Playoff Stage MSI 2016 – Predictions

After the group stage has finished and the dust has slowly been settling it will be time to give you a short preview of the following playoff stage at the Mid-Season Invitational 2016. While the last days packed with action separated the wheat from the chaff, a total of two teams were eliminated from the tournament. In addition to the Turkish International Wildcard Invitational 2016 winner SuperMassive eSports, G2 Esports from the European LCS have to pack their bags before embarking on their homebound journey. The remaining teams consist of all-time favourite SK Telecom T1 from South Korea, local hero Royal Never Give Up from China, underdog Counter Logic Gaming from North America and the unpredictable Flash Wolves from Taiwan. Now is time to lick the wounds and prepare for the upcoming semi-final battles. Stay tuned for some more exciting games at the League of Legends MSI 2016!

More about MSI 2016:
>> view Standings and bracket
>> view MSI teams and players overview

Playoff Stage – LoL MSI 2016 – Facts

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LCS Live stream Link Button
Betting Odds for the MSI 2016
Special bets for the MSI 2016
  • Location: Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
  • Date: 05/13/2106 – 05/15/2016
  • Start Time: view schedule below
  • Teams: 4 teams from North America, China, South Korea and Taiwan
  • Play mode: Semi-finals and finals are best of 5
  • Patch: LoL 6.8 [Taric disabled]
  • Live Streams will be available for all matches
  • All major LoL betting sites will have betting odds
  • Tickets: view MSI ticket info
  • Betting: view Betting Overview – MSI 2016
  • Match Previews and Predictions below
  • Hashtag: #MSI2016

Schedule and Starting Times

Playoffs: Semi Final #1 | Friday, May 13th

Semi-Final #1: Royal Never Give - LPL team logo Royal Never Give Up vs. SK Telecom T1 - LCK team logo SK Telecom T1      1   3  
Start Time: May 13th, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST

Playoffs: Semi Final #2 | Saturday, May 14th

Semi-Final #2: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo CLG vs. Flash Wolves: Team Logo Flash Wolves      3   1  
Start Time: May 14h, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST

MSI 2016 Grand Finals | Sunday, May 15th

Grand Final: SK Telecom T1 - LCK team logo SK Telecom T1 vs. CLG - LCS NA Team Logo CLG      3   0  
Start Time: May 15th, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST

>> view full schedule

Betting Odds Comparison – MSI 2016 Playoffs

As the first major betting site has included betting odds for the semi-finals of the MSI 2016. Despite the almost embarrassing performance from SK Telecom T1 all the major bookmakers still give them the best odds of the tournament. More information about betting and betting odds of the MSI 2016 you will find here.

Betting Odds Comparison Grand-Finals:

Bet365 Logo2 BET365 Bet365 Logo2MSI 2016 Grand Finals Schedule and betting odds Bet365 check current odds at Bet365 >>

BET365 INFO: Find LoL betting in the menu on the left side under: Specials -> World

Pinnacle esports betting Logo Pinnacle Sports Pinnacle esports betting LogoMSI 2016 Grand Finals Schedule and betting odds Pinnaclecheck current odds at Pinnacle Sports >>

Please notice! Odds shown might have changed in the meantime. Follow the links to take a look at the current betting odds.

MSI 2016 – Predictions

MSI 2016 Playoffs – Grand Finals – Day 3:

Our predictions have prevailed so far for the knockout stage of the mid-season invitational and so we’re heading into a Counter Logic Gaming vs. SK Telecom T1 finals. This is going to be an outstanding series as we’ll be looking at 2 of the most competitive teams going head to head for the MSI title. Make sure you tune in on May 15th or you’ll miss the international top teams clash!

Grand Final: SK Telecom T1 - LCK team logo SK Telecom T1 vs. CLG - LCS NA Team Logo CLG

Start Time: May 15th, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST

Grand Final Mid Season Invitational 2016 Team Player Stats SKT1 vs CLG

A lot of people thought it’d be an unexpected finale for the MSI tournament; we’re met with the unlikely as both of these well performing teams go head to head but who will come out on top? SKTT1 had a rough group stage but came out in a good enough position to make it to the knockout stage where it was apparent that they had made huge improvements. CLG looked good throughout the group stage but they had a few consistency errors; this didn’t stop them as they still look great after taking down the Flash Wolves. But now we get to find out who is truly the strongest.

I think SKTT1 are at a small advantage here, they did have a rough group stage and CLG are likely to know what to do to really advance any lead they gain but the reformed SKTT1 that we’ve seen throughout the group stages against RNG looks stable and as formidable as ever.

