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MAD Lions have devoured Saigon Buffalo in the first best of five of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. The VCS representatives leave the tournament after four games and an impressive showcase of talent, flexibility, and admirable mental fortitude. The two teams battled it out to the tune of peculiar picks in the draft and bloody teamfights to present League fans with one of the most entertaining matches of the championship so far.
MAD and SGB began the series with drafts League fans are accustomed to, with the only surprise being Taki’s Morgana, who played well into the VCS’s team composition.
Despite this, it was MAD who picked up the first blood thanks to a well-timed gank from Elyoya, although Buffalo almost immediately caught up to the kill score.
Throughout the game, Buffalo showed an aggressive playstyle, but the advantages MAD had built during the early stages of the game overpowered any attempt by their opponents to come back into the game. Slowly but surely, Buffalo’s nexus was ever-closer to destruction via the tempered and relentless aggression MAD enacted.
MAD headed into the second game knowing they had the upper hand over their opponents, and it was at that moment of false security Buffalo struck, picking Vayne top for Hasmed.
As if the move had stolen all confidence from MAD, Buffalo entered the game even more aggressively and assertively than before, netting several solo kills and important advantages in the early stages of the game. By dictating the rhythm of the game thanks to their ability to engage at the right moment across the map, Buffalo reached Mad Lions’ bot lane inhibitor in only 17minutes.
They moved to conquer the top side of the map as well, but MAD prevented them from doing so thanks to a perfectly timed ultimate from Kaiser’s Leona that stunned the enemy carries. This started a chain reaction that led to MAD scoring an ace against the VCS representative — well, almost an ace.
In one of the standout moments of the tense League series, with BeanJ shutting down Nisqy before the mid laner could score the ace.
Ultimately it was Saigon buffalo who won the game, their fast-paced aggressions shut down MAD Lion’s ability to react fast and lead the game to a tie. In reaching for the victory both teams decided to play their aces up their sleeves, presenting a draft even more unusual than before.
But even if Buffalo came onto the Rift off of a victory, in the third game of the series MAD Lions played on a different level.
Only three minutes in, MAD ganked bot lane, obtaining three kills and starting to widen the gap between the two teams. Throughout the game the LEC representatives kept growing their advantages with kills, securing neutral objectives, and destroying enemy towers.
And, although Elyoya’s Bel’Veth was a crucial factor that lead the team to victory, according to Esportsbet.io, UNF0RGIVEN and Nisqy were the prime cause of danger to the enemy team during teamfights.
In only 23 minutes, MAD took down Buffalo’s nexus and hit match point.
In what was the last game of the series, both teams battled it out to the last teamfight, but unfortunately for Saigon Buffalo, MAD Lions had the Empress of the Void on their side.
Despite the advantages in their hands, it was not an easy task for MAD to beat Saigon Buffalo; the latter found several occasions to punish their opponent, even scoring an ace against them.
But it was not enough—MAD pushed through the rock-solid defense of Saigon Buffalo after obtaining Baron uncontested.
With this win, MAD Lions get one step closer to reaching the Group Stage of the 2022 League World Championship, but something Evil stands in their way.
The LEC squad will have to take down Evil Geniuses in the first best-of-five between NA and EU since MSI 2019 when Team Liquid faced off against G2 Esports.
That match begins tomorrow at 1pm CT on the lolesports website.