Team WE continue to fly under the radar at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, holding second place after Day 2 of play. The LPL Champions have entered the tournament with very little noise surrounding them, curious considering their 3-0 sweep of Royal Never Give Up in the LPL Finals. It is clear that many fans and analysts are not quite sure where to pitch the strength of Team WE, understandable given the team’s results so far at MSI 2017.
After destroying Flash Wolves, yet losing comprehensively to Team SoloMid, Team WE left analysts scratching their heads after the opening fixtures of MSI 2017. Top laner Ke “957“ Chang-Yu delivered one of the strongest MVP performances fans are likely to witness throughout the tournament vs Flash Wolves, defying logic as he carried the game on Kled. To then serve Team SoloMid with what is their only victory in the tournament so far was certainly disappointing for the LPL champions.
Facing arguably their two toughest opponents on Day 2, Team WE pulled out a winning result from their match with G2 eSports and came within inches of a victory over heavy favourites SK Telecom T1.
The pre-game lobby set the tone for Team WE’s clash with G2 eSports, as G2 jungler Kim “Trick” Kang-yun opted for a rogue Nunu pick in place of the denied Ivern. By contrast 957 was allowed the comfort of his Kled pocket pick, an affordance WE would use to kick-start proceedings as the game starting to stagnate.
Despite a chaotic start to the game in which Team WE’s team fighting left much to be desired, the Nunu pick began to display its lack of value as the game developed. With all of G2’s eggs placed in the basket of AD Carry Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen’s Kog’Maw, WE pounced on every opportunity to catch out the immobile champion. Ashe arrows followed by trademark Kled ultimates proved to be an effective means of cracking the egg:
Team WE had the game wrapped up convincingly after rinse and repeating their effective strategy, pushing down G2 eSports objectives without reply. The LPL champions had defied the odds once more, posing an unpredictable challenge for SK Telecom T1.
The Chinese seed came within inches of upsetting the tournament favourites, aided and thwarted in equal measure by SKT jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho’s surprising Ivern pick. Making his Ivern debut, Peanut was unusually ineffective during SKT’s early game, allowing for WE to pull ahead in the game’s early skirmishes, accumulating kills and objectives.
WE looked to be on course for the biggest upset of the tournament so far, but after mis-placing a vision ward in the pit, the door was left open to a disastrous baron steal:
— lolesports (@lolesports) 11 May 2017
In an instant, all of Team WE’s hard work was undone. Now empowered by the baron buff SKT could return to their aggressive style of play in the knowledge that WE could do nothing to stop them. Stretching across the map, the Koreans ruthlessly ransacked the WE base and within moments it was all over.
Team WE continue to provide unpredictable results and performances on the Mid-Season Invitational stage. Though likely to qualify through to the knock out stages, how far the Chinese squad can go is anybody’s guess. After pushing SK Telecom T1 to a dramatic last gasp baron steal, perhaps it is WE rather than Flash Wolves who stand the best chance of usurping the kings of competitive League of Legends…