The Mid Season Invitational, commonly referred to as the MSI, is returning back to 2021. The MSI is regarded as Riot’s second flagship global event, only behind the League of Legends World Championship in prestige and prize money. Like Worlds, MSI brings competing teams from all across the world, albeit, at a smaller scale, with one team representing each region. This means each region, both big and smaller wildcard regions have the same number of entrants.
While a wildcard region has never and will likely never take the top spot in the Mid Season Invitational, MSI is a great opportunity for wildcard regions to gauge their strength amongst themselves, and the wider international scale. Regions most likely to perform well, and even have an opportunity to surpass the big regions, include LCO, VCS and PCS.
What happened to MSI 2020?
MSI had been called off due to the uprising on Corona Virus. With the virus picking up at the start of 2020, and MSI being held in the middle of the year, Riot had little time to plan a COVID safe event, prompting to call it off instead.
Despite the dissolution of Oceania’s OPL, the region’s new LCO may very well be an underdog in the upcoming 2021 MSI. This is despite many of the former top OCE players leaving the region in favour of pursuing opportunities in NA and EU academy teams. OCE has a history of fostering good talent out of the major regions, making the region always one to keep your eye on. In 2020, OCE’s top team Legacy Esports peaked the region’s international showing, almost clawing their way into groups of the League of Legends World Championships. It is almost certain either Pentanet.GG or PEACE will qualify as OCE’s MSI representative. Both Pentanet.GG and Peace have constructed their roster will established talent, almost all of which had previously played alongside each other, thus having good synergy.
GAM Esports have long established themselves as the most dominant force in Vietnam across both 2019 and 2020. The only team to challenge their crown had been SBTC Esports, narrowly taking out the top spot in some tournaments as some matches went to the full best of five. However, as SBTC Esports signed many new players at the end of 2020, they have fell behind in the Spring season, almost assuring GAM Esports to represent Vietnam in the 2021 MSI. GAM Esports currently lead the pack in the 2021 Spring regular season with a 7-1 standing.
The Taiwanese representative is favoured towards PSG Talon. PSG Talon, formerly Talon Esports, has proven themselves outside of the VCS, taking the top spot in the 2020 Mid Season Showdown. The team had also qualified for the 2020 World Championships, and while they failed to make it out of groups stage, they still took two games during their time there, a worthy achievement for a wild card region.