May 18, 2024

Faker's Zac Pick at MSI: A Bold Move That Couldn't Turn the Tide for T1

Liam Fletcher
Written byLiam FletcherWriter
Researched byHaruki NakamuraResearcher

Key Takeaways

  • Faker's unexpected Zac pick in the MSI loser bracket final marks his first professional use of the champion in League of Legends.
  • Despite a strong start, T1 couldn't maintain momentum, ultimately losing to Bilibili Gaming in a swift 24-minute game three.
  • The match highlighted the risks of unconventional drafts in high-stakes games, with T1's choices unable to match BLG's flawless execution.

League of Legends' Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is a battleground where legends are forged, and sometimes, where the unexpected happens. In a do-or-die scenario, with the series tied at 1-1 against Bilibili Gaming (BLG), T1's mid laner, Faker, decided it was time to shake things up. Digging deep into his champion pool, Faker brought out Zac—a pick that left fans and analysts alike scratching their heads.

Faker's Zac Pick at MSI: A Bold Move That Couldn't Turn the Tide for T1

The Zac Gambit

The choice was unprecedented. According to Leaguepedia, this was the first time Faker had selected Zac in a professional match. The move was daring, a testament to Faker's willingness to innovate under pressure. Zac, known as the Secret Weapon, had seen days of glory in the mid lane, particularly as recent as Patch 13.3. However, subsequent adjustments by Riot Games had quashed his viability in that role, relegating Zac to a niche pick among the pros and a rarity in the broader player base.

The Execution and Fallout

Initially, Faker held his ground against Knight's Annie, showcasing the potential of Zac's disruptive capabilities. Yet, as BLG amassed their core items, the tide turned dramatically. BLG's execution was impeccable, their strategy unfolding with precision and leaving T1 scrambling to find footing. Notably, BLG's Bin on Twisted Fate and Elk on Senna delivered standout performances, propelling their team to a decisive victory in game three and eventually winning the series in a nail-biting five-game showdown.

The Bigger Picture

Faker's Zac pick, his 83rd unique champion choice in professional play, underscores the depth of his skill set. Yet, it also highlights the inherent risks of unconventional drafting, especially against a team as coordinated and adaptable as BLG. The loss was a tough pill to swallow for T1, halting their MSI run and setting the stage for BLG's clash with Gen.G in the grand final.

Concluding Thoughts

The MSI loser bracket final was a reminder of the high stakes and razor-thin margins defining top-tier League of Legends competition. Faker's Zac pick will be remembered as a bold stroke, a moment of audacity that, despite not securing victory, reinforces the unpredictable and thrilling nature of esports. As the community looks ahead to future tournaments, one thing is clear: innovation and courage, even in the face of defeat, are qualities that define legends.

About the author
Liam Fletcher
Liam Fletcher

Liam "CyberScribe" Fletcher, a Kiwi with a flair for fast-paced gameplay and articulate narratives, has emerged as a prominent voice at EsportRanker. Diving deep into the esports universe, Liam crafts comprehensive reviews, strategic insights, and captivating tales from behind the screens.

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