After completing the Cinderella run in the lower bracket to be crowned LCO 2022 Split 1 champions, Order now jet off to Busan, South Korea to face the world’s best at the Mid-Season Invitational.
Order joins top representatives from the ten other premier League of Legends regions in a showcase of the best of the best. With an odd number of representatives again in 2022, representatives were drawn into two groups of four and one group of three for the initial stage of the competition.
Much like Pentanet.GG in 2021, Order find themselves in the smaller group, matching up against European champions & MSI 2019 victors G2 Esports and North American champions Evil Geniuses.
The top two in this three-team melee will move on to the six-team rumble, before cutting again into a single elimination top-four bracket to determine the Mid Season champion.
Here’s everything you need to know about our LEC and LCS rivals.
G2 Esports (LEC) — Storied team makes their triumph return
After two years away from the tournament, 2019’s MSI champions G2 return to the Mid-Season Invitational stage as LEC representatives. 2021 was a disappointing year for the storied organisation, who failed to capture titles in either split or represent Europe at any international League of Legends tournaments.
The last offseason saw almost a full cleaning of the house — coaching staff and all — for the now nine-time European champions, with only jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and mid-laner Rasmus “caPs” Winther returning.
A moderately successful Spring ensued, finishing 11–7 and placing fourth in the standings. Their playoff campaigns saw them start with a loss to Fnatic 3–1 in the opening round of the upper bracket, falling to the lower bracket and ensuring they had to win four series in a row to be crowned the Kings of Europe once again.
They achieved this feat in emphatic fashion, sweeping all four series against Vitality, Misfits, Fnatic and Rogue without a single match lost to gain the title and MSI berth in dominant fashion.
The lane matchup to watch in G2 games against Order will definitely be the bot lane, as the young duo Victor “Flakked” Lirola Tortosa and Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé have been played a key part in the success of G2 as of late, much like Nathan “Puma” Puma and Ian “Corporal” Pearse have been for the LCO champions in 2022.
Evil Geniuses (LCS) — North America’s New Hope
The outside favourites when it came to LCS playoffs, Evil Geniuses won their first ever LCS title this spring and their first ever international berth to go with it.
After two successive 5-6th finishes in the 2021 playoffs, the team saw a shift in their roster, with only top-laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young and bot-laner Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki staying on.
In came a mixture of veterans and rookies to the team, with jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma moving across the Atlantic to join from Rogue and support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme moving from Cloud9.
The biggest and most critical change came in the form of rookie mid-laner Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun. The 17-year-old star, touted as North America’s very own Faker, has been critical in the success of EG in spring.
A 9–9 record translated to fourth place position after tiebreakers, and saw them face off against Team Liquid in a tight five-game series in the first round of the upper bracket, which they ultimately ended up losing.
Sent to the lower bracket, EG faced a similar situation to that of G2 — four straight series wins to claim the title. Evil Geniuses overcame the odds in pretty clean and dominant fashion, dropping a single map to only Flyquest in their first lower bracket series, before sweeping Cloud9, Liquid and 100 Thieves to claim the title in Houston.
The matchup to watch in EG and Order games would be mid-to-jungle. In what is really a pure skill matchup, if Inspired and Jojopyun are not kept at bay, they can and will gain dominance early into the contest and run over their opponents.
What this means for Order in Busan
This group is for sure going to be a banger. EU v NA is always a must watch matchup for fans of League of Legends and a must-win matchup for the two regions.
Adding Oceania into the mix, especially after PGG’s success at MSI 2021, will only add more spice and intrigue into the group. All three teams are coming in on red hot form after their respective lower bracket heroics and will want to keep the momentum going as far into MSI as possible.
However, only two can make it into the rumble.
With Oceania being the “minor region” up against two “major region” opponents they should be the ones expected to bow out after the eight group stage games; however, as we have learnt over the last couple of years of Oceanic success both in LoL and other esports titles, the gap between the major and minor regions is definitely shrinking.
And if I’ve learnt anything during the LCO playoffs, don’t bet against this Order team— they can and will prove you wrong.
The Mid-Season Invitational’s group stage begins 6pm AEST on Tuesday, May 10. Order’s first contest against G2 will begin at 8pm AEST — catch it live on Twitch.