Mid-Season Invitational

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Mid-Season Invitational
LOL MSI logo.svg
GameLeague of Legends
Founded2015; 7 years ago (2015)
FounderRiot Games
No. of teams
  • 12 (2015–2019)
  • 11 (2021–2022)[a]
Venue(s)Rotating locations
Most recent
champion(s)
Royal Never Give Up
(3rd title)
Most titlesRoyal Never Give Up
(3 titles)
QualificationWinners of regional leagues in Spring split
TV partner(s)Twitch, YouTube
Related
competitions
World Championship

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is an annual League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Games since 2015. It is the second most important international League of Legends tournament aside from the World Championship.[1][2]

In 2015 and 2016, the event featured the Spring Split champions of the five major competitive League of Legends regional leagues (LEC, LCS, LCK, LMS, LPL), as well as a wildcard team from a region determined by the International Wildcard Invitational, held a few weeks beforehand.[3] In its inaugural tournament, Chinese team Edward Gaming emerged victorious by defeating South Korean team SK Telecom T1 3–2 in the final.[4]

Since 2017, Spring Split champions from all regions have been participating in the event. The International Wildcard Invitational was replaced by the Play-in Stage. The best Wildcard region receives a direct spot in the World Championship's Group Stage for that year for their Summer Split champion. The top four regions gets the pool 1 spot in the World Championship's Group Stage.

Royal Never Give Up from China is the most successful team with three MSI titles.

History[edit]

2015[edit]

The 2015 Mid-Season Invitational was held from 7–10 May 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Five teams qualified to participate at the Mid-Season Invitational after winning the Spring Split within their own regional leagues, while a team from the Wildcard regions qualified by winning the Mid-Season International Wildcard Invitational (IWCI).[5]

All games of the tournament were hosted in the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. The final was played on 10 May 2015 between Edward Gaming, from China's League of Legends Pro League, and SK Telecom T1, from League of Legends Champions Korea, with Edward Gaming winning the inaugural championship 3–2.[6][7][8]

2016[edit]

The 2016 Mid-Season Invitational was held from 4–15 May 2016 in Shanghai, China. In line with last years iteration, 5 teams qualified to participate at the Mid-Season Invitational after winning the Spring Split within their own regional leagues, while a team from the Wildcard regions qualified by winning the Mid-Season International Wildcard Invitational (IWCI).[9]

All games of the tournament were hosted in the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. The final was played on 10 May 2015 between Counter Logic Gaming, from the North American League of Legends Championship Series, and SK Telecom T1, from League of Legends Champions Korea, with SK Telecom T1 winning the championship 3–0.[10][11] Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok was awarded the MVP in the final.

2017[edit]

The 2017 Mid-Season Invitation was held from 28 April to 21 May 2017, in 2 cities across Brazil: São Paulo (play in) and Rio de Janeiro (groups and knockout stage). Departing from the previous years, thirteen teams qualified for the event by winning their respective Spring Splits, with the representatives from Europe (EU LCS), South Korea (LCK), and China (LPL) had their teams automatically admitted into the main event, while the other teams were admitted into the "play-in stage", where the top three teams in that stage qualified for the group stage.[12]

The final was played on 21 May 2017, hosted in the Jeunesse Arena, between defending champions SK Telecom T1, from South Korea's League of Legends Champions Korea, and G2 Esports, from the European League of Legends Championship Series, with SK Telecom T1 retaining the championship 3–1, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Mid-Season Invitationals.[13] Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan was awarded the MVP in the finals.

2018[edit]

The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational was held between 3–20 May 2018 in Germany and France. The two cities that hosted this event were Berlin (play-in & groups), and Paris (knockout stage).[14] Fourteen teams qualified after winning their respective Spring Splits, with the teams from South Korea (LCK), North America (NA LCS) and China (LPL) automatically seeded into the group stage, whereas the other 10 leagues will compete among each other in a "play-in" with the top 2 teams advancing to join the main event.[15]

The final was played on 20 May 2018, hosted in the Zénith Paris, between King-Zone DragonX, from South Korea's League of Legends Champions Korea, and Royal Never Give Up, from China's League of Legends Pro League, with Royal Never Give Up winning the championship 3–1, with Jian "Uzi" Zihao being awarded the MVP of the finals.[16]

The finals, became one of the most watched esports matches in history, being watched by over 127 million unique viewers (mostly attributed to China's viewership), while the entire event boasted a total viewing time of over 2 billion hours.[17][18][19][20]

2019[edit]

The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational was held between 1–19 May 2018 in Vietnam and Taiwan. Three cities that hosted this event were Ho Chi Minh City (play-in), Hanoi (groups), and Taipei (knockout stage). Similar to the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, thirteen teams qualified for the event, as based on the regional results of the MSI and the World Championship in the two years prior (2017 and 2018), three teams from Europe (LEC), South Korea (LCK), and China (LPL) began in the main group stage; two teams from North America (LCS) and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau (LMS) begin in the second round of the play-in stage; and the eight remaining teams begin in the first round of the play-in stage.[21]

