Ready for some intense League of Legends (LoL) esports action? Before the LoL MSI 2021 starts, here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.


What is LoL MSI?

Graphic of Mid-Season Invitational 2021
Credit: Riot Games

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is an annual international tournament, held after the first half of the regular season.

All the regional champion teams for the season automatically qualify for a slot at the LoL MSI for a chance at the US$250,000 base prize pool and an additional team slot for their region at the 2021 World Championship (Worlds).


Format of MSI

Credit: Riot Games

The MSI 2021 format is divided into three stages — the Group Stage, Rumble Stage, and Knockout Stage.

Teams have been divided into three groups based on their seeding in the Group Stage. All matches will be played in a best-of-one (BO1) format where the top two teams will advance to the Rumble Stage.

Groups of Mid-Season Invitational 2021
Credit: Riot Games

This year’s MSI debuts the Rumble Stage, which is a double round robin format with matches also played in best-of-one. Only four teams will qualify to move on to the Knockout Stage.

The Knockout Stage is basically MSI’s Semifinals and Finals. Any mistake could be catastrophic for the remaining teams since this stage will be played in a single elimination format with matches played in best-of-fives.

In the previous MSIs, selected teams have to compete at the Play-In stage first. Riot Games changed the MSI 2021 format which now pits all teams on the same stage at the start of the tournament.


LoL MSI 2021 patch

League of Legends, MSI 2021, Mid-Season Invitational, Jax, Senna, Sett, Orianna, Aphelios
Credit: Riot Games

The LoL MSI 2021 will be played under the League of Legends patch 11.9, with Lulu expected to turn into a multi-flex champion according to Nick “LS” De Cesare’s patch rundown.

Additionally, new champions Viego and Gwen have been disabled for the LoL MSI 2021 patch.


All qualified teams for LoL MSI 2021

Promotional photo of DWG KIA
Credit: DWG KIA

Here are all the participating teams for the LoL MSI 2021 and their groups:

Group A

  • LPL (China): Royal Never Give Up
  • LCL (CIS): Unicorns of Love
  • LCO (Oceania): Pentanet.GG

Group B

  • LEC (Europe): MAD Lions
  • PCS (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Southeast Asia): PSG Talon
  • TCL (Turkey): Istanbul Wildcats
  • CBLOL (Brazil): paiN Gaming

Group C

  • LCK (South Korea): DWG KIA
  • LCS (North America): Cloud9
  • LLA (Latin America): Infinity Esports
  • LJL (Japan): DetonatioN FocusMe

Due to national travel restrictions, the VCS (Vietnam) champions GAM Esports will not be able to attend MSI. Group A will still play through in the same format, where the top two teams will move on to the next stage.

To find out the teams you should be watching, you can read the ONE Esports MSI 2021 power rankings here.


The MSI 2021 prize pool

League of Legends, MSI, Royal Never Give Up
Credit: Riot Games

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the winning team will get their lion’s share of the US$250,000 base prize pool, subject to increase taken from the sales of in-game MSI 2021 icons, emotes, capsules, and more.

The MSI 2021 champions will also get an extra slot for their region to compete at Worlds 2021, happening later this year November 6 in Shenzhen, China. However, with the MSI competition moving on with 11 qualifying teams, Riot Games has confirmed that the MSI champion will receive an additional regional team spot for their league at the 2021 World Championship.

After MSI, Riot will be calculating the final global power rankings of 2021 and will reward the highest-ranking league with an additional Worlds slot. If the top league happens to win MSI, the extra slot will go to the second-highest-ranking league.



The MSI 2021 full schedule

League of Legends, Mid-Season Invitational 2021 trophy
Credit: Riot Games

Here is the full 2021 MSI schedule, with times converted especially for SEA viewers. Note that all times are in GMT+8.

