MSI 2021 / LoL Esports

Riot reveals group stage draw for 2021 Mid-Season Invitational

The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational is right around the corner and with that, Riot has revealed what the three groups will look like at the event. 

While no team has officially qualified for the 2021 MSI yet, Riot has already drawn the groups based on regional seeds. With only one team from each region, Riot was able to make the draw ahead of the regions’ playoff results. There will be a total of three groups with four teams in each and all of them are looking to be competitive. 

Here are the 2021 MSI groups

The group draw was based on all 12 regions’ seeds going into the MSI tournament. The seeds were based on the results of the last two years of international tournaments, including the 2020 World Championship. The twelve regions were split into the following four tiers. 

  1. China (LPL), Europe (LEC), and Korea (LCK)
  2. North America (LCS), Vietnam (VCS), and Southeast Asia (PCS)
  3. Turkey (TCL), CIS (LCL), and Latin America (LLA)
  4. Japan (LJL), Brazil (CBLOL), and Oceania (LCO)

With these seeds in mind, global director of operations Tom Martell conducted the draw through software that randomly assigned the teams into groups.

MSI 2021 groups

With these groups, there is no doubt that this year’s MSI will be competitive. Most notably will be group C, where the LCK and LCS will go up against each other. This gives the LCS a much-needed opportunity to prove itself on the international stage by going up against the defending championship region. Which the two teams will be is still unknown, but it looks like the defending world champions DWG KIA could be the ones to take on the representative from North America. 

In groups A and B, it looks like the LPL and LEC should be able to dominate. Both regions have performed well internationally in recent years and will be sending a strong representative no matter what. Besides those two major regions, the tournament structure enables smaller regions to get a chance in the spotlight. 

MSI champion will get an additional team spot at Worlds 2021

As a bonus for this year’s MSI, the winning region will get an additional team spot at the 2021 World Championship. After the 2021 MSI event concludes, the final global power rankings of 2021 will be calculated. The highest-ranked region will also get an additional slot at Worlds. If the highest-ranked region wins MSI, then this spot will pass down to the second-highest ranked region. 

The 2021 Mid-Season Invitational kicks off on May 6 and will conclude on May 23. A more accurate schedule will follow after all teams have qualified for the tournament.