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Gen.G Wins their First International Trophy at MSI 2024

Zakaria Almughrabi

Gen.G has been crowned the MSI 2024 champions after beating Bilibili Gaming 3-1 in the Grand Finals. This win marks the first-ever international title for the four-time LCK champions. Gen.G is also the first Korean team to win the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational since SK Telecom T1 in 2017.

Gen.G MSI 2024

Image Credit Riot Games | Liu Yi-Cun

A Reputation for Choking

As the winners of the last four LCK splits in a row, Gen.G was no stranger to being a frontrunner for an international title. Yet, they fell short of the mark every time. Gen.G had yet to meet the expectations of being the number one seed from the number one region in League of Legends. Their domestic dominance meant nothing in the face of a reputation for choking internationally.

Gen.G came into MSI 2024 as a frontrunner yet again. Many fans still had hope for them to win a trophy on the world stage finally, but the fear of them once again failing to perform loomed in the back of everyone’s minds.

Their first match of the Bracket Stage against the LEC’s second seed, Fnatic, came and went easily. Their first real test was Top Esports. Things looked suitable for Gen.G early on, as they shot out to a 2-0 lead in the series. However, China’s second seed rocketed back, winning two games of their own in under 30 minutes.

Gen.G could have easily succumbed to their own mentality, and the prospect of being reverse-swept is now very real. Instead, they showed composure that they had never shown before on the international stage. Led by a surprise Nidelee pick from Jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, Gen.G rallied to claim game five and move onto the Winners’ Finals.

That momentum carried into Gen.G’s next match. Despite dropping game one to Bilibili Gaming, Gen.G out-drafted and outplayed them across the rest of the Winners’ Finals. Canyon’s Nidalee made two more appearances, and young ADC Kim “Peyz” Su-hwan had amazing games on multiple picks. Just like that, Gen.G had qualified for their first international final.

MSI 2024 Grand Finals

Gen.G waited at the end of the bracket as the final boss of MSI 2024. The Losers’ Bracket provided some great storylines and matches, establishing MSI 2024 as a fantastic tournament overall. All that was left was to crown a victor.

Ultimately, Bilibili Gaming earned a chance to rematch Gen.G after taking down T1 3-2. Though they lost before, China’s first seed had the required pieces to go toe-to-toe with Gen.G on their day. Notably, Toplaner Chen “Bin” Ze-bin had an MVP performance and would need to be dealt with.

On the Gen.G side, Midlaner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon was prepping for the most important match of his career. Chovy had been a candidate for best player in the world for years. His raw mechanical talent and game sense were unmatched. “Chovying” became a slang term for “farming so well that he’d take over the game no matter what.”

Despite his prowess in lane, Chovy’s macro mistakes and composure under pressure had long been reasons for his failure in international play. He had long been improving those aspects of his game, however, and coming into the MSI 2024 Finals, he and Gen.G were ready.

Scaling to the Moon

The first Grand Finals game featured a full scaling composition for Gen.G. Their bot lane was locked in Senna Tahm Kench for safety and utility. Canyon again showed an unorthodox pick, taking Karthus to farm in the Jungle. This left Chovy on Yone to do the bulk of the clean-up damage.

Bilibili chose as standard of a composition for them as possible. Twisted Fate for Bin to carry through the top lane, Lucian Nami to pressure the bot early and win in mid-game, and Xin Zhao plus Neeko for engagement fourand utility. The game would be decided by how ahead BLG could get early on.

When the game began, Gen.G committed to farming as expected. Lane swapping helped them get through the initial minutes. BLG stacked up dragons and made aggressive plays where they could.

The result was a 2.5 to 3K gold lead. While this was significant, it wasn’t enough to let BLG force onto Gen.G.

After Gen.G willingly gave up the Dragon Soul, they finally had their spikes. A well-timed pick onto BLG’s Jungler allowed them to take the first Baron of the game. Even though the gold was still in BLG’s favor, Gen.G had weathered the storm and could now fight on even ground.

Canyon demonstrated what a fed Karthus could do, smashing BLG in later teamfights with the press of his R button.

After losing multiple fights around the 30-minute mark, BLG had run out of time. Gen.G easily grouped up and used their superior champions to stomp out their opponents and take game one.

