The golden MSI trophy, sitting on a plinth, in front of a packed arena.
Photo via Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

MSI 2024’s play-in stage schedule pits LoL juggernauts T1 against LATAM underdogs

Welcome to the show.

After a busy opening few months to the year, the first international League of Legends tournament is almost here with the 2024 Mid-Season Invitational, where the play-in stage will test underdog candidates against four of the best teams in the world.

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Riot Games has unveiled the opening matchups for the play-in stage at MSI, which will include teams like FlyQuest, Top Esports, Fnatic, and the defending World Champions, T1. The Korean second seed will face off against Estral Esports to kick off the festivities at the Chengdu Financial City Performing Arts Center in China.

The Play-in Stage bracket at MSI 2024.
Let the games begin. Image via Riot Games

It will be an uphill battle for Estral since a majority of the lineup has only made it to one or two international events throughout their career. For example, former FlyQuest jungler Josedeodo only attended Worlds 2020 when he was with Rainbow7, while Cody and Ackerman both featured in MSI and Worlds the year after. Meanwhile, T1 is coming off of a World Championship win, another LCK Finals appearance, and arriving with a chip on their shoulder after losing to Gen.G.

FlyQuest will face PSG Talon in the next matchup of the upper bracket, while Top Esports will go up against the upcoming CBLoL representative. Lastly, Fnatic will collide with GAM Esports for the fourth and final matchup of the stage, marking yet another exciting start to an incredible tournament.

Unless there are significant upsets in the works, all four major region representatives are expected to move on to the second round of the upper bracket. If this future comes to light, we could see FlyQuest meet with Faker and the rest of T1’s high-powered roster, while Fnatic would rush head-on into one of the best teams from China.

There is, however, a lower bracket to provide a second chance for every team that stumbles during the first or second rounds of the play-in stage. It has been an addition that has seen widespread praise and has fans clamoring for double-elimination formats at Worlds with its potential to create some beautiful storylines to witness as the event heats up on May 1.


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Author
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.