Let’s start with an intro: my name’s Luna, I’m a massive esports enthusiast and very excited to do weekly articles for Tribefire!

I wanted to write about MSI this week, it’s one of my favourite events of the year! However, I understand not everyone is a fan of League of Legends or even understand Riot Games tournaments (even I get confused) – so I thought I’d give a solid overview of how the tournament works in this weeks article.

MSI is the Mid Season Invitational Tournament for the MOBA game League of Legends. Commenced in 2015, MSI is one of the three international tournaments hosted by Riot Games, with Rift Rivals and the World Championship held later in the year.

This year MSI is held during May 3rd – 20th, with the majority of the tournament held in Berlin, Germany and the final three days held in Paris, France.

A total of 14 teams have entered this year, including the newly founded Vietnam region (previously apart of GPL, this year Riot believed them to be good enough to form a region on their own – great news for small regions!).

Teams qualified for MSI this year:

Korea (LCK) – ‘KING-ZONE DragonX​’
China (LPL) – ‘Royal Never Give Up’
Europe (EU LCS) – ‘Fnatic’
North America (NA) – ‘Team Liquid’
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (LMS) – ‘Flash Wolves’
Southeast Asia (GPL) – ‘Ascension Gaming’
Brazil (CBLOL) – ‘KaBuM! e-Sports’
Commonwealth of Independent States (LCL) – ‘Gambit Esports’
Japan (LJL) – ‘PENTAGRAM’
Latin America North (LLN) – ‘Rainbow7’
Latin America South (CLS) – ‘Kaos Latin Gamers’
Oceania (OPL) – ‘Dire Wolves’
Turkey (TCL) – ‘BAUSuperMassive eSports’
Vietnam (VN) – ‘EVOS Esports’

Only one team per region can qualify for MSI, determined by winner of each regions split (the 1st split of the year, also known as spring split in certain countries).

Oceania was represented by the Dire Wolves (pictured above), known endearingly by fans as the ‘Wolfpack’.

Their current roster is comprised of Ryan ‘Chippys’ Short – the top laner, Shern ‘Shernfire’ Tai – the jungler, Stephen ‘Triple’ Li- as Mid, Calvin ‘K1ng’ Truong – the AD carry and Andrew ‘Cupcake’ Van der Vyer – as support.

This time last year, Dire Wolves beat Legacy 3 – 1 in split 1 of 2017 and took the stage in Brazil for MSI 2017. However, their hopes were crushed as they exited the play-in stage with just 2 wins under their belt.

This year, the wolfpack qualified after a dazzling reverse sweep against Chiefs in the first split of 2018.

They finished the split undefeated with 10 wins, firmly securing their spot for MSI and their 3rd consecutive split win.

Unfortunately, it was déjà vu for the wolfpack, as they left the tournament with 2 wins and 4 losses.

We may not have an OCE team in the tournament anymore but there is no lack of Aussies on the casting side!

Featuring Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi, Julian ‘Pastrytime’ Carr, Christopher ‘PapaSmithy’ Smith
and Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye, it’s clear that Aussies have a lot of talent and a bright future in esports.

Play-in stage is divided into two stages, groups and knockout.

Groups
Two groups of 4 teams are seeded, with a double round robin best of one.
The winner of each group advances to the play-in knockout stage.

Knockout
Two teams from the play-in group stage are randomly paired against two seeded teams from LMS and VN. Matches are best of 5, and the winners move onto the group stage.

Group Stage
Two teams from play-in and four seeded teams from Korea, China, North America and Europe, with a double round robin best of one.
The top four teams then advance to the final knockout stage.

Knockout Stage
Four teams single elimination – best of five. 1st place team from group stage then selects either the 3rd place or 4th place team as their opponent.

Seeding

Source: lolesports.com

MSI Format

Source: lolesports.com

The following teams are in the Knockout semi finals (best of 5):

RNG (China) vs Fnatic (Europe)

and

Flash Wolves (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau) vs KING-ZONE DragonX (Korea)

The winners of each stage will go on to the Grand Final in Paris, France to take home their winnings, trophy and the fabled title of MSI winner 2018!

The base prize pool is a massive $200,000 USD (roughly $266,050 AUD) with 25% of total sales from ‘Conqueror Varus’ champion and respective ward skins also contributing to the prize pool, currently sitting at $1,255,128 USD! ($1,669,634 AUD). Riot tournaments certainly don’t give out chump change!

There are plenty of other in game promotions in celebration of the tournament, my personal favourite being the pentakills & baron steal mystery gift promo. If a player steals Baron from the enemy team or executes a Pentakill, they get double chance of legendaries/esports skins in mystery items.

Hungry for more League events? The next event will be Rift Rivals, held in various countries around the world. Oceania Rift Rivals will be held in Australia. There is speculation it may be held in Melbourne, but Riot are keeping tight lipped about it for now.

The events will take place during the week of July 3–9, with 5 events.

Match ups:

NORTH AMERICA VS. EUROPE

CHINA VS. KOREA VS. LMS

BRAZIL VS. LATAM NORTH VS. LATAM SOUTH

OCEANIA VS. SOUTHEAST ASIA VS. JAPAN

VIETNAM VS. RUSSIA VS. TURKEY

Riot Games have made strides in the last few years in regards to hosting tournaments in different countries, and giving smaller regions (like Oceania) the opportunity to play in the major tournaments. Australia’s future in esports, especially with Riot Games, is looking bright.

For now, we have the rest of MSI to look forward to with many fan favourite teams in the knock-out finals. Which team do you want to win? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

For more information on international League events, check out:
https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/featured/2018-global-esports-event-announcement

Don’t forget to check out MSI live (and reruns) here:
https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames

Check out my Tribefire store:
https://www.tribefire.co/store/arcaneluna

Aim for the stars,
Luna