The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational is just around the corner. The eight champions set to open the tournament in the Play-In Stage from Turkey, Vietnam, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Japan, Brazil, and Latin America have been drawn into the two groups. It’s time to see who’s the best of the best in the first international tournament of League of Legends of 2019!
The eight teams were divided into two pools based on their previous international performance. This put the Turkish team 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor, the Vietnamese team Phong Vũ Buffalo, the Commonwealth of Independent States’ team Vega Squadron, and the Southeast Asian team MEGA in pool 1. While the Oceanian team Bombers, Japanese team DetonatioN FocusMe, Brazilian team INTZ e-Sports, and Latin American team Isurus Gaming were placed in pool 2.
After the draw, the groups are as follows:
- 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor
- Phong Vũ Buffalo
- Isurus Gaming
- Vega Squadron
- INTZ e-Sports
- DetonatioN FocusMe
Group A is viewed by many as the ‘group of death’ and rightfully so. On paper, all teams can take games off each other and have the possibility to qualify for Round 2. The biggest of Group A are the pool 1 teams, 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor and Phong Vũ Buffalo, having performed on the international stage before.
Phong Vũ Buffalo, specifically, after their surprising performance in last year’s World Championships where they got wins over the Flash Wolves and G2 Esports. They retained the same roster that played at Worlds 2018 and will look to continue where they left off. More importantly, they have the distinct advantage of having the crowd behind them as the hometown favorites in the Play-In Stage.
Group B has its own international veterans in INTZ e-Sports, DetonatioN FocusMe, and some members of MEGA. But it is the story of Vega Squadron that is most interesting in the group. They struggled in the past years, locally, but this year they were able to sweep the veteran CIS team and favorites, Gambit Esports and took the top team, Elements Pro Gaming in four games in the Grand Finals. They will look to prove their worth amongst the best teams in the world.
The Group Stage will be played in a best-of-one double round robin with the top teams of each group qualifying for Round 2. In Round 2, top team from Group A will face North American team Team Liquid and the top team from Group B will face the team from Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, the Flash Wolves in best-of-five matches. The winner of the Round 2 matches will continue to the Knockout Stage while the losers will play in the Losers’ Finals. The winner of which will round out the Knockout Stage.
The Group Stage of the Play-In Stage of MSI 2019 will be played in a best-of-one double round robin and begins on May 1.
Featured photo courtesy of lolesports Twitter