The final was played on 19 May 2019, hosted in the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium, between G2 Esports, from Europe's League of Legends European Championship, and Team Liquid, from North America's League of Legends Championship Series, with G2 Esports winning the championship 3–0, becoming the first European team to win the Mid-Season Invitational.[22][23] Rasmus "Caps" Winther was given the MVP award for his performance in the final.[24]

2020[edit]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Riot Games cancelled the event, replacing it with the Mid-Season Streamathon, a series of international competitions and exhibition matches from multiple regions.[25][26]

2021[edit]

The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational was held from 6–23 May 2021 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Twelve teams qualified for the event, where all teams began in the same stage of the tournament, unlike previous years where the winners of the minor leagues had to win play-in matches to face teams from the larger regions.[27] GAM Esports, from the Vietnam Championship Series, was unable to attend the event due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28]

All games of the tournament were hosted in the Laugardalshöll, with no fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iceland. The final was played on 23 May 2021 between the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational champions Royal Never Give Up, from China's League of Legends Pro League, and the previous World champions DWG KIA (formerly Damwon Gaming), from League of Legends Champions Korea. Royal Never Give Up won the championship 3–2, becoming the second team after T1 (formerly SK Telecom T1) to win two Mid-Season Invitationals.[29][30] Chen "GALA" Wei was awarded the MVP in the final.[31]

2022[edit]

The 2022 Mid-Season Invitational was held from 10–29 May 2022 in Busan, South Korea. Similar to the previous event, eleven teams qualified for the event, where all teams began in the same stage of the tournament, unlike previous years where the winners of the minor leagues had to win play-in matches to face teams from the larger regions.[32][33] The CIS's League of Legends Continental League was unable to send a representative to the event due to the cancellation of their Spring Split, in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[34]

Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai, where most of China's LPL teams are based, the LPL representative, Royal Never Give Up had competed in the tournament remotely from the team's training facility or the LPL Arena in Shanghai. All other representatives competed with artificially standardized ping to ensure competitive integrity.[35]

The final was played on 29 May 2022, hosted in the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO).[36] The series was played between the two most successful teams in the competition's history at the time, the defending champions Royal Never Give Up, from China's League of Legends Pro League, and T1, from League of Legends Champions Korea. In the final, Royal Never Give Up won the championship 3–2, becoming the first team to win three MSI titles, and the second team to successfully defend their title (after T1 in 2017). Yan "Wei" Yangwei was awarded the MVP for his performance in the final.[37][38]

Results[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Location Final Semifinalists
Champion Score Runner-up
2015 Tallahassee Edward Gaming 3 2 SK Telecom T1 ahq e-Sports Club
Fnatic
2016 Shanghai SK Telecom T1 3 0 Counter Logic Gaming Royal Never Give Up
Flash Wolves
2017 São Paulo
Rio de Janeiro
SK Telecom T1 3 1 G2 Esports Flash Wolves
Team WE
2018 Berlin
Paris
Royal Never Give Up 3 1 King-Zone DragonX Fnatic
Flash Wolves
2019 Ho Chi Minh City
Hanoi
Taipei
G2 Esports 3 0 Team Liquid SK Telecom T1
Invictus Gaming
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[39] and replaced with the Mid-Season Streamathon
2021 Reykjavík Royal Never Give Up 3 2 DWG KIA PSG Talon
MAD Lions
2022 Busan Royal Never Give Up 3 2 T1 Evil Geniuses
G2 Esports

Regions reaching top four[edit]

Region Titles Runner-up Semifinalists
China (LPL) 4 (2015, 2018, 2021, 2022) 3 (2016, 2017, 2019)
South Korea (LCK) 2 (2016, 2017) 4 (2015, 2018, 2021, 2022) 1 (2019)
Europe (LEC) 1 (2019) 1 (2017) 4 (2015, 2018, 2021, 2022)
North America (LCS) 2 (2016, 2019) 1 (2022)
TW/HK/MO/SEA (PCS) 5 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021)

Teams reaching top four[edit]

  *   Background shading indicates a team/organization has been disbanded, acquired or no longer participates in the regional league.

