Here it is folks! The first international League of Legends (LoL) tournament is underway and tensions are high. The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI 2018) tournament is the first time all regions from the competitive LoL leagues will come face to face.
With the recent franchising of teams, and the backing of some bottomless pockets, this spectacle will have all types of investors and organizations watching with anticipation. Here are a few firms and organizations that have a hand in directly funding teams: Detroit Venture Partners firm, Ludlow Ventures firm, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and individuals like NBA all-star Rick Fox.
While these heavy hitters are already players in the franchising of North American LoL teams, this tournament will have many potential investors tuning in to determine whether or not a future investment is a golden opportunity. Teams will not only be playing for the pride and joy of winning a championship, but for the possibility of earning huge checks and attracting potential investment money into the scene.
But first, what is MSI?
MSI is the first of two international tournaments held yearly for League of Legends. It carries huge seeding implications for the final tournament of the year, the 2018 World Championship. Riot Games owns 14 professional League of Legends regions around the world. Each region crowned the champion at the end of their first competitive split (Spring). These 14 teams will face each other to determine which players are the world’s best.
The respective regional champions:
- Brazil – KaBum! e-Sports
- China – Royal Never Give Up
- Commonwealth of Independent States – Gambit Esports
- Europe – Fnatic
- Japan – PENTAGRAM
- Korea – Kingzone DragonX
- Latin America – North – Rainbow7
- Latin America – South – Kaos Latin Gamers
- North America – Team Liquid
- Oceania – Dire Wolves
- Southeast Asia – Ascension Gaming
- Vietnam – EVOS Esports
- Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau – Flash Wolves
- Turkey – BAUSuperMassive
When & where?
- Round 1 Dates: May 3 – May 6
- Round 2 Dates: May 8 – May 9
- Location: EU LCS Studio in Berlin
- Dates: May 10- May 15
- Location: EU LCS Studio in Berlin
- Dates: May 18 – May 20
- Location: Zénith Paris – La Villette in Paris, France
What’s in for the pros?
Besides bragging rights, medals, and the title of world champion, teams are looking at a big payday if they progress later into the tournament. A guaranteed prize pool of $250,000, with 25% of the total sales from the Conqueror Varus and ward skins being added into the pool. The estimation among League of Legends insiders has the total at $1 million.
The prize pool payouts are broken down based on position placed.
- 1st: 38.5% (~$385,000)
- 2nd: 19.5% (~$195,000)
- 3rd/4th: 9.75% (~$97,500)
- 5th/6th: 5% (~$50,000)
- 7th/8th: 2.5% (~$25,000)
- 9th/10th: 1.5% (~$15,000)
- 11th/12th: 1.25% (~$12,500)
- 13th/14th: 1% (~$10,000)
These numbers are contingent based on the number of sales the 2018 Conqueror skins make. However, the teams also receive additional compensation for each of their in-game team emotes sold. 30% of those sales will go straight to team. Team emotes are in-game insignia that can be purchased to rep your favorite team’s logo during casual/ranked games.
MSI is broken down into three stages of play; the Play-In Stage, Group Stage, and Knockout Stage. The fun is just beginning. As the tournament heats up, we’ll continue to discuss the performance of teams during the Play-In Stage. Only 10 out of the 14 regions are going head-to-head during the Play-In Stage. The remaining four regions (Europe, China, Korea, and North America) are given a BYE and will start to play in the Group Stage. What two teams will survive the brutal Play-In Stage? Stay tuned and find out!