If there has been one major storyline at the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational, it’s Fnatic mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winthers. Caps has been one of the main reasons for Fnatic’s success at the MSI Group Stage, as it is through him that the team was able to secure a spot at the tournament’s knockout stage in Paris. His immense mechanical skill and unhinged carrying potential were able to put Fnatic over the edge and supply the team with a chance of sealing MSI greatness on home soil.
After putting on a legendary performance over the past 11 games, Caps has been drawing comparisons to other MSI legends like former Fnatic prodigy Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and CLG superstar Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun, further establishing just how amazing his personal run at the tournament has been. And while plenty of players have solidified their legacies on the MSI stage, Caps is on pace to surpass them all, creating a legacy of his own in the process.
At this year’s MSI, Caps is leading all mid laners at the tournament in KPG, DMG%, DPM, and GD@15, while ranking in the top 3 when it comes to CSM, GPM, CSD@15, XPD@15, and FB%. With all of these statistics in mind, it’s safe to say that Caps is on the run of a lifetime, and MSI 2018 is rapidly turning into his personal playground. And now, with 11 stellar performances under his belt, Caps has his eyes set on an international title, as an MSI championship could come as early as this weekend.
If Fnatic were to take home the MSI title, the team would do it in definitive fashion, as Caps is currently on track to finish MSI with arguably the greatest performance by a mid laner in the history of the tournament.
With downright dominant numbers in every possible statistical category, Caps is on pace to outperform Luka “Perkz” Perković’s 2017 performance with G2 Esports, Heo “PawN” Won-seok’s tournament numbers with Edward Gaming in 2015, and even Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s immaculate run through the tournament table in 2016 with SK Telecom T1. All three of the aforementioned players were considered to be the strongest mid laners present at their respective tournaments, and now in 2018, Caps is on pace to join their ranks.
Although there have been plenty of amazing mid laners to make their names at MSI, Perkz’ 2017 performance stands out quite specifically. This year, Caps is outperforming his European counterpart when it comes to nearly every statistic. His 2018 MSI is on pace to smash Perkz’ 2017 performance in terms of KP, GPM, DMG%, DPM, GD@15, XPD@15 and FB%.
With an already incredible showing at the Group Stage, Caps could only add to an impressive MSI résumé with a series victory over Royal Never Give Up on Friday.
However, if there’s any player capable of testing Caps in Paris, it’s RNG mid laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao.
Xiaohu, for all intents and purposes, has been the second best mid laner at MSI thus far, as he’s taken a backseat to Caps’ ridiculously unexpected performance at the tournament. They both rank in the top two of nearly every statistic for mid laners at MSI, and with each player performing out of his mind as of late, it’s very possible that we might be looking at the best mid-lane matchup of 2018, so far.
While Caps found statistical strength in almost every portion of the Group Stage, Xiaohu made his mark on the MSI table with an incredible 6-0 run to close out the first Stage of Mid-Season play, boosting an otherwise lackluster start to Royal’s tournament. However, no matter how RNG played throughout the entire course of the Group Stage, the team still managed to find 2 wins over Fnatic throughout the course of the week.
During those two games, Caps was able to find the advantage over Xiaohu, who played Ryze on both occasions. With illustrious picks on Yasuo and Aurelion Sol, Caps was able to find a personal edge throughout both games, as he had a higher DPM than Xiaohu in both contests, as well as a higher KDA, GPM, and KP. During these two games, Caps made up an average of 39% of Fnatic’s damage, while being involved in 100% of the team’s kills on the Rift.
And although Caps did everything in his power to keep his team afloat, it simply wasn’t enough. However, on Friday, he’ll earn a shot at redemption, as the team that has proven to be a thorn in Fnatic’s side for years now will look to advance to its first international final since the 2014 World Championship.
For Caps, he’ll have the chance to prove that he’s stronger than a “promising prospect”. He has the opportunity to take the gloves off and completely cement his legacy. History is being made at MSI 2018, and Caps is at the forefront. His mechanical skill and utter strength could be enough to singlehandedly carry Europe into the tournament’s Final on Sunday, and for Fnatic, a date with destiny could lie completely on Caps’ shoulders.
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