The final day of the Mid-Season Invitational Group Stage featured teams fighting for spots in the Knockout Round on the line. With so much at stake, and the middle of the pack in a tight race in Rio de Janeiro, here's how Day 5 went down.
The day started with SK Telecom T1 defeating G2 Esports and securing its place as the No. 1 seed in the knockout Round. Ace mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok was able to carry the team with strong Ahri play, posting a 6/1/7 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). G2 was perhaps a little too desperate in their draft as they took Kennen in the AD carry role for Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen. He struggled to find a way to use the champion effectively and finished with a disappointing KDA of 1/5/3. In the end, SKT parlayed a Baron kill into cracking G2's base open, ultimately taking the victory in just under 30 minutes.
In the second match of the day, Team SoloMid took on the Flash Wolves. Both teams entered the game with the same record of 3-5. With a tentative spot in the Knockout Rounds on the line, the game was close throughout as the gold lead never rose above 1,000 between the two teams until the 32 minute mark. In the end, the difference was TSM's mid laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's heroics on Ahri. When the game was tight, Bjergsen stole an Elder Dragon and shifted momentum in his team's favor. Although the NA side had a significant gold lead, FW still took a late game Baron and knocked on the door of TSM's base. The game ended when the Taiwanese team overstayed its welcome in TSM's base, giving up a prolonged ace as TSM finally finished things off after 53 painstaking minutes.
Game 3 of the day featured a Far East grudge match between LPL's Team WE and Wild Card GIGABYTE Marines. Although no one expected much from the Vietnamese Wild Cards, the GIGABYTE Marines were still in the hunt for a Knockout Stage seed. It lived up to its reputation of playing fast as it took the first two kills of the match for an early lead. However, the early prowess didn't lead to mid and late game success. In the end, the Chinese team's bottom lane duo took over as both Jin "Mystic" Sung-jun and Nam "Ben" Dong-hyun went deathless on Caitlyn and Karma, leading WE to a decisive victory in just over 30 minutes.
Fans and analysts alike expected a slow, methodical game between G2 and TSM in the fourth match of the day. Early on, TSM slowly built a lead through a series of picks, leading to a seven-to-one kill lead and a nearly 7,000-gold lead at the 40-minute mark. Disaster struck, however, as the NA squad managed to throw its advantage by losing two team members while sieging G2's base. From there, G2 took a Baron kill and engaged a teamfight in TSM's base. The match was officially over when Ki "Expect" Daehan's Gragas used his Explosive Cask to pick off Bjergsen's Jayce and cement the comeback victory for the EU Champions, giving it a seed in the Knockout Stage and forcing a tiebreaker game between TSM and FW.
Game 5 again featured the tournament's Cinderella team of GIGABYTE Marines, this time facing off against Flash Wolves. Showing inexperience in a big-time international event, GAM recklessly let FW's star mid laner Yi-Tang "Maple" Huang play LeBlanc. He finished with a 6/2/11 KDA. After staying close for the game's first 10 minutes, Flash Wolves built a massive gold lead on the back of a quadra kill from AD carry, Yu-Hung "Betty" Lu playing Ashe. Flash Wolves dominated, as it broke GAM's Nexus in 31 minutes with a massive kill lead of 22-to-5.
The final regularly scheduled game of the day was perhaps the most explosive from the get-go. In champion select, Team WE surprised fans by giving mid laner Su "Xiye" Han-Wei Lucian. It didn't take long for the pick to pay off as Xiye picked up the game's first two kills. Faker appeared lost at times laning against Xiye. Faker's Orianna was solo killed twice by Xiye, who dominated the game. In the end, Xiye posted a 8/1/7 KDA as Team WE made a statement by defeating SKT, locking up its spot as the number two seed heading into playoffs.
After a long five days of matches, the fans got to see extra League of Legends action with the tiebreaker between TSM and FW. The LMS squad got the upper hand in the draft and executed its composition to near perfection. Mid laner Yi-Tang "Maple" Huang played Taliyah well, outperforming Bjergsen's Ryze. Outside of Maple's superb performance, though, Flash Wolves also had great showings from its top and support players. In all, by the time FW broke TSM's Nexus, three of the Wolves remained deathless while it held a 16-to-3 kill lead. Flash Wolves ended the day's games with a win in 37 minutes.
When the dust settled after five long days of matches the Knockout Round seeds were finally locked in. Unsurprisingly SK Telecom secured the top spot, followed by the surging Team WE. The third seed was taken by G2 on the back of their thrilling victory versus TSM, while the Flash Wolves have a chance to try and take out the Korean juggernauts as the fourth seed on Friday at 2 p.m ET. TSM has lost its Pool 1 seeding for North America at the upcoming 2017 League of Legends World Championships.