Worlds 2022 Play-in Elimination 1: MAD Lions Runs Over Saigon Buffalo

MAD Lions wins a BO5! Finally!

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
Updated On: 
MAD Lions won a crucial BO5 series against Saigon Buffalo to keep its Worlds 2022 dreams and hopes alive.
The European squad was tested by the VCS representative and was able to close out the series with a 3-1 scoreline.

The first best-of-five (BO5) series of Worlds 2022 began with the Play-in Eliminators on Day 5. After placing third and fourth in Group B, MAD Lions (MAD) and Saigon Buffalo (SGB) went up against each other in the first BO5 of the day. The European squad walked into the matchup, wanting to win its first BO5 and to change the narrative written around it. Saigon Buffalo, on the other hand, wanted to go further than it did at the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022. But the better team on the occasion was MAD Lions, as the European squad eliminated the Vietnamese squad with a 3-1 scoreline. MAD Lions will now face Evil Geniuses in the Qualification match on 4th October at Worlds 2022.

MAD Lions locks in its pocket pick “Gnarmut”

The first match of the best-of-five series saw Saigon Buffalo (SGB) playing on the Red Side and there was action across the map. MAD Lions picked up the first blood on Lâm "Hasmed" Huỳnh Gia Huy and SGB was answering back by collecting plates on the bottom tower. Both Heralds were secured by MAD and helped the team get a gold lead. The Baron Nashor went into the pocket of MAD at 24 minutes and the team took down multiple towers. After a scrappy teamfight, MAD aced the Vietnamese squad and destroyed all three inhibitors.

At 30 minutes, both teams had two dragons each, but MAD Lions had secured nine towers and had a gold lead of 7K. The Baron-empowered minions were too difficult for SGB to defend and the nexus fell soon after.

MAD Lions messes with the Buffalo, gets the horns

In the second match, both teams made adjustments to their drafts and SGB got its hands on the Vayne top to counter the Gnar, a pick frowned upon by top-laners in pubs. The early game saw SGB make plays across the map and it quickly picked up a 1K gold lead with four kills in its pocket. Saigon Buffalo used the Herald to break into the base of MAD and at 18 minutes, the team had secured 12 kills against MAD’s 2 kills. However, MAD won a very big team fight at 19 minutes after noticing an uncoordinated play from SGB.

However, since the Vietnamese squad was so far ahead the team walked back up and secured the Baron after killing Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer who was caught off in the jungle. Following this, SGB ended the game in under 25 minutes.

Elyoya’s Bel’Veth looks invincible

The two teams were up at each other’s throats right from the get-go. A total of five kills dropped within the first four minutes, four of them in MAD’s pocket.  Javier “Elyoya” Prades was omnipresent on the map and showed up at the right time to help out his laners. Since MAD Lions had the Bel’Veth pick in the jungle, it was crucial for the squad to secure the Rift Herald. According to plan, the European squad picked up the Herald right on spawn. At 18 minutes, MAD’s second Herald charged at the inhibitor tower and opened the base of Saigon Buffalo.

After William “UNF0RGIVEN” Nieminen picked up a triple kill, MAD Lions slew Baron Nashor and extended its gold lead to a whopping 10K. The European squad closed out the game in 24 minutes. At the end of the game, Elyoya’s KDA was a scary 08/01/10. He had participated in 18 kills and notably, MAD had 19 kills in total.

MAD Lions vs Saigon Buffalo at Worlds 2022 Play-in Game 3

Saigon Buffalo goes toe to toe with MAD Lions

Going into game four of the BO5 series, SGB picked up Pantheon in the jungle for Trần "BeanJ" Văn Chính and Sett for Đinh "Taki" Anh Tài. Meanwhile, MAD picked Alistar support and chose Ornn for İrfan "Armut" Tükekafter as his classic Gnar pick was banned. At 6 minutes, MAD picked up the first dragon of the game, the second-fastest dragon secure at Worlds 2022 Play-in. A bad dive by SGB gave MAD Lions the advantage as the team collected four easy kills.

To rub salt on the wound, Elyoya stole the Herald from under the nose of SGB. A scrappy team fight at 15 minutes from SGB enabled MAD to pick up four kills and extend its gold lead. A beautifully coordinated team fight captained by Trần "BeanJ" Văn Chính and Bùi "Froggy" Văn Minh Hải paid off as it aced MAD Lions.

At 26 minutes, MAD Lions used the Bel’Veth pick to shred through Baron and pushed into the top and mid-lanes of SGB, retaking control of the game. The third inhibitor tower also soon fell as MAD Lions pressured SGB in its base. However, Hasmed split pushed the top side and secured the inhibitor tower of MAD. The European squad aced SGB at 33 minutes and closed out the match.

Following this series, LOUD will take on DetonatioN FocusMe (DFM) in the second matchup of Day 5 of Worlds 2022 Play-in. Stay updated with the tournament by heading on to Worlds 2022 Play-in: Teams, Groups, Schedule & More.

Published On: 
author profile picture
Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

Follow us on social media


Others Also Read