The group stage of the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational has concluded, and the playoff bracket has been set.
The group stage consisted of a double round-robin best-of-one format, with four of the six teams advancing to the best-of-five, single-elimination playoffs.
Despite coming in with limited expectations, it was Flash Wolves who dominated the first round robin of the group stage. After a weak year for their region as a whole in 2017, they had to win a play-in match to even get to the main group stage, but there they were able to put together a 6-0 run that quickly guaranteed them a playoff spot.
In the end, however, it was Royal Never Give Up that were able to claim the top seed. A fantastic run through the second half of the group stage saw them fight their way back to a tie-breaker
As the top-seeded team, Royal were given their choice of opponent for the semi-finals. Unsurprisingly, they chose to avoid Kingzone DragonX, opting instead to face Fnatic for their semi-final match-up.
Fnatic had a relatively strong start to the tournament, picking up a win against Kingzone DragonX and becoming the first team to take a game against Flash Wolves. A losing streak in the final games contrasted with a winning streak for Team Liquid, however, meant that the two LCS champions had to play a tie-breaker to reach the playoffs, with Fnatic emerging victorious.
The Flash Wolves will face LCK champions Kingzone DragonX in their own semi-final. Kingzone entered the tournament as heavy favorites, but a mixed group stage saw them . The Flash Wolves themselves were a particular source of trouble for Kingzone, losing to the LMS champions on both occasions, but Korean teams have historically been a very different beast in best-of-fives.
Royal Never Give Up versus Fnatic will take place at 12:00pm CEST on Friday May 18th, while Flash Wolves versus Kingzone DragonX will take place at the same time on Saturday May 19th. The final will occur between the respective winners on Sunday May 20th.