Ranking the Mid-Season Invitational Play-In teams: Part 1

Mid-Season Invitational Play-In team rankings | MSI Play-In

The Mid-Season Invitational is the second biggest event of the League of Legends calendar year after Worlds. With the MSI Play-In just days away, let’s take a look at the teams that will be playing to get to the main stage. This list will rank the teams from worst to best based on their performance, their regional history, and deemed player skill. Team Liquid and the Flash Wolves will not be on this list, as they are major region teams. Today we are covering the first four entries on the list.

8. MEGA (SEA, LST Champion)

Mid-Season Invitational Play-In team rankings | MSI Play-In | MEGA Oceania

The LST representative has next to no believers.

  • Top: Atit “Rockky” Phaomuang
  • Jungle: Kwon “Jjun” Jun-seok
  • Mid: Nuttapong “G4” Menkasikan
  • ADC: Juckkirsts “Lloyd” Kongubon
  • Support: Ha “PoP” Min-wook

Starting off our list are South East Asia, MEGA. They sport the same core players as previous MSI representative Ascension, but with a pair of Koreans to bolster their strength. They defeated Team Empire in a deceptive sweep. This team relies heavily on Rockky in the top lane, and the finals were a perfect example as he split pushed to win two of their three games. The downside is this core is notorious for underperforming internationally, particularly Rockky. Among their play style, history, and being from the perceived weakest region, MEGA find themselves at the bottom of the list.

7. Bombers (OCE, OPL Champions)

Mid-Season Invitational Play-In team rankings | MSI Play-In | Bombers

The OCE rep has become a fan meme favorite.

  • Top: Min “Mimic” Ju-seong
  • Jungle: Choi “BalKhan” Hyun-jin
  • Mid: Tommy “ry0ma” Le
  • ADC: Victor “FBI” Huang
  • Support: Jake “Rogue” Sharwood

The meme dream team of Oceania has become a bit of a fan favorite as of late. They dominated the OPL, going 22-2 in games over the course of the split. The Bombers roster is a collection of players who individually could never reach international play, so this is the first experience for most of them. However, the Bombers have two major problems. The first is that the Direwolves have left the OPL’s international reputation in the dumpster as a bottom-tier region. The second is that they are in a group of death, with the other three members being in the top four of this list. While they have arguably the strongest carries their region has to offer, it will take a lot for anyone other than the memers to believe in the Australians.

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6. DetonatioN FocusMe (JP, LJL Champions)

Mid-Season Invitational Play-In team rankings | MSI Play-In | Detonation FocusMe

A promising contender with a lot to prove.

  • Top: Shunsuke “Evi” Murase
  • Jungle: Moon “Steal” Geon-yeong
  • Mid: Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida
  • ADC: Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura
  • Support: Yang “Gaeng” Gwang-yu

Despite shocking all at Worlds 2018, FocusMe still have a lot to prove. The region has played solid in the face of strong competition, but the LJL is still considered a weaker region after half a decade of Rampage/Pentagram being demolished on international stages. FocusMe are hot off winning their second consecutive title and have their first chance to play the field at MSI. Eyes are on the top and bottom lanes, reportedly the strongest of each Japan has to offer. Unlike the previous entries on this list, the pundits generally have hope for the LJL champions, assisted by their weaker group. However, this doesn’t change that DFM need to perform for the LJL to be taken seriously as a region, leaving them towards the bottom.

5. INTZ Esports (Brazil, CBLoL Champions)

INTZ Esports

A region on the decline.

  • Top: Rodrigo “Tay” Panisa
  • Jungle: Diogo “Shini” Rogê
  • Mid: Bruno “Envy” Farias
  • ADC: Guilherme “Mills” Conti
  • Support: Ygor “RedBert” Freitas

The CBLoL was once considered among the strongest wildcard regions, but it is in a state of decline. Brazil is a perennial Worlds underperformer and has been blessed with Rampage/Pentagram and the Direwolves in the same group at the two previous MSI events. The biggest problem is that INTZ arguably isn’t even the best team from the CBLoL, as they upset the 20-1 Flamengo in the finals. INTZ look to bring Brazil back to relevance, and they have the weaker group to boot. Looking to play around the bottom lane with gank-heavy jungle play, INTZ bring one of the few rosters that doesn’t have a top lane focus in the Play-Ins. If they defy the odds and win their group, they can bring Brazil back to relevance. However, currently they don’t really shine compared to the competition, hence their being placed fifth of the eight Play-In teams.

 

That wraps up the first half of the Mid Season Invitationals Play-In team rankings. Check in tomorrow for the top four teams of the MSI Play-In stage, and catch MSI itself on May 1.


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