More teams went undefeated during MSI 2022 group stage than in tournament’s combined history

The merging of the group stage with the play-in stage has made the opening phase of MSI a breeze for certain teams.

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

At this year’s League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, three different teams—T1, G2 Esports, and Royal Never Give Up—posted undefeated records through the group stage of the tournament. Between the tournament’s inception in 2015 and last year’s MSI, only two teams had gone perfect through the group stage.

Prior to 2022, only 2015 SK Telecom T1 and 2021 RNG had gone perfect in the MSI group stage. More teams went undefeated in the group stage of this year’s event than during the tournament’s prior six years combined. In 2015, SKT played a single round robin against that year’s competitors, while RNG played a triple round robin against two minor region teams in a three-team group last season. 

In 2021, Riot merged the MSI play-in stage—which predominantly featured teams from minor regions—with the group stage of the tournament, effectively putting major and minor region teams at the same starting block during MSI. This change is an unignorable part of the reason why teams like T1, G2, and RNG were able to put up spotless records from the jump at MSI 2022. 

Related: RNG win all 3 replayed MSI group stage games, advance to rumble stage

The four major region squads at MSI 2022 had a combined record of 20-0 against minor region teams in the group stage. There have been no significant upsets involving a team from the LCS, LEC, LPL, or LCK at the tournament so far. 

This weekend, MSI’s rumble stage—the phase of the tournament featuring the top six remaining teams—will begin. This stage had originally been similar in nature to the group stage throughout MSI’s history, but the merging of major and minor region teams into the same talent pool last season called for an extra phase of the tournament to be added in place of the removed play-in stage. 

This year’s rumble stage will include all four major region squads at the tournament, as well as two minor region teams—Saigon Buffalo of the VCS and PSG Talon of the PCS, who advanced from Group A and Group B, respectively. PSG Talon went 7-10 in matches against major region squads last year, while Saigon Buffalo hold an all-time record of 3-12 against major regions. All three of those wins have come against G2. 

The MSI 2022 rumble stage will begin on Friday, May 20.