History Made

For game two, BLG got to choose the blue side. With pick priority, they selected the Varus Ashe double Marksman bot lane. This lane, pioneered by T1 last Worlds, was incredibly oppressive. It could stomp lane and carry in the mid-game with zone control and pick potential. Gen.G saw this coming and had the counter-pick of the series ready.

Support Son “Lehends” Si-woo locked in Blitzcrank, a champion that could shut down ranged carries with a single skillshot. They paired it with Kalista, then chose Sejuani and Zac for even more lockdown. Chovy took Yone again, his win streak on the champion now reaching double digits.

BLG locked in skirmish-centric picks around the Ashe Varus, hoping to win by forcing fights on their terms. Orianna gave Shockwave potential alongside Xin Zhao and Bin’s Camille as potential Ball delivery.

When the game began, the best-case scenario was realized for Gen.G. Thanks to the surefire Rocket Grab of Lehends, Gen.G picked multiple members of BLG in a row. Lehends looked like he couldn’t miss, securing kill after kill for his ADC Peyz.

The game looked doomed for BLG as they gave away every Dragon and Baron. As the gold deficit hit an insurmountable -13K, BLG showed why they were the LPL champions. Bin and Midlaner Zhuo “knight” Ding combined for a four man Shockwave. If BLG was less far behind, this play could have been game-turning.

Instead, Gen.G maintained their grasp on the game. They grouped up again and ran into BLG’s base. As Peyz secured a Pentakill, he smashed the record for most kills in an international game at 28.

A New Look for BLG

With their backs against the wall, BLG completely switched up their draft. They locked in an early Senna Tahm Kench and Nidalee to keep their comp ambiguous. They then locked in Jayce in phase two, showing a rare poke composition. Bin also finally got to play Jax, his signature champion.

Gen.G’s comp centered around the double Marksman Kalista Ashe lane and a Hwei for Chovy. Committing to skirmishing, Gen.G locked Lee Sin and Rumble for Kim “Kiin” “Gi-in. They tried to force fights onto BLG in the bot lane multiple times early. However, BLG always had the answer in the form of counter-ganks and collapses.

To BLG’s benefit, their punishes allowed Nidalee and Jayce to get online. The game became a glorified dodgeball court, with both teams launching countless spells at each other, trying to gain an edge. While Gen.G’s early botside focus granted them an Ocean Soul, BLG had Senna and Nidalee. It was a war of attrition, poke, and healing.

In the end, Bin’s Jax made the decisive play. He Flash stunned the Gen.G backline, resulting in a 40-minute Ace for BLG. The series was now 2-1.

Chokers No More

Gen.G moved back onto the blue side for game four. They prioritized Senna, which was currently 2-0 in the series. However, instead of the usual Tahm Kench or Ornn pairing, Gen.G picked up Maokai for Lehends. Chovy got his hands on the team fight powerhouse Azir, and Canyon and Kiin ran back the Lee Sin and Rumble from the last game.

Instead of forcing Varus Ashe again, BLG opted into Nautilus to play a standard lane pairing. Their answer was Zeri, a seldom-seen scaling ADC that had little presence at MSI. They picked up a second ADC in Tristana Mid and comfort in Camille and Nidalee.

The star of the show early was, surprisingly, Lehends’s farming Maokai. Not only did he turn a 1v3 dive in his favor for first blood, but he also picked up a double kill onto BLG’s bot lane on a dive of his own. Gen.G baited BLG into their clutches at a 20-minute Baron turn using their slight map advantage.

The result was three kills and a Baron for Gen.G. They took more turrets and map control, putting them in pole position. However, BLG’s double ADC comp was a scary scaling threat. Their chances in the game were elevated quickly when Jungler Peng “Xun” Li-Xun stole the second Baron right out of Canyon’s hands.

BLG got five more minutes to come fully online. At the next Baron fight, the fed Zeri took over for a triple kill, Aceing Gen.G. knight’s Tristana and Bin’s Camille destroyed Gen.G’s entire base, leaving only the Nexus.

Still, Gen.G had four Infernal Dragons and Soul, making them extremely threatening. Instead of trying to fight 5v5, BLG chose to look for the backdoor. Gen.G pulled off a masterclass in denying backdoors, maintaining total control of their base and Jungle. After several failed attempts, BLG allowed Gen.G to take the Elder Dragon. With this, Gen.G was able to storm BLG’s base while defending theirs at the same time. Gen.G took the series 3-1, claiming the MSI 2024 trophy.