2019 Mid-Season Invitational
MEET THE TEAMS
13 Champions will compete at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational but only one will lift the trophy.
These are the teams that will represent their region.
LCK - SK TELECOM T1
OPL - BOMBERS
TCL - 1907 FENERBAHÇE ESPOR
VCS - PHONG VU BUFFALO
LCS - TEAM LIQUID
LJL - DETONATION FOCUSME
LEC - G2 ESPORTS
LCL - VEGA SQUADRON
CBLOL - INTZ E-SPORTS CLUB
LLA - ISURUS GAMING
LST - MEGA ESPORTS
LPL - INVICTUS GAMING
LMS - FLASH WOLVES
Bombers bring the OPL region fresh hopes and high expectations. They did a complete roster refresh in 2019, assembling some of Oceania’s best players in Rogue, FBI, and ry0ma, whilst importing the top side of their map with Mimic and Balkhan, both from Korea. The concerns around language barriers between their imports and the rest of the team proved unfounded as they dominated the regular split, dropping only two games and crushing the Finals 3-0. Bombers are backed by the Essendon Bombers, an Australian Rules Football club, that has ingrained their LoL team into their own culture and support base. This is a team that believes they have what it takes to succeed on the global stage and are determined to prove that not only to Oceania, but the rest of the world.
1907 Fenerbahçe Espor did a complete roster overhaul for 2019, resulting in their first TCL championship title since 2017. They breezed through Playoffs, with two 3-0 victories, including a win against Bahçeşehir SuperMassive, who have represented Turkey at three previous Mid-Season Invitationals. Now, it will be on 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor to prove that Turkey is still one of the strongest emerging regions on the international stage. They have a different playstyle compared to the other teams from the TCL, who are primarily mid and bot lane focused. The majority of 1907 Fenerbahçe’s damage output comes from their top laner Ruin, and jungler Kirei. The two put on strong performances in the later half of the split, helping earn the team a 20-match win streak. It’s a win streak they’ll be hoping continues at MSI.
PHONG VU BUFFALO
Phong Vũ Buffalo step into the Mid-Season Invitational as home crowd heros and with the exact same roster that appeared at Worlds 2018. They were the clear favorites to win the VCS 2019 Spring Split and dominated the regular season, only dropping one Bo3 and handily winning the Final 3-1 against EVS. Spearheaded in the top lane by Zeros, the Split MVP, they’re arguably the most talented roster in the VCS, but what really sets them apart is their macro and vision control. Their games are quick, clean, and they give opponents no chance to come back once they have a lead. It will be the third international appearance for three of their players and they say that the third time’s a charm, and when better to succeed than playing on home soil.
SK TELECOM T1
SK Telecom T1 and the LCK went through an unprecedented slump in 2018 that saw them fall short in domestic competition and on the international stage respectively. Now, after a complete roster refresh, built around the all-time great Faker, the king returns to the Mid-Season Invitational to retake his rightful throne. SKT is the most decorated organization in League of Legends history, having won three World Championships, seven domestic LCK titles, and two Mid-Season Invitationals. While Faker is the linchpin of the team, signing both Khan and Teddy brought incredible carry potential to all three lanes. Coupled with the brains of World Champion Mata, and the early aggression and map control of jungler Clid, this team will likely be indomitable when they take to the MSI stage.
Team Liquid returns to the Mid-Season Invitational after a hard fought 3-2 reverse sweep against TSM in the LCS Finals. The back-to-back-to-back LCS champions have dominated North America domestically for the past three Splits -- and with their star-studded roster it’s finally time to live up to their lofty international expectations. The Liquid roster features two World Champions in Impact and Spring Split MVP CoreJJ, five and six time LCS Champions in Xmithie and Doublelift, and finally Jensen, who promised that if his team could carry him to a domestic title, he’d carry them on the international stage. North American fans will be hoping he’s true to his word.
DetonatioN FocusMe completely dominated the LJL Spring Split, only dropping a single game in the Regular Season for a 20-1 record. They continued this level of play in the Finals, with an easy 3-0 victory over Unsold Stuff Gaming, for their second consecutive title and first trip to the Mid-Season Invitational. Their key players are mid laner Ceros and ADC Yutapon, who flex on opposing teams with their huge champion pools. Ceros played Heimerdinger six times during the season, with Yutapon picking champions such as Vladimir, Nunu, Karthus, and even Mordekaiser. It’s this flexibility which enables them to pull off a wide variety of strategies, and teams will underestimate them at their own peril.
