May 16, 2019
May 16, 2019

Mid-Season Invitational preview

What is the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI)?

Mid-Season Invitational odds

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Mid-Season Invitational preview

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is League of Legends’ first major international tournament of the year, held between the Spring and Summer Split. MSI features the Spring Split champions from every region battling it out be crowned the ‘MSI Champion’. Read on to find out more.

Quick recap: What is the Mid-Season Invitational 2019?

The tournament format consists of three stages, the first being the Play-In Stage, where teams compete in a best-of-one (Bo1) double Round Robin, leading to two winners who will go on to face LCS representatives Team Liquid, and LMS representatives Flash Wolves in a best-of-five (Bo5) series knockout bracket. This will determine three teams to qualify for the Group Stage.

The Group Stage features automatic seeding for Invictus Gaming, SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports. These three seeded teams will be joined by the three teams determined in the Play-In Stage and will face off in a Bo1 double Round Robin once again to determine progression to the Knockout Stage

The Knockout Stage for MSI 2019 will feature the top 4 teams from the Group Stage, who will be battling it out in a Bo5 bracket for the MSI Champion title.

Mid-Season Invitational 2019 Knockout Stage odds

A list of odds for the Mid-Season Invitational 2019 Knockout Stage will be added once they become available. 

MSI 2019: The path to the finals

The dust has settled at MSI 2019 and four teams have proven their skill in the Group stage to come within touching distance of the MSI 2019 trophy. 

The best-of-one (Bo1) Group Stage was characterised by the absolute dominance of reigning world champions Invictus Gaming (IG, 1.030*) who achieved an almost perfect match record going 9 - 1 in the double Round Robin format. This was a first in MSI history, and it was a performance that secured them the first seed in the Bo5 Knockout Stage. Whether pulling ahead in the early game or clawing their way to a win through a deficit, IG is undoubtedly an unstoppable force going into the final games of MSI 2019. 

An impervious IG dominated the Group Stage but a reawakened SKT have their eyes on the trophy.

SK Telecom T1 (SKT, 1.377*) join the Knockout Stage of MSI with much to be desired from their performance going a mixed 7 - 3 in the Group Stage. This underperformance manifested itself in a head-to-head against IG which resulted in the shortest professional League of Legends game played at a Riot-sanctioned international event ever, clocking in at 16:01 minutes. This defeat would prove to be a turning point for SKT, as they would go on to sweep their remaining opponents and exact revenge on IG in the final game of the Group Stage to secure second seed. 

Coming in as the third seed, G2 Esports (G2, 3.110*) has surprised a number of analysts in the Group Stage with back-to-back wins over Korean powerhouse SK Telecom T1 (SKT), however they began subsequently dropping games against Phong Vu Buffalo and Team Liquid, finishing on a 5 - 5 match record. Despite the disappointing results, G2 brought the most convincing strategic approach to the current meta game at MSI 2019 and had their ‘Super team’ identity on show throughout the Group Stage. 

Team Liquid (TL, 12.900*) make the Knockout Stage of MSI 2019 on the slimmest of margins, defeating G2 on their very last Group Stage game and avoiding a tie-breaker match against Flash Wolves (FW) for the fourth seed finishing 4 - 6. TL’s gameplay was riddled with a number of issues, from their inability to create early game pressure to the lack of objective control, and the team looks to find redemption in the Bo5 Knockout Stage and prove themselves a worthy challenger for the title. 

MSI 2019: The final four by the numbers

Breaking down the statistics for the final four teams in the Knockout stage, it may surprise some that IG wasn’t the most dominant force represented in the Group Stage statistics and instead it is a tale of two with SKT.

IG claimed the highest First Turret percentage (FT%), Gold Differential at 15 minutes ([email protected]) and Baron control rate (BN%). The success in these statistics was primarily driven by the team’s Bottom lane duo JackeyLove and Baolan, who produced the highest combined share of damage and Kill Participation (KP) among the remaining teams.

SKT's statistics point toward a strong competitive form in the MSI 2019 Knockout Stage with a potential rematch against IG on the cards to go the full Bo5 distance.

On the flip-side, SKT hold the highest percentage First Blood rate (FB%), Dragon control rate (DG%) and lowest Average Game Time (AGT). SKT’s strategic edge in these statistics was driven by their preeminent Jungler Clid who outperforms the remaining peers in the same role with a notable divergence in indicators like KP and Kill-Death-Assist (KDA) numbers.

Touching upon the outsiders in G2 and TL, it would be difficult to describe their Group Stage statistics as anything but mediocre. However, players like G2’s Caps and TL’s Doublelift have provided moments of brilliance for the Western teams which could create windows of opportunity in the Knockout Stage Bo5 format. 

We are now entering the final stages of the Mid-Season Invitational, heading into the Knockout Stage, where only the best teams remain. All the MSI 2019 Knockout Stage action starts on 17 May with IG vs. TL and 18 May with SKT vs. G2. 

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About the author

Kristian Medina
Kristian is a writer & videographer for Pinnacle Esports having studied English Language & Media at De Montfort University. He's the go-to guy when it comes to League of Legends.
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