LoL Mid-Season Invitational viewer’s guide: Everything to know

The best teams from around the globe will come together to stake their claim on the international stage.

League of Legends’ Mid-Season Invitational is one of the biggest events on the competitive calendar, bringing together teams from around the world to vie for the Mid-Season title and prize money. This year’s tournament is being held in Brazil from April 28 to May 21. If you’re new to League or just want more info on the tournament, we’ve got you covered. Find everything you need to know in this guide.

What is the Mid-Season Invitational and why should I watch?

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is one of two international tournaments hosted by Riot Games that pits the best teams from every League of Legends competitive region against each other, including: South Korea, North America, Europe, China, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Brazil, Latin America North, Latin America South, Turkey, Oceania, Russia, Japan and Southeast Asia.

The tournament is important to the League of Legends international landscape as the four teams that make it to the Knockout Round on May 19 will earn their region one of four top seeds in the Worlds 2017 Group Stage pool.

If you want to see some of the strongest League teams duke it out for the crown, then this is one of the few chances you’ll get all year. If you have never seen a League of Legends competitive game before— there is no better place to start than here.

Where can I watch the games?

You can watch the games on Riot’s official Twitch account.

What is the prize?

Money. The MSI prize pool is made up of a base $250,000. Extra money will be added to the prize pool depending on the amount of sales for League’s newest skin, Conqueror Karma.

The prize pool is broken down as follows: First place gets 40 percent, second place gets 20 percent, 3rd/4th gets 10 percent each, 5th/6th gets 5 percent each, 7th places gets 2.5 percent, 8th/9th gets 1.5 percent each, 10th/11th gets 1.25 percent each, and 12th/13th place gets 1 percent each.

When will it take place?

The tournament takes place between April 28 and May 21.

Where will it take place?

The Play-In Round will be at the CBLoL Studio in Sao Paulo on April 28 to May 5. The Group Stage and Knockout Round will take place at Rio Arena, Rio de Janeiro on May 10 to 21.

Who is playing?

  • CBLOL’s Red Canids – Brazil
  • LPL’s Team WE – China
  • LCL’s Virtus.pro – Commonwealth of Independent States
  • EU LCS’s G2 Esports – Europe
  • LJL’s Rampage – Japan
  • LCK’s SK Telecom T1 – Korea
  • LLN’s Lyon Gaming – Latin America North
  • CLS’s Isurus Gaming – Latin America South
  • NA LCS’s Team SoloMid – North America
  • OPL’s LG Dire Wolves – Oceania
  • GPL’s GIGABYTE Marines – Southeast Asia
  • LMS’s Flash Wolves – Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau
  • TCL’s BAU SuperMassive – Turkey

What teams should I look out for?

SK Telecom T1

SK Telecom T1 of the LCK is the best team in the world, and the favorites going into the event. They’re the current reigning world champions and have three world titles under their belt—more than any other team.

SKT’s impressive roster includes the best player in the world, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. He has won countless titles since his professional debut in February 2013, including three world championships, one Mid-Season Invitational title, and multiple LCK regional titles under the SKT banner.

G2 Esports

G2’s revamped play is punishing, and the rest of the MSI field should take note.

G2 Esports of the EU LCS is another team to watch out for, and they have a lot to prove.

G2 claimed they didn’t practice at all for MSI 2016, which left a lot of EU fans upset at the team’s lack of preparation for their international debut.

At Worlds 2016, the team practiced by bootcamping in Korea, but still failed to showcase their true potential when it mattered most. G2 lost all but one game in the group stages, and were knocked out from the competition earlier than fans had hoped for.

G2 are now looking to showcase their credentials as three-time consecutive EU LCS champions and are pushing towards making EU proud.

Flash Wolves

The Flash Wolves of the LMS have a great International pedigree. Flash Wolves have caused the LCK teams a lot of trouble on the international circuit and were the only team to beat SKT in a best-of-one at Worlds 2016.

Flash Wolves were undefeated for the entire Spring Split, going 14-0 in the regular season. The team only lost a single game out of 29. The organization now has its sights set on the international stage and is looking to repeat its IEM Katowice success.

What is the tournament format and how does it work?

MSI is split into two parts. The Play-In Round and the Group Stage.

What is the Play-In Round?

The Play-In Round is the pre-tournament—the rounds that decide the three teams that will join the top teams from the LCK, EU LCS, and LPL regions in the Group Stage.

Eight wildcard teams will be split into two groups. The winners of those groups will go on to face the best team in the NA LCS or the LMS region in the second round. The winners of the second round matches will advance to the group stages, the two losers will battle it out in a third round of battle to decide the final team to join the group of six.

Riot released a summary of all the teams from the wildcard regions, which includes useful information on each team and their individual stories.

Round 1 (April 28 to May 1)

Matches will be played between 2pm EDT to 7pm EDT.

Group A

RED Canids of CBLoL, LG Dire Wolves of OCE, BAU SuperMassive of TCL, and Rampage of LJL face each other in Group A.

Group B

Round 2 (May 3 to 4)

Matches will be played from 2pm EDT.

Group A and Group B’s winning teams will be drafted to face either Team SoloMid or Flash Wolves. The winners of these matches will progress to the Group Stage. The losers will head into Round Three.

Round Three (May 5)

Matches will be played from 2pm EDT.

The two teams that lost their series in Round Two will face each other in Round Three. The winner of this series will advance to the Group Stage.

The Group Stage is the original MSI format. It takes place between May 10 to 14 from 2pm ET until 7pm ET. Six teams compete in a round-robin stage similar to the Play-In Round. The top four teams at the end of the Group Stage advance to the knockout rounds.

The Knockout Round is a single elimination, best-of-five bracket that pits first and fourth place in the group stage and second and third place against each other.

These matches take place between May 19 to 21 from 4pm ET.

How will MSI affect Worlds 2017?

The wildcard team that places the highest this year at MSI will go home with the biggest wildcard team prize of all— a second Worlds 2017 entry for their region, which will be held in China from September 23.

The four teams that make it to the Knockout Round will make their region one of four top seeds in the Worlds Group Stage pool, similar to last year.