After a year-long hiatus, the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is back with a bang! With a new format and TWO spots at the 2021 World Championship up for grabs, the 11 participating leagues are gearing up for an unforgettable bout at the Laugardalsholl Sport Center in Reykjavik. The first match is just around the corner — let’s take a closer look at the qualifying teams, changes to the format and what’s at stake.
2021 Mid-Season Invitational Format
The 2021 event is the sixth Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and is the first international competition of Season 11, organised and hosted by Riot Games in Iceland between 6-23 May. This year, 11 of the 12 regional leagues have the chance to compete in the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational; the teams are battling in a three-stage tournament, foregoing the Play-Ins and heading straight into Groups.
The teams are split into three groups, two groups of four teams and one of three — GAM Esports (VCS — Vietnam) dropped out of the running due to COVID-related travel restrictions. The top two teams per group will head to the second stage — the Rumble — where they will play a best-of-one double round-robin. The top four teams will advance to the Knockout stage, playing in a single-elimination, best-of-five playoff bracket.
The 2021 MSI champion’s league will receive an additional regional team spot at the World Championship. At the end of the tournament, the global power rankings will be calculated, and the highest-ranking league will grab the extra slot. If the region also wins the MSI, then the spot will be passed down to the second highest-ranking league.
2021 MSI Groups
The 2021 MSI groups were not sorted by tier or point ranking; instead, the teams were assigned to different competitive groups through a random group draw. This is the first edition of MSI in which all teams begin in the same stage of the tournament.
Group A — Unicorns of Love (LCL — CIS), Royal Never Give Up (LPL — China) and Pentanet.gg (LCO — Oceania).
Group B — paiN Gaming (CBLOL — Brazil), MAD Lions (LEC — EU), Istanbul Wild Cats (TCL — Turkey) and PSG Talon (PCS — Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and SEA).
Group C — DWG KIA (formerly DAMWON Gaming, LCK — Korea), Cloud9 (LCS — US), DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL — Japan) and Infinity Esports (LLA — LATAM).
2021 MSI Schedule
Groups: 6-11 May
The Rumble: 14-18 May
Knockout: 21-23 May
The Mid-Season Invitational begins at 15:00 (CEST), with DAMWON pitted against Cloud9 as the opening matchup, followed by Infinity Esports vs FocusMe at 16:00 and Pentanet.gg vs Royal Never Give Up at 17:00.
The second half of the day is packed with action as well, as Pentanet.gg face Unicorns of Love at 18:00 and paiN go up against Istanbul Wild Cats at 19:00. The last match of the day is set for 20:00 when PSG Talon will see if their talons are sharper than the MAD Lions’ claws.
Where to watch the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational
For the latest League of Legends MSI broadcast schedule, VODs and MSI standings, head to lolesports.com. All MSI matches will be streamed live, with multi-lingual casters, analysts and interviewers.
MSI 2021 begins on Thursday, 6 May, and concludes on Sunday, 23 May — you won’t see this much action until Worlds, so get ready for two eventful weeks!
League of Legends MSI Betting 2021
To make the most of this season’s MSI, head to our Sportsbook for the latest League of Legends odds and betting markets. You can place your stakes on the tournament’s winner outright and by group, or take a punt on unique LoL markets like First Blood, First To 5 Kills and Team To Destroy The First Tower. You can even experiment with more intriguing LoL betting options, such as Kills Handicap, First Dragon Type, Game Duration, Largest Multi Kill and over/under Total Kills.
The favourites can’t be swatted away easily, but expectations are high for EU’s hopefuls MAD Lions, who ended LEC Spring Playoffs as winners. If the team makes it through Groups unscathed, the big cats — at 16/1 (17.00) to lift the iconic MSI trophy in victory — may stand a chance against the stiff competition in the tournament’s following stages.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.