League of Legends 2018 MSI: A First Look

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Photo Credit: Riot Games

The Mid-Season Invitational in League of Legends is typically the time where viewers and players get to size up the competition from other regions in anticipation for Worlds. 14 teams from around the world who won their seasons or splits in their respective regions will be traveling to Berlin and Paris to play against each other for the title of best team in the world until summer rolls around. Along with MSI, Conqueror Varus and the Conqueror Ward skin have been released with 25% of the sales going towards the prize pool. Every team will receive a portion of the prize pool, but the top teams receive the largest shares.

Formatting and Teams

Starting with the teams, each of the major regions gets to send only one team to MSI with many of the regions that were previously grouped into the Wildcard stage also getting their own representatives. From Brazil comes KaBum! E-Sports along with their fellow South Americans, Kaos Latin Gamers. Asia comes with the most regions with Ascension Gaming from the SEA region, Kingzone DragonX from the LCK, PENTAGRAM from Japan, Flash Wolves from the LMS, and EVOS Esports from Vietnam. The Chinese team going to MSI has still to be decided. North America’s sole representative is Team Liquid, who took first place in the NA LCS quite recently. Europe sends Fnatic while BAUSuperMassive from Turkey, Gambit Esports from the CIS, and Dire Wolves from Oceania round out the lineup.

The tournament will span across 3 weeks with 3 major stages of competition. The Play-In Stage will start on May 3, and will contain the previously Wildcard regions along with the LMS fighting for two spots in the Group Stage. The two top seeded teams, Flash Wolves and EVOS will receive a bye to Round 2 of the Play-In Stage due to their region’s placement from the previous MSI. The Group Stage will be a double round robin between Fnatic, Kingzone DragonX, China’s representative, Team Liquid, and the two victors of the Play-In Stage. The top four teams will then play in the Knockout Stage in Best-of-Five elimination matches from May 18-20.

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