At the end of the first split of the League of Legends season is the Mid-Season Invitational, a tournament that takes place in late April to May where the top teams of each region compete not only for a cash prize but also for global ranking.
As many as 13 regions are represented in this tournament, with the powerhouses of North America, Europe, China and Korea always prominent. Southeast Asia is also well represented, while teams from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey complete the picture.
Depending on the results for the past couple years, Riot Games will decide which teams are automatically seeded and which teams will have to go through a play-in stage to book a spot in the main event.
The 2020 Mid-Season Invitational was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we might as well look ahead to MSI 2021.
Who will make it to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational?
The MSI usually features 13 or 14 teams in total, with the top six progressing to the main event. The reigning champions from the three highest-ranked leagues – usually China, Korea and Europe – earn direct passage to the group stage, while the top sides from the lower-ranked regions must play off for a spot in the final six.
This is how the teams were seeded at MSI 2019:
Group stage seeds
- G2 Esports – LEC Spring champions
- Invictus Gaming – LPL Spring champions
- SK Telecom T1 – LCK Spring champions
Play-in knockout seeds
- Flash Wolves – LMS Spring champions
- Team Liquid – LEC Spring champions
Play-in group stage
- 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports – TCL Winter champions
- Bombers – OPL Split 1 champions
- DetonatioN FocusMe – LJL Spring champions
- INTZ eSports – CBLOL Summer champions
- Isurus Gaming – LLA Opening champions
- MEGA Esports – LST Spring champions
- Phong Vũ Buffalo – VCS Spring champions
- Vega Squadron – LCL Spring champions
How to bet on the MSI 2021
The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational will again pit the best League of Legends regions around the world against each other. As with all the big eSports events there is an abundance of markets available to bet on in the lead-up and even more markets in the hours before. The following table is geo-targeted to only show sports betting sites you are eligible to sign up at. A few of our personal LoL bet sites are BetOnline.ag, ArcaneBet.com and Betway.
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Regions represented in MSI tournaments
The Mid-Season Invitational features some of the leading LoL teams from all over the world. The regions that will be represented at MSI 2021 include:
- North America (LCS)
- Europe (LEC)
- Korea (LCK)
- China (LPL)
- Vietnam (VCS)
- Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (PCS)
- Latin America (LLA)
- Commonwealth of Independent States (LCL)
- Japan (LJL)
- Oceania (OPL)
- Turkey (TCL)
- Brazil (CBLOL)
MSI tournament structure
Rankings within the pseudo gauntlet are determined by how the regional champions performed on the domestic and international stages. From 2019, the top three regions from this result will be placed in the main tournament’s six-team bracket.
The next two top teams will be placed in the play-in knockout stage, where they will play the top two sides from the play-in group stage – a qualifying section featuring eight teams from the less prominent regions split into two groups. The winners of the those two knockout matches will advance to the last six, while the losers will play off for the final spot in the main event.
The MSI group stage sees the top six teams play 10 games each in a double round-robin format, meaning everybody plays each other twice. The top four teams then advance to the semi-finals, where first plays fourth and second plays third for a spot in the grand final. All knockout fixtures are best-of-five series.
League of Legends MSI prize money
The distribution of the prize pool has changed slightly each year depending on the number of teams participating and the structure of the tournament. This is how is the US $1,000,000 kitty was doled out at MSI 2019:
|Position||Percentage share||Min prize (USD)|
Regardless of the outcome for each team, there will be a minimum prize for each participant. These numbers are the bare minimum that each position will receive and are usually bolstered by the sale of a specially made skin for the event. In 2019, the initial $1 million prize pool was supplemented by 25 per cent of the revenue from sales of Conqueror skins.
This tournament is significant for global ranking as well. The top four teams from the MSI will have no.1 seeds for the four main groups at the LoL World Championship later in the year. In addition, the highest-ranking team from the eight teams in the MSI play-in group stage will secure a spot in the main group stage at that year’s LoL Worlds. MSI can be a tournament for an undiscovered region to finally be in the limelight and then continue that streak through international success.
When is the LoL Mid-Season Invitational?
The Mid-Season Invitational usually commences in the last week of April or the first week of May. The tournament is played in three phases – play-ins, group stage and knockout rounds – and runs for a little over two weeks in total.
2019 MSI results
As the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational was scrapped due to the coronavirus outbreak, the most recent staging of the event was in 2019. Things went largely to script throughout the play-in phase and the group stage, with the representatives from China (Invictus Gaming), Korea (SK Telecom T1), Europe (G2 Esports) and North America (Team Liquid) reaching the knockout rounds. However, few would have predicted that neither Invictus nor T1 would reach the grand final. Instead, G2 claimed Europe’s first-ever MSI title with a dominant 3-0 victory over Team Liquid.