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MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational: Schedule, prize pool, format, how to watch and more

Your guide to the League of Legends MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, featuring everything you need to know, from how to watch, the teams, schedule and more.
MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational: Schedule, prize pool, format, how to watch and more

The MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, the second most important international League of Legends tournament behind Worlds, will be back in 2021 after being cancelled last year due to the current COVID-19 situation. Twelve of the best teams from around the world will set off for Reykjavík, Iceland, the host city for what is set to be an epic battle to conquer the Summoner's Rift and to rise as the new champions and taking the MSI crown from G2 who defeated Team Liquid back in 2019.

Now, the time has come to review everything that awaits us at the MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, from the teams to the schedule, format, prize pool and more.

MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational: The teams

The event will bring together the best teams from each of League of Legends’ regional leagues, with the champions of all 12 regions automatically qualifying.

MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational teams:

  • Royal Never Give Up (China)
  • MAD Lions (Europe)
  • DWG Kia (Korea)
  • Cloud9 (North America)
  • PSG Talon (Southeast Asia)
  • Unicorns of Love (CIS)
  • Istanbul Wildcats (Turkey)
  • Infinity Esports (Latin America)
  • DenotatioN FocusMe (Japan)
  • paiN Gaming (Brazil)
  • Pentanet.gg (Oceania)

Due to national travel restrictions related to COVID-19, the team from Vietnam (VCS), GAM Esports, will unfortunately not be able to participate.

2021 Mid-Season Invitational: The format

Unlike past years, the MSI 2021 format will be very different, with the scoop that the Play-In Stage will no longer exist, but instead, all teams will start from the Group Stage.

Group Stage

The participating teams have been divided into three groups of four teams, where they will have to face each other in a double round-robin format, having a format similar to that of the Worlds Play-In Stage.

After a random draw, the placement of the groups for this phase has been as follows:

MSI 2021 mid-season invitational how to watch schedule format teams prize pool(Picture: Riot Games)

The best two teams in each group at the end of the round and after subsequent tie-breaks will qualify for the next phase. Due to one team not being able to participate, Group A, as you can see above, will only feature three teams.

Rumble Stage

Being the classic six-team phase of the MSI, here all the best teams of the Group Stage will face each other in a double round-robin format, where the best four teams will advance to the final phase.

Knockout Stage

Starting from the semifinals, this will have a single-elimination bracket in which the first place of the Rumble Stage will be able to choose their opponent from those classified in third and fourth place.

Once done, the teams will play best-of-five matches, with the winners advancing to the finals for the MSI championship title.


2021 Mid-Season Invitational: Prize pool

As is customary at MSI, there will be a prize pool that will increase according to the profits that are collected from the sale of the Conqueror skins and other exclusive content released for the event, with a base amount of $250,000 USD offered up by Riot Games.

MSI 2021 mid-season invitational how to watch schedule format teams prize pool
Conqueror Nautilus. (Picture: Riot Games)

At the moment, the distribution of the prizes has not been announced.

In addition to the prize money, Riot has announced two features that will impact the Worlds 2021 pools, as the winning region of the MSI will obtain an extra seed within the maximum annual competition of LoL.

In turn, the best-ranked region according to Riot's power ranking will also receive an additional seed in Worlds. However, if this region became the winner of the MSI, the seed will be awarded to the second-highest ranked region.

MSI 2021 mid-season invitational how to watch schedule format teams prize pool
G2 Esports, current LEC & MSI champions. (Picture: Riot Games)

MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational schedule

The MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational is scheduled to run from 6th to 23rd May 2021. The Group Stage will run from 6th to 11th May, followed by the Rumble Stage on 14th to 18th May. 

Lastly, the Knockout Stage will take place from 21st to 23rd May. Matches are scheduled to begin at 16:00 GMT.


How to watch MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational

You can follow all the matches of the MSI 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and the top leagues of the League of Legends competitive through League of Legends' official Twitch channel and the LoL Esports YouTube channel. Alternative, you can head on over to the LoL Esports website to catch all the matches live there, as well as other details as the tournament continues.

We've embedded the official Twitch channel below for your viewing convenience.