Why Mid-Season Invitational 2016 is Awesome
The League of Legends Mid Season Invitational (MSI) are usually not a prestigious event. While the tournament is well watched and often discussed on Reddit it’s results are often forgotten by the time Worlds comes around.
This year MSI featured 6 teams who met in a double round robin group stage. The top 4 teams then advanced through to the semi-final and final matches to determine the winner. We’ve now finished the group stage which means we have said goodbye to the team from Europe and the International Wildcard.
No one could have predicted what happened at MSI 2016 and this mixture of excitement, shock and drama has made this one of the most interesting international tournaments ever. Here are some of our reasons as to why you definitely have to watch the rest of this epic event.
Why MSI 2016 was Amazing
SKT T1 Haven’t Dominated
Korea is the king of the League of Legends eSports scene.
They won Season 3, 4 and 5 worlds and their region is often considered the best in the world. It’s extremely competitive which means players often practice for 12-14 hours a day. This breeds some of the best eSports players we’ve ever seen and Faker (the mid laner for the Korean team SKT T1) is arguably the best League of Legends player ever.
North America, on the other hand, is often considered the weakest of the main regions. It’s continuously mocked and not a single NA team managed to make it out of the groups in the 2015 World Championship. You can see why it’s such a shock that SKT T1 actually lost to the North American team CLG.
This makes CLG the only North American team to have ever defeated SKT T1 and Faker. This tournament wasn’t good for Faker as at one point he had the worst record of all the mid laners. It’s also the only time that SKT T1 have ever lost more than 2 games in a row to a non-Korean team. Fortunately for fans of the Korean scene they managed to rescue their campaign in the final few games to finish an embarrassing fourth.
The G2 Saga
The European champions G2 were extremely highly regarded going into this tournament. They had an extremely successful split in the EULCS and a lot of casters thought they could even make it to the final.
Unfortunately for Europe G2 decided to give their players a vacation before the tournament which led to them having an embarrasingly bad performance where they finished 2-8 and in 5th place. This angered a lot of the Europeans because they felt that their region was embarrassed by a team that didn’t take the event seriously.
This also has implications for the EU chances at worlds as the 1st seed in Europe will now be in Pool 2. This angered professional players such as Edward and added some drama to MSI 2016.
The Arena is Awesome
MSI 2016 has been hosted in Shanghai – a beautiful city in China. This is the first international event to be hosted in China since 2013 and Riot decided to host the tournament at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center which can be seen above.
The architecture of this arena is something else – It’s stunning. What makes it even more impressive is that Riot have gone all out inside the venue and made the stage look fantastic. The desks face inwards against each other and it’s an impressive sight – Professional League of Legends has come a long way from being played in a basement.
LMS Has Replaced EU
While the above graphic isn’t accurate (due to the NA region placing higher) it would seem Riot predicted the EU finish perfectly. Now before you start to yell scripted you can put your pitchforks away and understand that the above graphic was released in a series of hypothetical images before MSI 2016.
The real reason for including it in this post is that it now shows the Pool 1 teams (although BR would be replaced with NA). Yes that’s right – thanks to the poor showing of G2 at the MSI, EU won’t have a pool 1 team in the 2016 League of Legends World Championships. This is a new low for the EU region and will give them a tougher run throughout worlds.
MSI is Worth More Than the Money
In a bid to make MSI more prestigious Riot decided to base the World Championship 2016 seeding on the results of this tournament. This means that teams won’t just be playing for more money, but also to make their run at Worlds easier. This made the tournament worth a lot more than in previous years and has led to a much more competitive, and fun, event to watch.
Unfortunately for EU it would appear that G2 didn’t get the message about the MSI 2016 changes.
The Wildcard Regions are Growing
The wildcard teams at tournaments are often considered a free win. Despite all the jokes about EU being a wildcard the real wildcard this year came from Turkey – a team named Supermassive. While their 1-9 score doesn’t look great it doesn’t give an accurate picture of their campaign at the MSI 2016.
The players were entertaining, pressed advantages and proved their skills at a mechanical level. Their main Achilles heal was poor decision making but this will improve as they compete more at an international level. This team even managed to beat the North American Korean Slayers CLG which was truly counter logical.
The team, although only 5 months old, showed that the IWC regions are growing and will soon be able to compete with the lower seeds in the main regions. It won’t be long before some of these teams will get through the group stages at worlds and start to become a real threat and no longer a be considered a free win.