MAD Lions clutched the opening match of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship against hometown favorite Isurus. Fans were eager to see the tournament kick off with an exciting match, but they were met by unjustified pauses and an almost 40-minute-long textbook match.
League fans had to wait almost thirty minutes before the match started. The cause of the delay is still unknown, but is most likely the same reason that prompted another shorter pause right after the start of the ban and picks phase. The delayed start of the tournament both disappointed fans and incremented their hype for the match. However, the show the match offered was not the most exciting, with only two exceptions.
MAD Lions kicked off the match with an electrifying first blood on Isurus’ support Jelly in the first minute of the game. The European team then kept on widening the gold and kills gap between them and their opponents by promptly answering Isurus’ proactive plays, such as Grell’s invasion in Elyoya’s jungle. But the Latin American team punched back when they caught MAD Lions over-staying on their side of the map after a gank in the top lane.
The game kept on flowing at a slow pace, with MAD Lions in the lead and Isurus trying to create situations that would put them at advantage. They succeeded after the first Baron spawned by trapping and taking down MAD Lions with their crowd controlling and AOE damage combination. In one swift move, Isurus got back in the game, making their fans cheer loudly in the Arena Esports Stadium in Mexico City.
Despite the negative outcome of the first Baron fight, MAD Lions kept expanding the lead in the game thanks to their vision control on the map. And with their lanes being pushed, Isurus had to initiate a fight that would give them a moment to catch up with their opponents, but they were unsuccessful. After losing their jungler to MAD Lions, Isurus had to defend their base’s towers from the enemy’s minions while their opponents smited the second Baron of the game.
In a textbook ending to the match, MAD Lions took out the entire opposing team during a fight in front of the fourth dragon’s pit. By employing their buffed minions, they pushed through to Isurus’ Nexus, thus closing the first match of the Worlds with a victory in their favor.
MAD Lions are expected to play again today, this time against the Turkish-representing team DenizBank İstanbul Wildcats. On the other hand, Isurus will have their chance to grab their first win tomorrow in their match against Saigon Buffalo Esports. League fans can watch all the 2022 World Championship matches on the lolesports website while also obtaining exclusive in-game rewards.