Team Titles Runner-up Semifinalists
Royal Never Give Up 3 (2018, 2021, 2022) 1 (2016)
T1[b] 2 (2016, 2017) 2 (2015, 2022) 1 (2019)
G2 Esports 1 (2019) 1 (2017) 1 (2022)
Edward Gaming 1 (2015)
Counter Logic Gaming 1 (2016)
DRX[c] 1 (2018)
Team Liquid 1 (2019)
DWG KIA 1 (2021)
Flash Wolves 3 (2016, 2017, 2018)
Fnatic 2 (2015, 2018)
ahq e-Sports Club 1 (2015)
Team WE 1 (2017)
Invictus Gaming 1 (2019)
MAD Lions 1 (2021)
PSG Talon 1 (2021)
Evil Geniuses 1 (2022)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A team from the Vietnam Championship Series was unable to compete in 2021 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. In 2022, a team from the CIS's League of Legends Continental League was unable to participate due to the cancellation of their Spring Split, in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  2. ^ Rebranded from SK Telecom T1 in 2019.
  3. ^ Rebranded from King-Zone DragonX to DragonX in 2019, and then to DRX in 2020.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erzberger, Tyler (2 May 2016). "The Mid-Season Invitational Power Rankings". ESPN. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ Lingle, Samuel (4 May 2016). "League Midseason Invitational day one recap". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ Johnson, Michael (3 May 2016). "League Of Legends Mid-Season Invitational – What You Need To Know!". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ Scott, Jake (1 May 2015). "MSI recap: Edward Gaming defeat SKT 3–2, become MSI 2015 champions". theScore eSports. Score Media Ventures. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  5. ^ Miller, Brian (8 May 2015). "League of Legends gamers occupy Civic Center". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  6. ^ Zacny, Rob (11 May 2015). "SK Telecom yield League of Legends MSI title to China's EDG as Faker falls short". PCGamesN. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  7. ^ Bishop, Rollin (11 May 2015). "EDward Gaming Wins the 2015 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  8. ^ Deesing, Jonathan. "Edward Gaming Beats SKT in Mid-Season Invitational". Red Bull. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  9. ^ Miller, Brian (8 May 2015). "League of Legends gamers occupy Civic Center". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  10. ^ Marshall, Paul (15 May 2016). "Korea's SK Telecom T1 wins the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational". League of Legends. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  11. ^ Marshall, Cassandra (17 May 2016). "Looking back at LoL's dramatic Mid-Season Invitational". PC Gamer. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  12. ^ "What is the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational?". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  13. ^ Salazar, Andrew (22 May 2017). "SK Telecom T1 Wins Mid-Season Invitational". Esports Source. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  14. ^ "League of Legends Gives Baron a Conqueror Skin". WWG. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  15. ^ "2018 Mid-Season Invitational: Schedule released – RealSport". RealSport. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Uzi finally meets his destiny by claiming the MSI crown with RNG". Dot Esports.
  17. ^ "The MSI Final for League of Legends becomes the most watched esports match ever". destructoid.
  18. ^ "Over 127 million people watched the MSI Final, making it the most watched esports match in history".
  19. ^ "Which LCS team will survive and advance at MSI?". Dot Esports.
  20. ^ "RNG and KINGZONE have always been desperately close to greatness". Dot Esports.
  21. ^ "2019 MID-SEASON INVITATIONAL EVENT OVERVIEW". lolesports.
  22. ^ Amos, Andrew (19 May 2019). "G2 smash Team Liquid to become the MSI 2019 champions". Dot Esports. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  23. ^ Stubbs, Mike. "G2 Esports Win 'League of Legends' MSI 2019 Tournament". Forbes. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  24. ^ Esguerra, Tyler (19 May 2019). "Caps wins Finals MVP award for his performance against Team Liquid at MSI 2019". Dot Esports. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Update on MSI from John Needham". lolesports.com. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  26. ^ Stavropoulos, Andreas (23 April 2020). "Riot officially cancels 2020 Mid-Season Invitational". DotEsports. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  27. ^ "MSI 2021 is Heading to Reykjavik, Iceland". lolesports.com. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  28. ^ Lim, Jang-won (20 April 2021). "MSI preview: 11 teams heading to Iceland; VCS unable to attend once again". Korea Herald. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  29. ^ "Royal Never Give Up win Mid-Season Invitational". reuters.com. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  30. ^ Jeon, Young-Jae (24 May 2021). "DWG KIA lose Mid-Season Invitational final to China's RNG". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  31. ^ Esguerra, Tyler (23 May 2021). "GALA ends MSI 2021 with the most kills in the tournament and the Finals MVP award". DotEsports. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  32. ^ "Riot Games to Host Mid-Season Invitational in South Korea". lolesportsmedia.com. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Riot announces MSI 2022 to take place in South Korean city Busan". invenglobal.com. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  34. ^ "Riot confirms MSI 2022 will take place in Busan, South Korea, and feature a live audience". Dot Esports. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  35. ^ Aletaha, Naz (21 April 2022). "Mid-Season Invitational 2022 Update". LoL Esports. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  36. ^ "MSI 2022 Primer". lolesports.com. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  37. ^ Younger, Warren (29 May 2022). "RNG defeat T1 to win MSI 2022". Upcomer. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  38. ^ Esguerra, Tyler (29 May 2022). "Royal 3-piece: RNG win MSI 2022, battle through hometown favorite T1 in exciting 5-game series". Dot Esports. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  39. ^ Stavropoulos, Andreas (23 April 2020). "Riot officially cancels 2020 Mid-Season Invitational". Dot Esports. Retrieved 23 April 2020.