Logo of LCS NA Team CLGCounter Logic Gaming will need to use the multiple play styles they have practiced to adapt throughout the series; this will help them throw off their opponents to gain an edge. As we’ve seen is common with most teams they’re going to contest the Ekko pick in the top lane and fall back on Maokai or Poppy if it’s taken or banned away. Graves or Kindred are the most likely appearances in the jungle, which should come as no surprise, but other picks such as Nidalee could make another appearance. Their middle lane is likely to stick to a scaling middle laner such as Ryze or Azir which will let them scale into the later stages of the game. Their bottom lane will be picking Kalista , Ezreal or Caitlyn throughout the series and pair it with a utility support such as Morgana, Soraka or even the Sona we saw previously but they always have the option to pick a tanky support such as Braum. When they load into the rift they’re likely to grow a safe line of vision across the river, this will let them scale into the later stages where CLG are known to thrive; the majority of the team I drafted in this prediction scales well into the late game aside from Ezreal. With vision defending the lanes and giving them access to objectives in the river they should be able to deny SKTT1 any possible aggressive rotations; this could give them small leads which CLG know how to use effectively. Taking fights in the later stages of the game shouldn’t be 50% odds; they’re going to want to take certain fights when they can pressure objectives at the same time or after catching out an opponent. It’s going to be tough to pull off but if they can then in the middle and later stages of the game they should be able to put themselves into a position where the game is in their favour. Using their multiple styles throughout the series will be necessary but they’re certainly in a good position to take victories and the series if they manage to shake things up.

SK Telecom T1 - LCK Team LogoSK Telecom T1 didn’t shake things up as much during their run in with RNG in the knockout stage and have stuck with similar compositions without any surprising showing up, unlike CLG, so we’re likely to see a Soraka and Sivir show up in the bottom lane with possibilities like Ezreal and Karma depending on desired composition. The middle lane for SKTT1 has had regular picks such as Fizz and Azir show up but Ryze is still considerably useful and can be used to counter-pick CLG. Their jungler, much like many others, has favoured champions such as Graves and Kindred for the jungle but has also fallen back comfortably on Elise, which has had some good performances. Their top lane will reflect CLG’s here, Ekko will be a contested pick and Poppy is likely to be their next best but Maokai could also show up throughout the series. SKTT1 are likely to play out the match slowly and methodically unless they see a clear advantage possible. They’re likely to maintain a strong set of vision around the lanes. The vision will expand throughout the game and will set up nicely around objectives when the time calls for it. This vision should give SKTT1 a minor advantage along with keeping them safe; they’re going to want to rotate according to their opponent’s positions and try and gain an advantage if they look to take a fight. If they can gain small advantages it gives them presence and a lead that could assist them in taking a few team fights which will propel their team into a fantastic place to take a victory. Adapting a similar style of play, methodical and strategic being played out to slowly build an advantage, throughout the series could set them up nicely to take the series but they’re going to need to keep an eye out for niche picks from CLG and to adapt following situations they are put in. They should be able to comfortably fall into their own strategic style of play and work in favourable conditions to take leads, games and possibly the series.

Prediction: SK Telecom T1 Victory. I think they’ll take the series 3:2, extremely close games being decided by single moments could show up but I think between these 2 teams, with how SKTT1 have been on form recently, they are the likely candidates to come out on top.

MSI 2016 Playoffs – Semifinals – Day 2:

Our prediction for day 1 went pretty accurately and we’re hoping to follow that up with yet another, on day 2 of the mid-season invitational we’ll be looking at and looking over Counter Logic Gaming vs. Flash Wolves; this is sure to be an extraordinary match as only 1 victory separates these 2 teams on the MSI group stage ladder. With a week to work on improvements we could be looking at significant changes, make sure you tune in on the 14th May to see who advances and who falls!

Semi-Final #2: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo CLG vs. Flash Wolves: Team Logo Flash Wolves

Start Time: May 14h, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST

Semifinal Mid Season Invitational 2016 Team stats CLG vs FW Infografic

Counter Logic Gaming ended up having a fantastic run through the group stage and came across as one of the strongest performing teams. This was quite a difficult concept to grasp as they’d lost a humiliating match against SuperMassive but they clawed their way back and came out with a 7:3 score. Flash Wolves looked strong right from the get-go, aside from their loss to CLG, and they managed to come out with a 6:4 score, with a week between their most recent performances how will this match up end?

Counter Logic Gaming appear to be at an advantage here, it might not be a large or major advantage but it could be enough and become apparent during the best of 5 series. Flash Wolves are going to be comfortable and dangerous facing off against CLG but the head to head record between these 2 teams is in favour of CLG, as far as MSI is concerned.