G2 Esports emerged as the champions and, dare we say it, the Kings of Europe of the inaugural LEC Spring Split. This comes off the back of one of the boldest roster shake ups in competitive history, with superstar mid laner Perkz, who dismantled Royal Never Give Up at Worlds 2018 Quarterfinals, role swapping to ADC to make room for LEC MVP Caps in the mid lane. The gamble paid off, and after going 13-5 in the Regular Season, G2 would dominate Spring Playoffs, not dropping a single game. In the Finals, they handed Origen the fastest Finals defeat in European professional League of Legends. This team is fantastic at snowballing leads, flexible in the draft, and has carry potential all across the map.
Vega Squadron enters the Mid-Season Invitational after beating Gambit 3-0 in the Playoffs Semifinals, and abruptly ending Elements Pro Gaming’s claim on the Spring Split trophy with a 3-1 victory in the Finals. The CIS region has produced some iconic teams over the years, be it Gambit with their world renowned players or Albus Nox Luna of Worlds Quarterfinals fame, but now, it's time for Vega Squadron to step into the spotlight. What this team lacks in experience they make up for with insane individual mechanics and wide champion pools. Any team looking to make it to the Group Stage best not sleep on this young squad.
INTZ e-Sports Club is historically the most dominant team in the CBLoL. They’ve lifted the championship trophy four times and have attended multiple international tournaments as a result. Despite this pedigree, they came into the 2019 Summer Split Finals as underdogs against rivals Flamengo, who had gone 20-1 in the Regular Season. However, the Intrépidos, as the INTZ players are known, went to the stage ready to fight and pulled off a 3-2 upset. One of the team’s biggest strengths is Shini, their jungler, who creates openings in the early game to put his team ahead and makes space for Envy, their mid laner, to dominate his lane opponent and use that pressure to roam elsewhere on the map. After a quiet few years internationally, this CBLoL team will be looking to make their mark at this year's Mid-Season Invitational.
Isurus Gaming have been crowned champions in the inaugural season of Latin America’s unified championship. The Argentinian sharks made big roster changes in the offseason, signing both Seiya and Oddie to pair with Buggax, Warangelus and Slow, getting the best of Latam North and Latam South in one team. Despite being the closest thing to a Latin American super-team, they were slow to start in the Regular Season, ending in fourth place. Isurus Gaming then slogged their way through the Playoffs to face Rainbow7 in the Finals. Against their former team, Oddie and Seiya led Isurus to a 3-1 victory, and booked their tickets to Vietnam.
MEGA Esports breezed through the Thailand National Qualifier and took the LST Spring Major by storm, not dropping a single game on their road to the Mid-Season Invitational. The team is built around a core of former Ascension Gaming players and regional heavyweights in Lloyd, G4, and Rockky, who are no strangers to the international stage. They have been at the top of their region for years, attending multiple Mid-Season Invitationals and World Championships. They’re rounded out by Korean imports Jjun, Pop, and veteran coach Bigfafa, who will be looking to continue this unbeaten run when they travel to Vietnam for the Play-In Stage.
Invictus Gaming, the reigning World Champions, enter the Mid-Season Invitational with an identical roster that we saw rise to the top of Worlds 2018. It wasn’t smooth sailing for them to get to MSI, though. After Worlds, the team lost motivation. Their coach departed and the dominance of iG in the LPL waned. But with the signing of a new coach, and a recovery of their performance, iG gradually climbed back up to their World Championship form, defeating JD Gaming 3-0 in the Finals to claim their first ever LPL Championship. Rookie and TheShy, iG's solo laners, are arguably the best at this year's MSI, and as a team they are known for shortest, bloodiest games in the LPL. Whenever they step on stage, expect fireworks. At MSI, Invictus Gaming will be chasing the last major championship missing from their trophy case.
Flash Wolves are so synonymous with the LMS it’s almost hard to imagine another team representing the region on the international stage. Since Spring 2016, they have won every LMS championship and absolutely dominated the region. Yet, with the departure of star players SwordArt and Maple, there were question marks about whether Flash Wolves could continue their championship streak. They signed two Korean players, Rather from the highly talented LCK team Griffin, and Bugi. This created communication issues for the squad over the course of the Regular Season, resulting in a second place finish. But in the Playoffs, the Flash Wolves found their voice and the traditional “Underwolves” of the team, Betty and Hanabi, stepped up, helping the Wolves earn the LMS championship trophy for the seventh straight time.