming into this match as the clear favorites to advance into the Mid-Season Invitational group stage. Anchored by veteran imports in mid laner in Lee "GBM" Chang-seok and support No "SnowFlower" Hoi-jong, it seemed like this would be the year SuperMassive finally breaks into the next stage of international competition. Unfortunately for the Turkish team, though, history repeated itself, and SuperMassive once again got shut down by a Vietnamese team with crowd-pleasing aggression and a huge carry performance from the jungle.
In a head-turning performance, Nguyen "YiJin" Le Hai Dang was a dynamo for EVOS in the jungle, coming alive in the last two games of the series as Graves. In those two wins, YiJin was aggressive early, picking up kills in the bottom lane and out-farming his opposite number, SuperMassive jungler Furkan "Stormaged" Gungor, to the point where he could single-handedly annihilate SuperMassive's backline. That's not to say YiJin didn't have help, though.
Top laner Phan "Stark" Cong Minh carried Game 1 as Camille by applying immense split-pushing pressure before transitioning over to tanks such as Ornn, where he was a massive teamfighting presence through his masterful use of Call of the Forge God to set up big wins for EVOS. After a shaky first two games, mid laner Doan "Warzone" Van Ngoc Son used Cassiopeia to dominate the mid lane, pumping out massive damage, while support Le "RonOP" Thien Han had a great, consistent series, enabling the rest of his team's aggression. EVOS might not fair too well against the juggernauts of the world, but with a scrappy playstyle and an underdog's heart, this new Vietnamese team might just capture the hearts of the world just like GIGABYTE Marines did at last year's MSI.
On the other side of the Rift, this loss has got to sting for SuperMassive, who again fall victim to the script: going 5-1 in Play-in group stages before the VCS representatives prevent them from advancing any further. GBM played well early on, but the frustration was clear in Game 3, especially after he went too deep in mid lane tower dive as Vladimir and threw away a significant lead over Warzone. Indeed, GBM's Vladimir was one of the few things that SuperMassive had going for it, especially in Games 1 and 2, where GBM dominated teamfights, pumping out massive damage as the Crimson Reaper. In addition, SnowFlower showed a diverse range of picks, and showed playmaking potential on champions ranging from Lulu to Thresh. Unfortunately, the rest of SuperMassive got outclassed.
Top laner Asim "fabFabulous" Cihat Karakaya struggled on Gangplank in Game 1 and was subsequently relegated to tank duty after that, taking the carry top laner out of his element against a solid opponent in Stark. Meanwhile, SuperMassive's drafts were questionable as well, bringing a jungle Kindred against YiJing's jungle Trundle in Games 1 and 2 to little effect. All in all, SuperMassive cemented itself as a good team from a play-in region, but simply couldn't rise to the occasion.
EVOS Esports now awaits the start of the MSI Group Stage, which begins on Friday, May 11.