The first day of groups at the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational wound to a close Friday morning in Berlin, with Kingzone DragonX and Flash Wolves ruling the day with matching 2-0 records.
While those teams finished at the top of the table, Team Liquid's performance is, for many, the elephant in the room. Despite big talk about making a splash on the world stage, the North American representatives couldn't even find a win against EVOS, the Vietnamese representative. That match wasn't even particularly close, either, as EVOS mid laner Đoàn "Warzone" Văn Ngọc Sơn, put on a clinic for his first game of the group stage with an outstanding Cassiopeia performance that all but ensured that his name was one that future opponents would respect.
EVOS' victory over Team Liquid was a turnabout for the team, however, as its earlier match against the Flash Wolves had a far less fortunate outcome. It was clear that Kim "Moojin" Moo-jin and Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang had great respect for Warzone, as they camped him harder than any mid laner in the tournament thus far, and Warzone crumbled underneath the pressure. When combined with the victory over Fnatic later in the day, the Flash Wolves' evisceration of Vietnam's finest put it at top of the standings, as one of the two undefeated teams.
Speaking of undefeated teams, it comes as no surprise that Kingzone DragonX -- a team that is widely hailed as the best in the world -- ended its day without a mark against it. Both North America's Team Liquid and China's Royal Never Give Up ended up on the wrong end of Korea's finest, and both were dispatched with such ease that it was clear Kingzone was a cut above the competition.
Finally, the home team fared no better than its North American brethren, as Fantic picked up losses against both Royal Never Give Up and the Flash Wolves over the course of the day. Fnatic's much-vaunted bottom lane simply didn't get the same free pass against the world's top teams that they typically do in the European region, and the results were catastrophic. While both of Fnatic's games are still certainly worth a watch -- neither was particularly boring, especially the match against RNG where Rasmus "Caps" Winther debuted the Yasuo pick that he has been practicing for weeks -- they also are unlikely to inspire confidence in the team's ability to rise anywhere beyond its current position.
The final standing after the first day, then, are topped by the Flash Wolves and Kingzone DragonX, both of whom carry 2-0 records, with EVOS esports and Royal Never Give Up coming in just behind with 1-1 records. Finally, both Fnatic and Team Liquid already look to be in trouble as both team's losses came against teams it need to beat in order to climb the standings.