With all the leagues wrapping up their playoffs, we now know the 11 teams that will be representing each region at MSI.
MSI is back after a sabbatical due to the pandemic. This time, they are coming to Iceland with a new format for all the teams in the region to showcase their talents and abilities. Each team that has won their respective region will be competing in Iceland for the MSI trophy. However, a wrench was thrown into the situation as the VCS will yet again be not able to participate in an international tournament due to the pandemic restrictions in Vietnam. Riot has responded saying that they will move forward regardless. Thus, without further ado, let’s look at the representatives of each region.
Leading up to MSI, we will be breaking down each group and representative in detail. For this article, we will focus on introducing the team and the region they represent. Hence, let’s get right into it
DWG KIA (LCK):
Previous World Champions DK have dominated the LCK this split with their 3-0 win against Gen.G in the finals. Even with the loss of their star top laner, Nuguri, the team showed no signs of slowing down. Canyon has looked just as good and Showmaker has stepped up more for the team. MSI would be another platform for them to assert their dominance in the international stage once more leading up to Worlds 2021.
Royal Never Give Up (LPL):
Most older fans would be very familiar with this team during their run with Uzi as their franchise player. After a year of missing out of international tournaments, RNG is back in the international stage. With a new roster and Xiaohu in the top lane, this team beat FPX in a 3-1 final to secure a spot at MSI. They represent the best of the best from the LPL that has been a very competitive league for the past few year.
MAD Lions (LEC):
A team that was not G2 is representing the LEC. This is a real surprise considering the roster G2 has put together. MAD Lions exceeded all expectations in the LEC to beat G2 and Rogue twice in the playoffs in a best of five series. For this young team, this is a great opportunity for learning. While many fans are skeptical of how they will do at MSI, MAD Lions would definitely benefit from scrims and playing games against better competition. We will have to wait and see how well MAD does in the international stage.
With the acquisition of Perkz, the team is back at the top of the LCS after not making headway last year. Cloud9 was one of the top teams in the LCS alongside Team Liquid but ultimately C9 came out as the victor. Perkz has brought an edge to a team that is already very talented in the LCS. Whether they can bring that into the international stage is one thing to look forward to.
PSG. Talon (PCS):
After their Cinderella run in the play-ins of Worlds 2020, PSG. Talon is back in the international stage to prove that they are a mainstay as the PCS representative. They breezed through the playoffs of the PCS and is the strongest team PCS has to offer. Replacing Maple with Tank is a step in the right direction for the team and they will be vying for a Stage 2 berth at MSI.
Unicorns of Love (LCL):
Representing the CIS region will be Unicorns of Love once more. They had a good showing in the play-ins of Worlds 2020 and now are back to MSI to prove once more they are a strong team. They replaced Gadget with Lodik in the bot lane. Apart from that, this is the same roster as last year. They will be looking to once again push themselves further in the international stage to get a Stage 2 berth.
Infinity Esports (LLA):
Over the course of the past international tournaments, Latin America has sent a new team to the stage. For MSI 2021, this is no different as Infinity Esports clinches their spot for MSI. They went through a tough playoff run and finals against Furious Gaming. Some of their players have made MSI or Worlds in previous years. It will be very interesting to see how this team will perform in the international stage.
Istanbul Wildcats (TCL):
Istanbul Wildcats are a new team that is coming onto the international stage representing the TCL. All of the players in the team have been aroung in the TCL for a long time. Except one player, the rest have never made an international stage. HolyPhoenix has played international games and has been around for a really long time in LoL Esports. Its a new team coming into MSI and they should be interesting to watch.
paiN Gaming (CBLOL):
paiN Gaming and brTT makes their return to the international stage. The team had to run the entire playoff gauntlet in order to get to MSI and it is great to see them making a return. This roster boasts a lot of experience in both locally and some international experience. It is always fun to see a Brazilian team perform so we hope it will be no different for paiN Gaming this time around.
Detonation FocusMe (LJL):
DFM makes a return to the international stage as Japan’s representative. It is an almost identical roster to their previous iterations. However, the challenge for them would be to be competitive on the international stage. More often than not, they have failed to perform well at international tournaments. We can hope that this time around it will be different for the LJL.
After the OPL got disbanded, the LCO emerged as the replacement for the Oceanic region. Pentanet.GG comes from that region to qualify for MSI. Most of the players in the team have been mainstays in the LCO and are now bringing themselves onto the international stage. Although some of them have player some international tournaments, this team is still very new to the scene. A good performance from them will improve LCO’s standing as a region.
With the 12 teams confirmed here are the groups as they stand
- Royal Never Give Up
- Unicorns of Love
- MAD Lions
- PSG. Talon
- Istanbul Wildcats
- paiN Gaming
- DWG KIA
- Infinity Esports
- Detonation FocusMe
With the exclusion of the VCS, Group A looks to be a group of life for one of these smaller region teams. This will propel their standing for Worlds to possibly get a 2nd seed for like the LCL.
With that said, MSI will start on 6th May and we will put out updates when we can and put out some analysis as well.