Buckle Up, LOL is Speeding towards MSI 2021 and It’s a Crazy Ride
Widely regarded as one of the biggest events of the LOL year, but also one of the most anticipated since it skipped a year because of Covid, Mid-Season Invitational (MSI 2021), is just around the corner.
Of course, as any true fan knows, until we get there in May, as it was just announced, we first have to go through all of the regional spring playoffs, and that basically means we are in for a treat, with a packed month of top quality LOL ahead of us. Riot Games just announced the details about this year’s MSI, and they are quite exciting.
What’s New On MSI 2021
There has been a lot of revamping, and Riot settled on a four-tier format with three regions in every tier, based on their cumulative results in the past two years of international competition. Out of those four tiers three groups are formed as follows:
PCS (Southeast Asia)
LCS (North America)
As you can see, some groups are more competitive than others, with Group C being the main talk of the town since rosters from LCK and LCS regions will be facing each other in the first stage of the tournament already. The event will be held in Reykavik, Iceland over the course of two weeks: from May 6 to May 22.
The Stakes Just Got Higher
Two teams from each group advance to the next, rumble stage, where they’ll compete in a best-of-one double round-robin format. After that, the top four will proceed to the knockout stage with a single elimination bracket and a best of five matches.
To make sure everybody takes MSI seriously (just remember the G2 fiasco in 2016), Riot has upped the stakes: the winner’s league this year will secure an additional regional spot at the Worlds this year. Also, the highest ranking league will get an additional spot, unless that league is also the winner, in which case that extra spot for the Worlds goes to the second-highest ranked league.
Finally, let’s address the elephant in the room: possible qualifiers. Currently, there is a lot going on, but regions will reach finals in their respective play-offs through April: Korea, Latin America and Oceania on April 10, Europe, NA and Japan, on April 11, CIS on April 17, China, Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Brazil on April 18, and there is still no exact date for Turkey.
Clear Favorites and Unpredictable China
When it comes to the most prominent regions and teams, it’s safe to say that it will be hard to beat current World champions, DWG KIA. Accoladed Koreans have been beaten through the spring season, but only twice, while they’ve also had 16 wins. News outlets speculate they were clear favourites coming into the playoffs, and current numbers support that theory. Of course, teams like Gen.G, Hanwha Life and T1 won’t go down without a fight, but it won’t be easy.
In China, on the other hand, it’s a lot more close and crowded. Some of the names you might recognize from previous international endeavours, such as Top Esports or FunPlus Phoenix, are going to have to work really hard if they want to advance to MSI 2021. On the other hand, the top two teams, Royal Never Give Up and EDward Gaming, are currently looking the best and would be our bet for the LOL free to play games such as our Pick6.
Europe currently has two known semifinalist – the eternal favourites G2 who are going to get challenged by Spanish MAD Lions. Rogue, Schalke 04 and Fnatic are three more teams still with the chance of making it through to MSI 2021. In NA, Cloud9 are somewhat clear favourites, and they are just about to face Team Liquid in the winner’s finals on April 3. In the losers bracket, TSM is fighting it out against 100Thieves and still have a long way to go until the grand finals on April 10.
That rounds up all of the most relevant regions, but we’ll be watching it even more closely through our FTP LOL you can play here. Don’t lose any more time, play now!