MSI 2021 Group Stage schedule

Day 1

May 6 (Thursday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – DWG KIA vs Cloud9
  • 10:00 p.m. – Infinity Esports vs DetonatioN FocusMe
  • 11:00 p.m. – Royal Never Give Up vs Pentanet.GG

May 7 (Friday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – Pentanet.GG vs Unicorns of Love
  • 1:00 a.m. – Istanbul Wildcats vs paiN Gaming
  • 2:00 a.m. – MAD Lions vs PSG Talon

Day 2

May 7 (Friday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – Pentanet.GG vs Royal Never Give Up
  • 10:00 p.m. – Unicorns of Love vs Royal Never Give Up
  • 11:00 p.m. – Infinity Esports vs. DWG KIA

May 8 (Saturday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – DetonatioN FocusMe vs Cloud9
  • 1:00 a.m. – fastPay Wildcats vs MAD Lions
  • 2:00 a.m. – paiN Gaming vs PSG Talon

Day 3

May 8 (Saturday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – Royal Never Give Up vs Unicorns of Love
  • 10:00 p.m. – Unicorns of Love vs Pentanet.GG
  • 11:00 p.m. – DWG KIA vs DetonatioN FocusMe

May 9 (Sunday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – Cloud9 vs Infinity Esports
  • 1:00 a.m. – MAD Lions vs paiN Gaming
  • 2:00 a.m. – PSG Talon vs fastPay Wildcats

Day 4

May 9 (Sunday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – Unicorns of Love vs Royal Never Give Up
  • 10:00 p.m. – Unicorns of Love vs Pentanet.GG
  • 11:00 p.m. – Royal Never Give Up vs Pentanet.GG

May 10 (Monday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – Royal Never Give Up vs Unicorns of Love
  • 1:00 a.m. – Pentanet.GG vs Unicorns of Love
  • 2:00 a.m. – Pentanet.GG vs Royal Never Give Up

Day 5

May 10 (Monday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – MAD Lions vs fastPay Wildcats
  • 10:00 p.m. – PSG Talon vs paiN Gaming
  • 11:00 p.m. fastPay Wildcats vs PSG Talon

May 11 (Tuesday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – paiN Gaming vs MAD Lions
  • 1:00 a.m. – paiN Gaming vs fastPay Wildcats
  • 2:00 a.m. – PSG Talon vs MAD Lions

Day 6

May 11 ( Tuesday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – Cloud9 vs DWG KIA
  • 10:00 p.m. – Detonation FocusMe vs Infinity Esports
  • 11:00 p.m. – DWG KIA vs Infinity Esports

May 12 (Wednesday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – Cloud9 vs DetonatioN FocusMe
  • 1:00 a.m. – DetonatioN FocusMe vs DWG KIA
  • 2:00 a.m. – Infinity Esports vs Cloud9

MSI 2021 Rumble Stage schedule

Day 1

May 14 (Friday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 10:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 11:00 p.m. – TBD

May 15 (Saturday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 1:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 2:00 a.m. – TBD

Day 2

May 15 (Saturday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 10:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 11:00 p.m. – TBD

May 16 (Sunday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 1:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 2:00 a.m. – TBD

Day 3

May 16 (Sunday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 10:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 11:00 p.m. – TBD

May 17 (Monday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 1:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 2:00 a.m. – TBD

Day 4

May 17 (Tuesday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 10:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 11:00 p.m. – TBD

May 18 (Wednesday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 1:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 2:00 a.m. – TBD

Day 5

May 18 (Wednesday)

  • 9:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 10:00 p.m. – TBD
  • 11:00 p.m. – TBD

May 19 (Thursday)

  • 12:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 1:00 a.m. – TBD
  • 2:00 a.m. – TBD

MSI 2021 Knockout Stage – Semifinals schedule

Day 1

May 21 (Friday)

  • 8:00 p.m. – TBD

Day 2

May 22 (Saturday)

  • 8:00 p.m. – TBD

MSI 2021 Finals Day schedule

May 23 (Sunday)

  • 8:00 p.m. – TBD

Where to watch MSI 2021

League of Legends, MSI 2021, Starts Right Here, song, Riot Games, Senna
Credit: Riot Games

The MSI 2021 will be streamed live on Riot Games’ Twitch and YouTube channels. You can also watch it on the LoL Esports website.

READ MORE: Perkz: ‘NA will be behind heading into MSI’