LoL Worlds 2022: MAD Lions stands firm against resilient Isurus Gaming to win their first game at Worlds

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Oct 09

Today marked the start of the eleventh annual League of Legends Worlds tournament, kicking off in with a battle between the LEC’s MAD Lions and the LLA’s Isurus Gaming. Although this is only the opening game of the group stage, this was a must-win game for both sides with Eastern giants DRX and RNG on the horizon. Here is what went down in the opening game of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship.

For MAD, this was their first opportunity to put the community criticism behind them and get off on the right footing at Worlds 2022. The 2021 LEC spring and summer split champions were heavily criticised for not winning a single best-of-five this split but still earned a spot at Worlds.

The pressure was on MAD Lions, the major region side, to perform if they were to avoid a repeat of their previous Worlds embarrassment. In 2020, MAD Lions became the first western side to not qualify through the Play-ins stage as they bombed out in the groups.

For Isurus, this match was a chance to show that they were ready to challenge and push the major regions to play outside of their comfort zone. Isurus won a tight BO5 finals match against Estral Esports to secure their own Worlds spot and the first time for them to represent their region internationally in over three years (their last international appearance was Worlds 2019).

The MAD Lions began by picking themselves an all in jungle-mid of Hecarim and Taliyah, a comfort for Elyoya and Nisqy while Isurus countered with Graves and Lissandra for Grell and Seiya. But it was the forty-four first second blood by Nisqy onto Isurus’ support Jelly that kicked off the match in true Worlds fashion.

From the gift wrapped first blood, to the Baron flip at 24min which MAD secured but soon lost as Isurus aced the team; it was a sure sign that this was Worlds season and MAD did not come to mess around.

Isurus put up a good fight throughout and ensured they are now known to competitors to be no push over, their reputation as the home town brought loud cheers as they went spell-for-spell up against MAD.

The game lasted for almost forty minutes, a game that included back and forth play and at times it looked dicey for MAD. Isurus was doing everything possible to push MAD and refused to lie down for the major region side.

Ultimately MAD closed out the game with a secure win, and the start of an uphill journey to giving EU fans hope in the team’s performance at this Worlds. Nisqy cemented his mid lane stats, with a 72.7% kill participation throughout the match, proving why he was the LEC MVP of summer season. While Armut made sure to keep ahead of ADD, up three levels of the Isurus’ top laner at thirty-five minute mark, securely in level 18, above any other player in the game.

MAD Lions will be in action again later today as they take on the TCL’s Istanbul Wildcats. Although they have yet to face one of the eastern teams in DRX or RNG, this game against IW will be a different type of pressure for the LEC side. With five major region teams in the play-ins, it means it is guaranteed at least one major region team will not progress.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest League of Legends news and updates.

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