This year’s MSI will play out differently. Instead of only 5 teams, there will be 13 squads from 13 different regions. There will be three stages that include the Play-In stage which is newly added, a Group and a Knockout stage. Crews will be seeded into Play-In and Groups based off of their region’s performances at MSI and Worlds in 2015 and 2016. Tier 1 consists of Europe, Korea and China. Tier 2 consists of North American and Taiwan. And lastly, Tier 3 consists of Turkey, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Latin America South, Latin American North, Japan, CIS and Brazil. The squads in Tier 1 will automatically advance to the Group stage while the other two tiers will have to start off in the Play-In stage.
During the Play-In stage, the teams in Tier 3 will be seeded in two groups. They will face off against each other in a Double Round Robin with all matches being Best of 1. The winner of each group will face off against one of the Tier 2 crews. The two winners of those matches will advance to the Group stage. The two losers will face off against each other for the final spot in the Group stage.
Following that the format remains the same with the Top 4 teams of the Group stage advancing to the Knockout. The Top 4 crews also secure a Pool 1 seed at the 2017 World Championship. This year’s format is a bit harder to understand but it’s definitely better in terms of making sure the best squads get to play at MSI.
Teams to look out for
Right now the only qualified team is Rampage from Japan’s LJL but fairly soon more crews will start qualifying. As with every year, the squad to look out is the LCK champion whoever it will be. Seems like it might just be SK Telecom T1 once more as they finished 1st in the regular season. However, nothing is confirmed and SKT like any other team will have to fight for their right to attend MSI. Even if they aren’t the crew from Korea that goes though, whoever wins the LCK is surely going to be the favorite. Korea has dominated the international scene for a while now and it’s hard to imagine that won’t continue heading into MSI 2017.
The other team to watch out for would be the LMS champion. As of right now, the Flash Wolves seem like the most obvious prediction. They won IEM Katowice and in turn finally picking up a big win at an international event. This is something that has eluded the squad for a long time now and it’s great to see them winning a trophy.
China’s LPL is not in the best shape ever, however, two forces are looking strong right now. Former champions Royal Never Give Up as well as powerhouse Team WE. Both crews are 1st in their group and have looked very dominant in their victories. WE sustained a surprising loss to the QG Reapers recently however they should be expected to bounce back easily. Their split started off rough and they managed to rebound despite that. So rebounding from a single loss should not be too difficult for them.
2017 Mid-Season Invitational Betting Advice
So who do we think will represent their region at MSI and who are we picking to win it all? Starting off with Europe the clear favorite is obviously G2 Esports. They have dominated the region and have sustained only one series loss to ROCCAT. Moving over to North America things are more close than in Europe, however, the safest bet at the moment is Team SoloMid. They have looked like the most stable squad out of any of the playoffs participants and are on their way to their fifth LCS title.
As for the Eastern regions, SKT is a clear favorite to win the LCK after finishing 1st in the regular season and dominating the international scene last year. Flash Wolves are likely to win the LMS with only Ahq being a threat to them. The LPL is a little closer however RNG seems like the strongest crew at the moment so we’ll go with them.
The Wildcard regions are tough to call however we will do our best! In Brazil our pick is Keyd Stars because of the strong combination of Yang and Revolta. We expect SuperMassive to take the TCL crown while in Oceania Chiefs eSports Club are our pick because of how consistent they have been domestically. In Latin America North we’re going with Lyon Gaming while in Latin America South Isurus Gaming seems like the best choice. And finally, in the CIS we’re going with Vaevictis eSports.
In terms of the tournament itself we already mentioned Korea are the favorites to win but as for the other Top 4 teams, it is likely that Taiwan will also secure #1 seed for Worlds. The other two spots will be a close battle between China, North America and Europe. This is all if we assume that North American and Taiwan will pass the Play-In stage which they most likely will.
Mid-Season Invitational tournament this year is likely to be even better than last year. While last year’s event provided us with an awesome opening ceremony, the outcome itself was somewhat predictable with Korea winning the whole thing and China being a close second in terms of power. Although North America finished in the second place it was obvious they were a little bit behind China and Korea. With way more participants and a better structure to filter out the best League of Legends teams possible this year, we are in for a great event filled with awesome matches and lots of hype!
Hope it was useful, guys. See you next time. Good luck!