The champions of the Garena Pro League hailing from Vietnam, the GIGABYTE Marines, have locked in their spot in the 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational main stage following a dominant 3 - 1 victory over Super Massive.
The Marines entered MSI as the "black horse" of their group as many fans had anticipated either Virtus.pro and Lyon Gaming to be the team to make it through the Play-In. Not much was known about this team aside from having veteran players from the former Saigon Jokers, Trần “Archie” Minh Nhựt and Trần “Optimus” Văn Cường, in addition to rumors of having the best Jungler in their region.
The underdogs had a near perfect run through the Play-In stage, dropping only one game to Isurus Gaming on the last day, but experience their first major defeat when they went up against the North American representatives, Team SoloMid. The Marines demonstrated that they could compete with some of the best teams in the world after pulling on a surprising 2-0 lead in the series through their superior early game aggression. Despite losing the remaining three games in the series to TSM, the Marines fought every step of the way and came back stronger with every loss cumulating with the final match of the series ending in an extremely close victory for TSM.
After being sent into the loser's bracket to face Group A's SuperMassive, the Marines played to their strengths and built up leads in Game 1 and 4 through well-played early game aggression resulting in a dominant finish with both finishing in under 25 minutes.
The Marines join TSM and Flash Wolves as the final team to qualify through the Play-In stage. These three teams will be facing SK Telecom T1, Team WE, and G2 Esports who were seeded in the main event from the beginning based off of the results from prior MSI events. The main stage of MSI 2017 begins Wednesday, May 11th starting off with G2 Esports playing SKT T1.