Logo of LCS NA Team CLGCounter Logic Gaming has played in multiple different styles and can easily adapt to their opponents, this can come at a cost to some early game strength but they thrive in the later stages. They’re likely to contest the Ekko pick in the top lane and fall back on Maokai or Poppy if it’s taken or banned away; this will be assisted with a Graves or Kindred in the jungle, which should come as no surprise. Their middle lane is where a lot of their power is, picking a scaling middle laner such as Ryze or Azir will help them adapt and play around their opponents whilst also giving them options to pick off opponents and scale into the later stages of the game. Their bottom lane is currently followed closely as a lot of statements have been thrown about regarding their skill but they’ve proven time and time again that they’re top tier; they’ll be picking Kalista and Lucian throughout the series and pair it with a utility support such as Morgana or Soraka however they could choose a stronger front line champion such as Braum. When they’re on the rift they should give an early focus to defensive warding, their compositions and strong points often revolve around the late game where they start to thrive; It’s no good picking a late game composition to try and pressure early. With vision around the lanes, by the river, in the earlier stages they should be able to negate a lot of pressure. They can effectively use their vision to pressure FW through reactive movements; this could give them small leads which will work extremely effectively. When taking fights in the later stages of the game they’re going to want to adopt a split pushing style to throw off their opponents, when they find an opportune moment to strike they could quite easily take it to have a huge advantage when taking down their opponents. If they can effectively pull it off they should be able to gain a sizable lead in the middle and later stages of the game which will push them into a position where the game is entirely in their control, losing control through mistakes is possible but not likely. Adapting to their opponents style throughout the series might shake things up slightly but ultimately I think the changes made are going to be minor shifts in style of play.

Flash Wolves - LMS team logoFlash Wolfs could encounter a few troubles when aiming for victory but it’s certainly within their skill set to overcome CLG here and take victories throughout the series. This will likely be accomplished with a reliable and comfortable composition that can skirmish and pick off opponents. This means we could be seeing another LeBlanc in the middle lane, Ryze could also work out nicely for them. Their top laner has shown more comfort on Maokai over Poppy but Ekko will most certainly be a contested pick; this will be assisted by a Kindred, Graves or even a Lee Sin. I’d like to see their bottom lane pick Ezreal once again as they’ve had strong performances with him and he’s got fairly early power spikes in comparison to a few other champions, Lucian also works nicely but FW have shown more comfort on champions such as Caitlyn and even Tristana. These will likely be matched with Alistar or Braum but when utility is needed throughout the series a Morgana or Bard could be phenomenal. When they’re on the rift they should set up some early vision in the river and work on denying vision of possible, this means early pink wards and a lot of sweeping from their jungler using the trinket and buff from the raptor camp. Denying vision to CLG could play a huge part in gaining an advantage, lead and even a few victories. If they can deny vision early enough then they should be able to pressure lanes, catch out opponents and abuse any bad rotations made by CLG. It also opens up the options for them to pressure any split pushing from CLG and take a few kills. Skirmishing is well within the skill set of FW and should be taken advantage of; they can spontaneously pick fights and rotate accordingly to gain as large an advantage as possible. If they can continuously skirmish to gain a lead then they should be able to pressure CLG into giving up objectives or falling into team fights that favour FW. Skirmishing throughout the series is going to be a key aspect to the Flash Wolves winning, their macro management might not be as strong as CLG’s so they need to work around it and gain an advantage in a way that’s a lot more comfortable to them. This should assist them in working around the macro management of CLG throughout the series and open up a lot of the matches, giving them a chance to take victories and the series.

Prediction: Counter Logic Gaming Victory. I think they’ll take the series 3:1 because they appear to be a superior team; they have strong micro management and position during team fights and skirmishes so they’re not at a major disadvantage when playing a similar style to FW and they have a formidable style of play when it comes to managing vision, objectives and taking favourable fights. I think all of these aspects will propel them into multiple leads which will be difficult for the Flash Wolves to overcome.

MSI 2016 Playoffs – Semifinals – Day 1 :

We’re at the beginning of some of the most important matches; these will decide who is able to progress further and who will be gone. To start things off we’re going to have possibly the most exciting match of the week, although the other matches are looking exceptionally riveting. Royal Never Give Up will be facing off against SK Telecom T1 on May 13th so make sure you tune in to the live stream and stay caught up on the latest matches!

Semi-Final #1: Royal Never Give - LPL team logo Royal Never Give Up vs. SK Telecom T1 - LCK team logo SK Telecom T1

Start Time: May 13th, 10:30 pm PDT (previous day) / 01:30 am EDT / 07:30 CEST
Semifinal Mid Season Invitational 2016 Team stats RNG vs SKT1

Throughout the group stages of MSI, Royal Never Give Up looked like the stronger team of the two but as we came to the end and closer to the knockout stage SKTT1 manage to take a win against them, tying the head to head record to a 1:1. This is certainly going to be an exciting game as the team representing China and the team representing Korean, two of the most formidable regions in league of legends, going head to head.

