MSI 2021: All qualified LoL teams, format, group draw, Mid-Season Invitational schedule - Dexerto
League of Legends

Who has qualified for MSI 2021? All teams, format, schedule

Published: 12/Apr/2021 6:45 Updated: 12/Apr/2021 6:46

by Isaac McIntyre

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The first international event of the League of Legends calendar, the prestigious Mid-Season Invitational, is finally just around the corner ⁠— here’s everything we know about MSI 2021 so far, including all qualified teams, format, and more.


  • Cloud9, MAD Lions latest orgs to make qualification cut.
  • Korea’s DWG KIA and Oceania’s Pentanet.GG were first teams to qualify.
  • Extra World Championship slot on the line for winning region.

The annual mid-year League of Legends event is back in May, after a season off due to ongoing travel restrictions. 

Riot Games has announced the prestigious MSI 2021 tournament will be going ahead in Icelandic capital Reykjavik, with the best teams from each LoL qualifier region descending to battle for the season’s first international silverware.

G2 Esports currently stand as defending MSI champions.

Here, Dexerto brings you everything you need to know about the impending Mid-Season Invitational qualification battle, group draw, how to watch, and more.

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MSI 2021: official stream

When does MSI 2021 begin?

The Mid-Season Invitational is all set to begin on Thursday, May 6.

This start date comes after a lengthy “break” period for the qualifier teams. Spring postseasons are currently being contested across the world, with regions like Korea, Latin America, and the newly-founded Oceanic LoL Circuit set to finish first.

China, Vietnam, Brazil, and the PCS playoffs will conclude last.

The event will begin with Stage 1 (see below), on the same day. The international tournament will play out across nearly three weeks.

The Mid-Season Invitational grand final is penciled in for May 22.

Perkz and Caps with the 2019 MSI trophy
David Lee for Riot Games
Luka “Perkz” Perkvoic (left) is still the defending MSI champion after 2020’s event was canceled.

MSI 2021: Format & Details

The Mid-Season Invitational sees the 12 top regional teams from around the League of Legends world come together to battle for international glory.

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This time around, Riot Games have tweaked the format slightly.

In the past, developing regions like Turkey, Brazil, and Oceania were made to battle through a “Play-In” qualifier. The top four regions — China, Korea, Europe, and North America — were seeded straight into the main stage.

In 2021, all twelve qualifying teams will play from the word “go”. The event begins with three four-team groups, before splitting into Stage 2 and eventually into squeezing into the best-of-five knockout bracket in late May.

Event Information

  • Location: Laugardalshöll Sport Center, Reykjavik
  • Prize Pool: TBA
  • Stage 1 (Groups)
    • Teams are drawn into three groups based on seeding
    • Double Round Robin
    • Matches are best of one
    • Top two teams from each group advance to Stage 2
  • Stage 2 (Rumble)
    • Double Round Robin
    • Matches are best of one
    • Top four teams advance to Stage 3
  • Stage 3 (Knockout)
    • Single elimination bracket
    • Matches are best of five

All qualified teams

Region Team Pool Date Finals Result
China
⁠⁠TBD 1 April 18 FunPlus Phoenix vs TBD
Europe
⁠⁠MAD Lions 1 April 11 MAD Lions 3-2 Rogue
Korea
⁠⁠DWG KIA 1 April 10 Damwon Gaming 3-0 Gen.G
North America
⁠⁠Cloud9 2 April 11 Cloud9 3-2 Team Liquid
PCS
⁠⁠TBD 2 April 18 TBD
Vietnam
⁠⁠TBD 2 April 18 Saigon Buffalo vs GAM Esports
CIS
⁠⁠TBD 3 April 17 Unicorns of Love vs CrowCrowd
Latin America
⁠⁠Infinity Esports 3 April 10 Infinity Esports 3-2 Furious Gaming
Turkey
⁠⁠TBD 3 TBA 1907 Fenerbahçe vs İstanbul Wildcats
Brazil
⁠⁠TBD 4 April 18 paiN Gaming vs Vorax
Japan
⁠⁠DetonatioN FocusMe 4 April 11 DetonatioN FocusMe 3-1 V3 Esports
Oceania
⁠⁠PentanetGG 4 April 10 PentanetGG 3-1 Peace

Group draws

The 12 competing regions were split into four pools, then drawn into three groups. China, Europe, and Korea were handed the top seeds for past exploits.

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The division of regions into tiers from one through four was based on results from the last two years of international play. The group draw was reportedly conducted by Riot director of operations Tom Martell utilizing software to randomly assign teams in groups A, B, and C.

Here are the MSI 2021 groups for Stage 1:

  • A ⁠— LPL, VCS, LCL, PentanetGG.
  • B ⁠— MAD Lions, PCS, TCL, CBLOL.
  • C ⁠— Damwon Gaming, Cloud9, Infinity Esports, DetonatioN FocusMe.
The Mid-Season Invitational 2021 group draw.
Riot Games
The Mid-Season Invitational 2021 group draw.

MSI 2021 Stage 1 (Groups): Standings

Group A

Place Team Record  
1 LPL 0-0
2 VCS 0-0
3 LCL 0-0
4 Pentanet.GG 0-0

Group B

Place Team Record  
1 MAD Lions 0-0
2 PCS 0-0
3 TCL 0-0
4 CBLOL 0-0

Group C

Place Team Record  
1 DWG KIA 0-0
2 Cloud9 0-0
3 Infinity Esports 0-0
4 DetonatioN FocusMe 0-0

Extra Worlds spot on the line

Perhaps the most mouthwatering part of Riot’s latest announcement was confirmation the MSI winners would earn their region an extra Worlds qualification spot through victory.

“This year, the MSI champion’s league will receive an additional regional team spot at Worlds,” the organizers wrote.

“After MSI concludes, the final global power rankings will be calculated. The highest-ranking league will get an additional slot, unless that region also won MSI. In that case, the slot would pass down to the second-ranked league.”

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