As we crown new split champions around the globe, the 10 teams who will face-off in the Play-In Stage of the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) are being locked. To determine the groups for the Play-In Stage, we’ll be hosting a Play-In Draw Show on April 24th at 2:00pm CEST (5:00 AM PT).
What is the Play-In Stage?
The Play-In Stage is the first stage of MSI, played before the Group Stage. Teams will be split into two groups of four, where they will play a double round-robin phase. The 10 regional teams will include:
- CBLOL’s KaBum! e-Sports – Brazil (BR)
- LCL’s Gambit Esports – Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
- LJL’s PENTAGRAM – Japan (JPN)
- LLN’s Rainbow7 – Latin America North (LAN)
- CLS’s Kaos Latin Gamers – Latin America South (LAS)
- OPL’s Dire Wolves – Oceania (OCE)
- GPL’s Ascension Gaming – Thailand, Southeast Asia Region (SEA)
- TCL’s BAUSuperMassive – Turkey (TUR)
- LMS’s Flash Wolves – Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau (LMS) – Round 1 bye, starts in Round 2
- VCS’s EVOS Esports – Vietnam (VN) – Round 1 bye, starts in Round 2
Round 1 takes place on May 3-6 with each day featuring six games from one of the two groups.
The winners of each group in Round 1 advance to Round 2 where they will be randomly paired against VN or LMS to play a best of 5 to advance to the MSI Group Stage. Round 2 takes place on May 8-9 and the winners of that round will advance to the next stage of the tournament, the Group Stage.
The losers of Round 2 will be eliminated from the tournament.
What is the Play-In Draw?
As noted in our MSI Format Update the eight teams are randomly sorted into two groups. The Play-In Draw is how we randomly sort the two groups for the eight participating region for the Play-In Stage, Round 1.
During the Play-In Draw Show, the on-air team will explain the teams and breakdown the process as it happens live.
How does Play-In Draw work?
Eight teams will be sorted into two pools based on past regional performance for the Play-In Stage, Round 1. As with MSI 2017 seeding, we’ll be using the last two years of competitive results where all Round 1 regions participated including IWCI 2016, IWCQ 2016, MSI 2017 and Worlds 2017.
When determining seeding for the Play-In Draw, we relied on principles similar to the ones used for overall MSI 2017 seeding:
- We prioritize events that qualified for Worlds over MSI (as Worlds is the pinnacle in our tournament year) – in this case, IWCQ 2016
- We prioritized recent results over older results as a better indicator of current strength – Worlds 2017 and MSI 2017
- We evaluated tournament results by the stage achieved, regardless of opponent or game record
Here are the Play-In Draw seeding results:
Pool 1: Brazil, Commonwealth of Independent States, Turkey, and Latin America North
Pool 2: Japan, South East Asia, Latin America South, and Oceania
It’s important to remember that exactly two teams from each of the pools will be sorted into each group.
The draw process will start by drawing the Pool 1 teams into both Group A and then to group B. After all 4 teams are placed into the two groups we will repeat the same process with the Pool 2 teams.
Why does the Play-In matter?
The top two teams from the Play-In Stage will advance to the Group Stage in Berlin on May 11-15. The recently crowned split champions from China, Europe (Fnatic), North America (Team Liquid) and Korea will join these teams for the Group Stage. As we previously announced, the Group Stage schedule will be confirmed immediately after the Play-In Stage.
How do I watch?
Watch the MSI 2018 Play-In Draw Show live on Lolesports on April 24th at 2:00 PM CEST (5:00 AM PT).
Don’t miss any of the MSI 2018 action starting with the Play-In Stage on Thursday, May 3rd at 1:00 PM CEST (4:00 AM PT).