The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is the 2nd biggest international League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Games annually since 2015. The First Mid-Season Invitational was held in Tallahassee, Florida from 7–10 May 2015 and the prize money of $200,000 was distributed among the top 4 teams, for which the winning team from china received $100,000. Mid-Season Invitational takes place between the Spring and Summer splits of all League of Legends regions, the leading teams out of each season’s regional league will compete for the title, MSI trophy, and the winning team will also earn an extra team slot at the League of Legends World Championship for their region.
The Mid-Season Invitational is the 2nd most important international LoL tournament aside from the LoL World Championship. The winners of every region in the League of Legends Esports ecosystem compete for the title. In the first MSI, only 6 teams competed but In 2021, the tournament features 12 teams.
Throughout the 6 Mid-Season Invitational tournaments, the location of the event rotates every season, the MSI 2021 took place in the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. Currently only 7 countries has the Mid-Season Invitational: The United States, China, Brazil, Germany, France, Vietnam and Taiwan. The 2022 Mid-Season Invitational LoL tournament will take place in Busan, South Korea with a prize pool of $250,000.
Mid-Season Invitational Format 2022
On March 29, Riot Games confirmed that they are going to host the Mid-Season Invitational 2022 in Busan, South Korea. The MSI is set to kick off on 10th May and the teams have already started to fly to the destination of the event in Korea. The MSI 2022 will take place in the Busan Esports Arena and the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO).
11 teams will participate in the MSI 2022, all the winners of the spring split Riot Games’ League of Legends regional tournament will be competing in the event destination except for two teams. League of Legends Continental League (LCL) will not be able to send a representative since the league’s season was canceled and due to COVID-19 travel restrictions China’s Royal Never Give up will compete remotely from the training base or LPL’s Shanghai arena. All 11 teams will battle for the trophy, the title of MSI 2022 champion, the prize pool, and the winning team will also earn an extra team slot at the League of Legends World Championship for their region.
To put up the fact that Royal Never Give up will be playing remotely, Riot has officially confirmed that instead of the standard zero ping environment the tournament will be played on 35 pings.
The format of the Mid-Season Invitational used to have a Play-In stage from 2017 to 2019 but since 2021 all the regions are featured in a Group Stage and MSI 2022 will have pretty much the same format as MSI 2021.
Mid Season Invitational Tournament Format
The Mid-Season Invitational 2021 replaces the format of the Play-In stage which was used from 2017 to 2019 with a Group Stage that features all regions. The Mid-Season Invitational 2021 consisted of three competitive stages: Group Stage, Rumble, and Knockout.
Without further ado, Let’s discuss the current format of MSI League Of Legends below.
The Winners of 12 individual Riot tournaments spring splits from every region will qualify and directly participates in the first Group Stage where the 12 teams will be divided into 3 groups of 4 teams based on seeding. All groups will play a double round-robin format where each team will face each other twice and the top two teams from every group will advance to the rumble stage while the bottom two teams from each group are eliminated. All matches of the Group Stage will be Best of One (Bo1).
If a team, unfortunately, is unable to participate, the format of the event will not change despite one less team. If Group A has one less team, the group will start the tournament with the remaining 3 teams, and as originally planned only two teams will advance to the next stage. The other groups will be unaffected.
The six remaining teams in the betting odds have to go through another Double Round-Robin format where they play against each team twice. The 4 teams will advance to the Knockout Stage while the bottom two teams are eliminated. All matches of the Rumble Stage will be Best of One (Bo1).
The remaining four teams will play in a single-elimination best-of-five bracket. The team that took the 1st place in Rumble Stage will choose to face either the 3rd or 4th place team.
Mid Season Invitational 2021 Review
The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational took place in Reykjavík, Iceland from 6–23 May 2021. Initially, twelve teams qualified for the event but GAM Esports from Vietnam Championship Series couldn’t attend the event due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, so eleven teams competed in the Group Stage. All matches of the tournament were hosted in the Laugardalshöll with no fans due to pandemics. The final of MSI 2021 was played on 23 May between Royal Never Give Up from china and DWG KIA (formerly Damwon Gaming). Royal Never Give Up defeated the DWG KIA and won the championship 3–2. They become the 2nd team to win two Mid-Season Invitationals after T1 (formerly SK Telecom T1). Chen “GALA” Wei won the Most Valuable Player award in the final.
The finals of the MSI 2021 were watched by over 1.8 million unique viewers and the entire event has a total viewing time of over 61 million hours. Royal Never Give Up took $75,000 out of the $250,000 prize pool while the runner-up won $50,000, the 3rd-4th position team received $25,000.
Riot Games has been hosting Mid-Season Invitational since 2015. The First MSI took place on 7–10 May 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Only 6 teams participated in the first tournament and in the finals, Edward Gaming defeated SK Telecom T1 by winning the inaugural championship 3–2. The prize money of $200,000 was distributed only among the top 4 teams, Edward Gaming received 50% ($100,000) of the prize pool.
The current prize pool for Mid-Season Invitational is $250,000, now it is distributed among the top 10 teams and the winning team will only receive 30% ($75,000) of the prize.
After losing in the finals of the Mid-Season Invitational 2015, SK Telecom T1 redeemed themselves by winning the title of Mid-Season Invitational 2016 and 2017. But in 2018 Royal Never Give Up won the title and after winning the MSI 2021 they become the 2nd team to win Mid-Season Invitational twice. Riot Games always makes sure to host Mid-Season Invitational every year but during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, they had no choice but to cancel the MSI 2020.
The MSI 2017 was only watched by 916,592 viewers and could only get 34,696,019 watched hours but these stats have pretty much doubled by 2021. The MSI 2021 was watched by 1,839,876 viewers and the watched hour of the event reached 61,185,964.