At MSI 2023, G2 Esports were desperate to take on T1 in the playoffs. However, as fate would have it, it never happened.

Fast forward to MSI 2024, their dream has come true.

After the Bracket Stage draw, it was decided that the championship-winning LEC team will face the LCK number two seed — Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther against his idol, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.

T1 players, head coach kkOma, and coach Tom reviewing a game at MSI 2024 Play-In stage in ONE Esports featured image for article "Exclusive: Does T1 have any weaknesses? Coach kkOma answers dishing out radical view"
Credit: ONE Esports, Riot Games
Exclusive: Does T1 have any weaknesses? Coach kkOma answers dishing out radical view

It’s been five years since G2 won a best-of-five series against the giants — and that time span is only increasing. Despite coming so close to almost overcoming the Worlds 2023 champions, they fell 2-3, dropping to the lower bracket.

Read Faker’s post-game thoughts on the series here.

MSI 2024 quarterfinals: T1 vs G2 Esports is always a banger in more ways than one

It’s top Twisted Fate versus Yasuo — and it’s only game one

T1 vs G2 MSI 2024 quarterfinals game one draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

No clash between these two teams is complete without Yasuo, a champion G2 excelled on multiple times on the international stage in 2022, producing exciting wombo combo highlights on their way to victory.

T1 first showed Twisted Fate, a flex pick that Choi “Zeus” Woo-je has played four times in LCK Spring 2024 regular season, all of which resulted in victory. Faker opted for the Azir-Tristana matchup, while G2 answered with a Yasuo counter-pick in top lane.

Punishing a level one mistake from Faker, combined with a 1v1 outplay from Caps in mid lane into a 2v2 gank up top, G2 found themselves up four kills to none in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Undeterred, T1 utilized Destiny, teleports, and smart rotations to pick off single targets to get back in the game. A bigger turning point occurred at the 18-minute mark.

Even though Sergen “BrokenBlade” Çelik blocked Varus’ Chain of Corruption, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong secured the first kill with a snipe onto the enemy support, after which T1 relentlessly chased their prey all the way down mid lane.

G2 managed to secure Baron at the 30-minute mark, but it didn’t matter — T1 patiently outplayed them in a full-on team fight, removing buffs. Holding more than a 4,000 gold lead and amassing three dragons to one, they finally entered their opponent’s base to down the Nexus, taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

G2 Esports’ front-to-back team composition packs serious crowd control

T1 vs G2 MSI 2024 quarterfinals game two draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

After experiencing explosive top lane action in game one, T1 and G2 settled for a tank versus tank matchup in game two.

Both sides toned it down to be a little bit more conventional with front-to-back team compositions with one exception — Ryu “Keria” Min-seok’s 100% win-rate Neeko, his trademark damage-dealing support champion.

Outplaying opponents in-lane and in the jungle, T1 had three kills to none in the early game, secured by their mid laner, AD carry, and support. However, turning the tables around, it is now G2 who clawed back, evening out the kill score 5-5 by mid game through a series of skirmishes.

Foreshadowing the outcome of the game, G2 found an advantageous fight in the mid lane at the 23-minute mark. First catching out a flash-less Faker, they downed four, leaving only Gumayusi alive.

Despite Keria landing Pop Blossom, the team simply didn’t have enough damage to finish off targets, especially without their AP carry. At the same time, T1’s composition also lacked reliable engage.

Their 5,000 gold lead extended to 9,000, then 12,000 in the late game. Denying T1 Soul Point, G2 stacked two Infernal Dragons and found victory 31-minute mark, evening out the series with the Worlds defending champions.

G2 Esports showcases spectacular wombo combo with Caps’ Orianna leading the charge

T1 vs G2 MSI 2024 quarterfinals game three draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

On blue side for the first time this series, T1 finally got their hands on first-pick Kalistia and prioritized Aurelion Sol for Faker — a champion he’s never played in pro play until today.

Zeus fell back onto Twisted Fate while Keria pulled out another special — support Camille — which was strangely, self-countered because G2 had already revealed Poppy. They also drafted three ball carriers for Caps’ Orianna in Poppy, Vi, and Yasuo.

