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With the 2022 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational on the horizon, the Pacific Championship Series’s PSG Talon are one of 11 regional champions from around the world that are getting ready for the biggest international event of the spring. While MSI 2022 isn’t the final stop for the season, the tournament is key for seeing where each region stands in the global hierarchy.

After a 2021 campaign that put the PCS back on the map, PSG Talon are looking to repeat last year’s performance with a mix of new and old faces.

PSG Talon (PCS) MSI 2022 starting roster breakdown:

  • Top: Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang | Signed by Talon Esports in January 2020, stayed on after PSG Talon merger on June 2020
  • Jungle: Lee “Juhan” Ju-han | Signed in December 2021. Previously a member of NS Challengers
  • Mid: Park “Bay” Jun-byeong | Signed in December 2021. Previously a member of NS Challengers
  • Bot: Wong “Unified” Chun Kit | Signed by Talon Esports in January 2020, stayed on after PSG Talon merger on June 2020
  • Support: Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing | Signed by Talon Esports in January 2020, stayed on after PSG Talon merger on June 2020

How they got here

PSG Talon had an incredible 2021 highlighted by their combined 35-1 regular-season record in the 2021 PCS spring and summer splits. They also managed to make it into the top four at last season’s 2021 MSI tournament and even took a game off of the eventual champions, Royal Never Give Up. With insane expectations awaiting them entering Worlds 2021, the team came just a game short for making it into the quarterfinals.

With PSG’s 2021 performance, scouts from various major regions across the world took notice of PSG’s star players. As a result, PSG lost two of their best in the 2022 offseason. Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang found himself playing in the LPL, while Kim “River” Dong-woo took his talents to NA. With two big spots needing to be replaced, PSG looked at the LCK Challenger scene. They picked up the mid and jungle duo from Nongshim RedForce Challengers with Juhan and Bay.

Questions arose about whether the 2022 version of PSG would be better or worse. Based on their spring performance in the regular season, though, it appears to be just about the same. PSG had a sloppy Week 1 by their standards by finishing 2-1, but they came into their 2021 form in the following weeks pulling off an 11-game win streak in the process. The team finished 16-2 on the season and were the first seed entering the playoffs.

PSG quickly dispatched Deep Cross Gaming in their first playoff match. This set up a series against CTBC Flying Oyster in the semifinals. PSG looked off in their series against CFO and simply looked outclassed as they lost the series 3-1 which sent them into the losers bracket. Their opponent in the losers finals was J Team. which featured the combo of Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-Tso and Chen “Uniboy” Chang-Chu who both played on PSG during their Worlds 2020 worlds run. The series went to PSG but it took all five games to put JT away.

PSG got their rematch against CFO in the 2022 PCS spring finals.  PSG looked a lot better but still lacked the dominance the team carried with them through the regular season. In the end, PSG won the series in five games to earn their second straight trip to MSI.

Players to watch

Two players to watch on PSG Talon are their two new stars: Bay and Juhan. Bay in particular has taken Maple’s spot and ran with it. In his first split in the PCS, Bay finished tied for third in the league when it came to player of the game honors. According to OraclesElixir, Bay found himself in the upper third of all mid laners in nearly every single statistic. Juhan had similar stats among his jungle competition.

PSG’s biggest difference-maker, though, is their bot laner, Unified. Unified posted a 13.2 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in the spring split, which led all bot laners in the PCS. He also led the entire league in damage per minute and gold per minute. Eyes should be on Unified as PSG’s main carry heading into MSI.

How PSG Talon can succeed at MSI 2022

PSG Talon sits as the gatekeeper between the major region threats and the wild card region contenders. Last year at MSI, PSG Talon found themselves in that conversation of major region threats, but they need to reach a new level like they did in 2021 in order to make it into the top four for the second straight year.

PSG are the clear favorite to get out of their group as the second seed behind RNG. But in the Rumble stage, they will face major teams that holistically look better than the competition in 2021. PSG’s chances of success against those squads start with the continued performance from their bot lane while the two new stars step up in their first-ever international tournament.