The dust has settled in the League of Legends’ 2019 Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Stage and the Main Event is upon us!
The Main Event of MSI 2019 features six teams including the three teams that had qualified from the Play-In Stage. The teams will play in a best-of-one double round-robin Group Stage, the top four teams will then continue to the Playoffs. The team that takes the top seed will have the privilege of choosing their opponent in the Bracket Stage, between the third and fourth seed.
Three teams qualified directly to the Group Stage from the region’s performance in the previous international performance. These teams are G2 Esports from Europe, Invictus Gaming from China, and SK Telecom T1 from South Korea. They will be joined by the three teams that qualified from the Play-In Stage, namely the North American team, Team Liquid, the team from Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Flash Wolves, and the Vietnamese squad, Phong Vũ Buffalo.
Team Liquid and Flash Wolves qualified after decimating Phong Vũ Buffalo and Vega Squadron in their respective Knockout Stage bouts. While Phong Vũ Buffalo held their own against Vega Squadron to clinch the third and final Main Event berth in the Losers’ Finals.
The teams that qualified directly will definitely be the teams to watch.
— lolesports (@lolesports) April 14, 2019
G2 Esports found themselves back on top of Europe after signing former Fnatic mid-laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther and former Misfits Gaming support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle. With the signing of Caps, G2 Esports mainstay and star player, Luka “Perkz” Perković moved to the bottom lane. The revamped G2 Esports dominated Europe throughout the Spring Split.
The biggest story for the G2 lies in the mid lane. It will be the first meeting of Caps and legendary mid-laner Faker and Caps will surely look to prove himself against the legend. There’s also the revenge storyline between Caps and Invictus Gaming, the team that took home the 2018 World Championships by stomping Caps and his former team Fnatic.
— lolesports (@lolesports) April 21, 2019
Speaking of Invictus Gaming, the 2018 World Champions will surely look to maintain their form and maybe more. The team was able to retain their roster and continued where they left off but this time in the Chinese League of Legends Pro League. Invictus Gaming finished the regular Split in second and continued to tear through Topsports Gaming and JD Gaming in the Playoffs to secure their very first LPL title.
With talented players across the board, eyes will be on top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and mid-laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin. Both have proven to keep up in the fast-paced meta while also keeping control in team fights.
Again, the middle lane match up of Rookie and Faker will surely be the one to make headlines. The two first met in Champions 2014 Spring where Rookie looked to have Faker‘s number. The two faced off again in 2018 Rift Rivals and Rookie held his grown against Faker. But with MSI 2019 being a bigger tournament than Rift Rivals, this is where the score between the two may be settled.
— lolesports (@lolesports) April 13, 2019
Lastly, SK Telecom T1, the three-time champions fell from grace last year and missed out on the World Championships, the first time since 2014. Since then, the team fortified their roster with former Kingzone DragonX top laner Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, former Jin Air Green Wings AD Carry, Park “Teddy” Jin-seong, former JD Gaming jungler, Kim “Clid” Tae-min, and former KT Rolster support, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. All three have shown strong performances in their previous teams. Mata more notably being a World Champion along with Samsung White.
SK Telecom T1 dominated locally as they ended the regular split in second and tore through Kingzone DragonX and Griffin in Round 3 and Round 4 of the Playoffs, respectively.
With a more menacing roster, they will surely look to contest the dominance of Invictus Gaming. The two teams are by far the favorites to make it to the Finals and will surely deliver exciting games when the two teams meet on the Rift.
The MSI 2019 Main Event begins later at 6 PM (GMT+8, Philippine Time) with G2 Esports facing SK Telecom T1.
Featured photo courtesy of lolesports Twitter