During the laning phase, Caps scored a second 1v1 kill onto Faker by flashing behind Aurelion Sol, outplaying him.

Slowly and methodically, the LEC champions started to run away with the game with faster rotations and also punishing mistakes.

Keria and Gumayusi didn’t know the bush was warded, and thought they they had the advantage, but they were wrong. Without hestitation, Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s Poppy committed his flash to chain CC the enemy AD carry with Steven “Hans Sama” Liv’s Varus’ ultimate.

Unable to move, they out-numbered T1 in two lanes in a span of less than a minute.

Even when the fights were even, G2 were better at pulling away, creating space, then reengaging, playing around terrain and vision, which stretched T1 thin.

Winning battle after battle, G2 eliminated three members and got the first Baron of the game without contest, then Ocean Soul, followed by a second Baron buff. Stretching the gold lead to more than 10,000, they took the lead in the series with 24 kills to T1’s eight in under 30 minutes.

Keria’s Bard single-handedly saves the series

Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Going back to comfort in game four, it’s Azir for Faker, Bard for Keria, and K’Sante for Zeus. K’Sante, who is still one of the most overpowered champions in the pro meta, didn’t seen the light of this series until now.

Still exerting creativity in their drafts, the kings of EU picked Kog’Maw for Hans Sama, an off-meta champion that he played 10 times in 2023 with an 80% win rate.

Revitalized, T1 set things off on the right foot. Despite missing some skillshots, they forced their opponents to split past the river in this early game tussle.

Keria’s precise Cosmic Binding was the real MVP, stunning two to put his team up four kills to one.

From there, T1 never once let go of control. Selecting comfort champions was a good call, as their team fights were much more structured compared to the last two games.

As League of Legends content creator and analyst Nick “LS” De Cesare pointed out, game four was decided during the pick and ban phase. G2 had the opportunity to pick up K’Sante to wall up the beefy frontline for their AD and AP carries, but instead chose Renata Glasc.

He also highlighted that Keria’s last pick Bard saved T1’s draft. Combined with Faker’s AoE zoning, one last Azir shuffle into Emperor’s Divide drove the nail in the coffin, sending the series to Silver Scrapes.

Draft gap, but it doesn’t matter because T1 are brutal executioners

T1 vs G2 MSI 2024 quarterfinals game five draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Giving up Kalista on blue side, T1 snapped up a double AD carry Hail of Blades bot lane with a strong Lee Sin-Ahri jungle-mid combo.

G2 continued to shuffle their cards, putting Martin “Yike” Sundelin on Bel’Veth for the first time this year. The Empress of the Void, with Jinx, will be looking for resets.

At level one, G2 forced an invade at the enemy’s blue buff, which in turn forced flashes on both sides. Both teams traded early kills, but it was Hans Sama’s Jinx who led the way with a sizeable CS lead, three kills, and a 400 gold bounty in the early game.

Eyes on the target, Faker pulled off yet another “Faker what was that?” mechanic, slipping in and out so quickly on Ahri, taking down Jinx in a flash. He even teleported behind enemy lines to finish off Caps’ Taliyah.

Using their early to mid game advantage, T1 secured the first Baron, but it came with a price. During the fight, Hans Sama wasn’t threatened, which lead to four kills on the side of G2.

What went wrong for T1 against G2 Esports at MSI 2024? Faker explains honestly

In the next fight, despite losing Faker, T1 pulled back, forcing their opponents to overcommit, and took down their front line. And so, the third Baron also went the way of T1. Combined with the fact that Hans Sama never bought Last Whisper, they didn’t have the much-needed armor penetration.

Withering away, they could not withstand the T1 onslaught, and lost in the 37th minute.

T1 advances to the upper bracket semifinal against Bilibili Gaming, the LPL team that knocked them out of MSI 2023 contention last year in the lower bracket final. G2 Esports will face PSG Talon in lower bracket round one.

Keep up with MSI 2024’s schedule, live scores, and results here.

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