Damwon KIA has punched their ticket to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational grand final. The defending world champions will now test their will against fellow tournament favorites in RNG.

MSI 2021 finally has its two finalists, LPL champions RNG and 2020 world champions Damwon KIA. It was not easy for Damwon, however, the LCK champions had to weather a brutal European storm called the MAD Lions. Fans will now get to witness the highly anticipated best-of-five between China and South Korea’s titans. Here is how Damwon KIA secured their place in tomorrow’s grand final.

Game One: So close yet so far away for MAD

MSI 2021 has shown these teams are closer than ever, and this was on full display throughout the majority of game one. The game started with a scrappy one for one in the bottom lane with kills onto Beryl and Carzzy. What MAD Lions has showcased throughout MSI is that this MAD Lions side is not the MAD Lions of 2020. At the 2020 World Championship, the youthful LEC roster failed to make it to the group stage, being eliminated in the play-in.

While it can be difficult for fans to forget about their shortcomings last year, this MAD roster is growing from strength to strength and were able to go toe-to-toe with the defending world champions. Game one was close, until Damwon decided it was not going to be close for a second longer. Around the seventeenth minute mark a fight broke out in the top river with Damwon securing multiple kills as well as the gold lead.

Damwon’s scaling composition had already surpassed what MAD Lions had to offer. Damwon were able to win another huge fight in the bottom side river minutes later. Despite the even start, Damwon KIA finished this game relatively quickly as they took the nexus in the 25th minute.

Game Two: It’s a Carzzy difference

Game two was filled with action as MAD Lions were able to tie up the score. The action centered around the bottom lane for both sides with Carzzy and Kaiser coming out on top. By the eight-minute mark, four kills had been shared across the two bottom lanes. Ghost made a questionable one versus two ultimate onto the MAD duo which started the snowball onto Xayah. With the advantage in the bottom lane, MAD Lions were able to build not only a gold lead but a dragon lead too.

MSI 2021 has been a tale of two opposites for Damwon and MAD. Starting with the MAD Lions, their bottom lane has been struggling throughout 2021 and was considered a major weak point for their side.

As for Damwon KIA, the duo of Ghost and Beryl was known as one of the best bottom lanes in the world, they did win a world championship, after all. This tournament, Damwon’s bottom lane, specifically Beryl has been poor by their standards. As for MAD, their bottom lane has been fantastic and it bodes well for their chances going into the LEC summer split.

MAD Lions blew the game wide open at the 26th minute, a Baron fight saw Carzzy miraculously steal away the Baron with Xayah’s feathers. While many members on MAD lost their lives, the battle had been won. MAD were up in gold, up in kills and up in dragons going into the Cloud soul fight. After securing the soul MAD were able to use the momentum to push through for the victory.

Game Three: Damwon KIA are on the ropes

MAD Lions sent the LCK community into panic mode with the LEC champions beating Damwon at their own game and putting themselves onto match point. The game started off well for the European side with a massive team fight at the twelfth minute-mark putting AD firmly in the lead.

MAD Lions were able to secure the Baron at the twenty-minute mark but were thwarted by Showmaker and co. The game shifted towards the favor of Damwon KIA with the LCK side sitting at a 2k gold lead going towards the latter stages of the game. Around the twentieth minute, Madness broke out, with both sides fighting tooth-and-nail with Infernal soul on the line for MAD Lions. LEC caster Medic put on an exquisite casting display in game three with the LEC champs going 2-1 up in the series.

Game Four: Play the Silver Scrapes

MAD Lions started like a house on fire in game four, picking up five early kills and cranking up the pressure on the side of Damwon KIA. Showmaker, however, had something to say about his side going home early with the superstar mid laner pulling off a monstrous teleport into the bottom lane to shift the lead well and truly onto the side of DWK.

Those kills alone allowed the South Korean side to gain a three thousand gold lead by the ten-minute mark, MAD Lions were now feeling the pressure. Damwon KIA is a side that will take a mile if you are to give them an inch with the LCK champions boasting a monstrous 7k lead by the fifteen-minute mark. Seven minutes later DWK was on the nexus and taking the series to game five, play the Silver Scrapes.

Game Five: Form is temporary, class is permanent

The defending world champions showed their class in the most important of games and was able to book their ticket to the final. This game followed on from the destruction that was the fourth game. Damwon KIA were able to close the game out in 23 minutes, crushing the hopes of the LEC retaining the MSI trophy they never lost in 2020.

By the 12th minute, the lead was just under 2k on the side of Damwon KIA, with the South Korean side leading four kills to one. The game was over in champion select, depending on who you asked, with Showmaker selecting his signature champion in Zoe. The LCK mid laner has played Zoe 49 times which is the most in his esteemed champion pool. Showmaker was able to roam around the map with ease, helping his team secure multiple kills.

Showmaker and the rest of Damwon were able to cause trouble in the MAD Lions base before it even hit the twenty-minute mark. A couple of minutes later Damwon KIA was able to not only crack the base of MAD but take down the nexus in another quick game.

With this victory, Damwon KIA will now face RNG tomorrow in the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational grand final.

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Jordan Marney -

Jordan Marney

| Twitter: @official_marn

Jordan "Marn" Marney is an esports journalist from across the pond. Marn specialises in telling stories about League of Legends and Call of Duty. Marn has been a passionate esports fan since 2014 and has written for publications Unikrn, Esports Network, ESTNN and The United Stand.