A surprising slate of results at the first day of the Mid-Season Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida has created a situation where a three-way tie breaker between Europe, North America, and Taiwan seems likely.
Fnatic opened the event with a bit of an upset win over American side Team SoloMid. But Fnatic, who seemed like a lock for a top three seed after the victory, then fell to Taiwanese squad AHQ e-Sports Club. That puts the three teams precariously close in the standings heading into a Friday bout between AHQ and Team SoloMid, the most important match now remaining on the docket.
Assuming those three teams lose their matches to EDward Gaming and SK Telecom T1 on Friday, and win their games against wild card Turkish team Beşiktaş e-Sports Club, something that seems likely based off day one form, then that AHQ and Team SoloMid bout will likely decide whether Team SoloMid is eliminated or if we head into a tie breaker between Taiwan, Europe, and North America, with the losing team eliminated.
Fans will see two bonus games of League of Legends should Team SoloMid beat AHQ and set the teams even with 2-3 records, according to the MSI rulebook.
In that scenario, the team who won their combined two matches the fastest would receive a tie breaker bye, securing their tournament survival. The other two teams would play a match, with the loser ousted from the tournament and the winner moving on to play the remaining team to decide playoff seeding.
Of course if Team SoloMid loses that match, their run is likely over. Even a win over EDward Gaming later on Friday wouldn’t be enough to get them through as Fnatic and AHQ would hold the head-to-head tie breakers (assuming Fnatic beat Beşiktaş).
The good news for SoloMid fans is that their lone victory was a quick one. They dispatched Beşiktaş in 26:21, much faster than the 34:25 average for AHQ’s two wins or Fnatic’s 31:43 victory. Thats puts SoloMid in the driver’s seat: as long as they beat AHQ, it’s likely they’ll advance.
Of course, as Thursday showed, anything can happen in Florida. A Fnatic or Team SoloMid upset of the notably jet-lagged EDward Gaming could change everything, for example. The only thing that’s safe to say: tomorrow will certainly be exciting. There’s only four playoff spots available, and five teams look like they might deserve one.
Screengrab via LoLEsports/Azubu