The Mid-Season Invitational Finally Started, What to Expect

The LOL Mid-Season Invitational is finally back. The first big international tournament of the season has officially started in Reykjavik, Iceland, and we’ll be watching some high-end and high-quality League of Legends for the next two weeks or so.

Who To Watch on Mid-Season Invitational

One of the most anticipated tournaments and the first big international one in this year began with a match from LOL fans’ wildest dreams. Reigning Worlds champions, DWG KIA clashed with Cloud 9, in the first match of the tour, but also the first match of Group C, the most competitive of them all. The Opening was fiery, but before we go into any more detail, let’s reiterate what this new MSI format brings.

The tour format changed this year. Riot decided 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, they’ve created three groups, A, B and C, where regions were placed as follows: group A – China, Vietnam, CIS and Oceania; group B – Europe, SE Asia, Turkey and Brazil, group C – Korea, North America, Hispanic America and Japan.

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 with best of five matches. Also, from this year, stakes for Mid-Season Invitational are higher than they used to be: the winner’s league this year will secure an additional regional spot at the Worlds this year.

Teams That Made It

Of course, as with many other tournaments in the past year, this one didn’t escape Covid-19 either. There were supposed to be 12 teams, but only 11 will compete in Iceland since VCS’ champions GAM Esports weren’t able to participate due to Vietnam’s international travel restrictions.

Other than them, all other teams have managed to get to the tournament, so we’ll watch Royal Never Give Up from China, MAD Lions from Europe, DWG KIA from Korea, Cloud9 from NA, PSG Talon from SE Asia, Unicorns of Love from CIS, Infinity Sports from LA, Istanbul Wildcats from Turkey, paiN Gaming from Brazil, DetonatioN FocusMe from Japan and Pentanet GG from Oceania compete in Iceland.

As mentioned, the tournament began with a match between current Worlds champions DWG KIA and North American winners Cloud9, who have everything to prove, trying to gain a new international reputation as regional representatives. After all, their newest addition, Luka Perkz Perkovic, is still a reining MSI Champion, since he won the last tournament in 2019 with his former roster, G2.

Champions Showed What They’re Made Of

But, the opening match was a clear victory for DWG KIA, unfortunately for Cloud9. The Koreans are the overall favourites of the tournament and they’ve decided to make that clear from the start, even though they were probably under a lot of pressure to begin well. On the other hand, Cloud9 were the underdogs, but they still have to make up some ground from this loss to be able to advance to the next round.

The group stage ends on May 11th, and the next stage, Rumble, begins on May 14th. Finally, this year’s Mid-Season Invitational ends with a knockout stage from May 21st to May 23rd. You can find full schedule here.

Have you watched the rest of the first-day matches? Do you have favourites? It’s going to be one crazy LOL ride, and you don’t want to miss it, so watch this space. Also, while we have you, don’t forget to play our Pick 6 for free.