I would give the advantage to Royal Never Give Up as they’re the #1 seed coming out of the group stage, they put up strong performances against every team from every region and they very rarely fell under the pressure. They have experience and their ability to adapt will only make things more difficult for SKTT1.

RNG LoL Team LogoRoyal Never Give Up should try and get a hold of their stronger and better performing champions; understanding how much dps their composition can kick out during the later stages of the game will be important. This means we’re likely to see graves or Kindred in the jungle, RNG have also been able to successfully utilize Nidalee so it could show up for them! Their middle lane has played an extremely strong Azir and I’d like to see that make an appearance during this best of 3 series along with a possible Ryze. The bottom lane has shown a wide range of possible marksmen and I think their Lucian is the best of the pool, especially when paired with an Alistar or Braum. Their top lane has favoured Ekko but hasn’t had the best performances on it so I think they should pick Poppy over it. When they’re on the rift they’re going to want to wait for flanking opportunities and work through fights with superior positioning. If SKTT1 have shown us anything during the group stage of MSI it’s that they do make mistakes, sometimes quite unforgiving ones, and they should absolutely be abused. RNG should focus heavily on gaining vision in the middle and later stages of the game; this will open up opportunities for them to take team fights via flanking and forcing their opponent into a miserable position. Much like when they previously faced SKTT1, where they forced them into a bad position, they should be able to pull off something similar during this series to at least gain an advantage. With that advantage they’re going to want to cover the map in as much vision as possible, especially around the objectives. Using this vision to take small skirmishes, force fights and flank their opponents should give them a huge advantage as they have shown a greater proficiency than SKTT1 at taking that style of fighting. I think they might have a bit of trouble in the earlier stages of the game but the later stages should be under their control if they prod at the positioning of SKTT1. This’ll open up the game for them and minor adaptions could quite easily give them the series.

SK Telecom T1 - LCK Team LogoSK Telecom T1 have shown amazing proficiency on Ekko in the top lane along with Maokai as a fall back option, this is likely to be assisted by a Graves or Kindred depending on which one is available. Their middle lane has played a very important role during the last 4 games which SKTT1 has played, all of which they have won, on picks such as Azir, Lulu and Ryze. All of these champions can adapt play styles to assist the team so they’re all comfortable and nicely suited for this series; we might even see the rumoured Faker Aurelion Sol make an appearance. Their bottom lane has shown a Sivir preference along with Braum with other less picked champions such as Ezreal and Soraka. SKTT1 should be able to play this match out slowly if they can avoid the possible relentless fighting of RNG. To do this they’re going to want a safe line of vision in the river, this vision will slowly rotate around the priority objectives such as Dragon and Baron when the game progresses. This vision should give SKTT1 the information needed when coming to a strategic decision; they could swap towers for dragons, rotate around their opponents for a superior fighting position or attempt to bait the objective for a stronger fighting advantage. If they play the games out slowly they should be able to effectively gain an advantage against RNG but it will more than likely take quite a bit of time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if they can gain small advantages it will eventually give them enough of a lead to storm through team fights, invest in better advantages through vision or give them item advantages needed to propel them into the later stages of the game. With their favoured compositions they can utilise their teams damage which will give them an amazing late game; if the game falls out of their favour in the earlier stages because of skirmishes or jungle pressure then they should invest in defensive warding and play the game out slowly to scale, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference to their late game. Adapting a similar style of play, methodical and strategic being played out to slowly build an advantage, they should be able to maintain a steady gold increase in the games throughout their series but they will absolutely need to watch out for the aggressive movements from RNG. If they can pull off their own style instead of playing uncomfortably then they should be able to open up and take the series, they’ve shown us that they can take RNG and they’re going to want to prove it once again.

Prediction: SKTT1 Victory. Throughout the group stages SKTT1 had a bad start and very slowly improved it, their recent performances have been fantastic and they have been playing to their strengths which I expect them to continue. They may not hold the MSI track record like RNG but they’ve shown that they can beat them; the best of 3 series just gives them a better chance at coming out on top.

You might also be interested in:

MSI 2016 – Tournament overview

League of Legends (LoL) betting

more eSports betting tips and predictions

*.) Odds may have changed by now – no guarantee! The predictions are the opinion of the author.

Addam ‘Canvas’ BurrowsAbout The Author:
Predictions by Addam ‘Canvas’ Burrows, English Literature and Journalism student of 2013. Diamond League Marksman. Contact Addam ‘ Canvas’ Burrows on Twitter!

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