MSI 2019: Top 5 most impressive players so far

After days of stiff competition between international champions, MSI is raging onto the semifinals. Let's take a look at which players have stood out the most so far.

(Image Credit: Riot Games)

MSI 2019 has been intense as champions from around the world have fought to reign supreme. While we are now down to just four teams still alive in the tournament, performances from up and down the round-robin have forged some players’ names in history. We’ve seen upsets, comebacks, dominations, failures, and many, many game breaking moments. 

Let’s break down the 5 most impressive players in the tournament.

#5 - Meliodas

Phong Vu Buffalo entered the group stage by the skin of their teeth after surviving Vega Squadron in a 3-2 victory. While they were certainly the biggest underdogs, they didn't go down without a fight.

Phong Vu Buffalo represented their region well with a style we've come to expect from Vietnamese competitors internationally, leaning heavily on strong junglers. 

While Levi and his GIGABYTE Marines run is the most prominent example that comes to mind, a new star emerged at MSI 2019, Meliodas. 

While Phong Vu Buffalo dropped eight of their ten games in group stage, Meliodas stood out time after time as the strongest player on the Rift for his team. In ten overall losses, Meliodas only fell to a sub-1 kda twice across the entire tournament. Whether against World Champion favorites like SKT or IG, or regional champions like G2 and Liquid, Meliodas held his own as one of the most consistent junglers in the entire tournament.

Even more surprising is that Meliodas accomplished this individual success on a variety of champions. Meliodas played 8 different junglers in the tournament, and while this list included champions he's known for like Jarvan IV, Lee Sin, and Gragas, it also included wildcard picks like Olaf, and Kayn.

In the end, Meliodas will stand out as one of the most impressive players in the tournament because he managed such consistent success on a team outmatched by its competition. He represented his region well, and continues the Vietnamese tradition of powerful jungle play as the engine to success.

#4 - Teddy

Teddy entered MSI 2019 looking like the best player on the newly formed SKT. Ripping through Spring Season and the playoffs, domestically no marksman could hang.

While he's faced some competition for that top marksman spot at MSI, he's put in quite a resume.

Across 5 deathless performances, Teddy has looked untouchable. In the team's losses to G2 and IG, he was one of the redeeming factors.

Teddy might also leave MSI as the scariest player on a single champion in the tournament with his insane Kallista. Teddy's Kallista remains deathless after playing it in 4 games, posting an unfathomable 36 kda. Yes, this was against Liquid twice and Flash Wolves twice, but no one has made the champion look quite that good in a long time, and we predict SKT to be cut off from the pick in later rounds of the tournament for that reason.

#3 - JackeyLove

Despite Teddy's reputation coming off a dominant Spring Season, IG's JackeyLove has been the strongest ad carry at MSI 2019. 

What's perhaps most interesting about these two great ad carries and their clash for supremacy is how differently they approach their games. While Teddy has stuck to Lucian, and Kallista, JackeyLove has favored Xayah and Kai'Sa (even despite Kallista being JackeyLove's most played champion in the LPL 2019 Spring.) But it's much more than champion picks that separates these two stars.

JackeyLove has systematically broken down bot lane after bot lane in the tournament, dishing out major damage and staying safe while doing it, being the most consistent. 

Much like the rest of IG, JackeyLove's worst two performances in the tournament so far were in his last two games, but if IG recover from their stumbles late in their almost undefeated run, they're the favorite to take home the championship. They can largely thank JackeyLove for that opportunity.

#2 - Faker

Guess what? The best player in League of Legends history is still pretty good. Go figure.

Faker entered MSI 2019 riding a wave of success with the newly formed SKT from the LCK Spring Season. This new roster is filled to the brim with game-winning threats, opening doors wide open for Faker to take over games, and when he isn't, he can comfortably work towards one of many other weapons, a luxury he hasn't had in recent years. It's a very new dynamic.

In MSI Faker of course had some bad games where his teammates outshined him, but when Faker got ahead, he snowballed leads into flawless victories. 

Of SKT's group stage games, Faker had four deathless performances, and four more with just a single death.

While the story of the tournament early on for SKT is how much they seemed outclassed by Invictus Gaming, they've rallied in the final days of group stage to hand IG their first loss, grabbing plenty of momentum heading into Semifinals staring down IG as the favorite across the bracket. Faker's calm, veteran presence and performances were a huge part of SKT bringing the pieces back together, and his leadership may just take SKT to an MSI championship.

#1 - Clid

With an arsenal of deadly pathing, killer instincts, and an utter disregard for his own safety, Clid has without a doubt been the most dangerous and impactful jungler at MSI 2019.

Clid entered MSI as one of the best junglers in the LCK. He hasn't disappointed on the international stage.

Clid has taken apart his jungle competition at every turn in MSI so far, doing so on a very standard champion pool with plenty of Lee Sin, and taking far fewer deaths than other junglers doing it. While SKT took some lumps against G2 and IG early in the group stage, they managed to take down the previously undefeated IG in the last match in groups, a match where they managed to heavily abuse Ning. Clid got to prove his jungle supremacy staring down his best competition in the tournament, the defending World Champion, and enters the semifinals with this huge momentum behind him.

With Clid roaming the jungles and facilitating SKT's many game-winning carries, SKT might just turn around this tournament to bring back the international prestige we expect from the LCK. 

While fans may look at this SKT lineup and credit the laners more than anyone, Clid has been the unsung hero of this tournament, and as a result, has been the most impressive player at MSI 2019.

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Brandon Ridgely

I'm the League of Legends Editor for RealSport, and a longtime competitive League of Legends fan. I focus most on the NA LCS but watch a bit of everything. Notable C9 bias. I'm probably the only person that misses Team Vulcun.

Well met.

Tips/story ideas? Let me know at [email protected]