MSI LoL 2021 Groups Preview

MSI LoL Groups 2021 VCS cannot atend
The VCS is unable to attend MSI in Iceland due to pandemic travel restrictions in Vietnam. Image via Riot Games.

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League of Legends Spring season is over, with every region crowning a Spring Champion in the Spring Playoffs. With the regional champions, 12 of these teams are heading to the MSI in Iceland to kick off a quarantined LAN event to bring back international League of Legends. With that said, here is an MSI LoL 2021 Groups preview.

Who is attending MSI 2021?

MSI LoL 2021 Groups is supposed to have 12 teams attending the event. However, Riot Games has revealed that the VCS representatives cannot make it to Iceland for the event. Sadly, this is nothing new for the Vietnamese region. Before Worlds 2020 kicked off, the VCS teams had to pull out of the event due to their nation’s policy on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the rosters pulled out and had to forfeit their position, in return getting their share of the prize money. Consequently, Riot Games has had no choice but to issue the same policy.

MSI LoL Group A is the bracket that the VCS was drawn into. The rules of the event haven’t changed. Instead, there will simply be three teams competing in that group, with the top two heading deeper into the tournament as originally planned.  


Currently, 11 teams are heading to Iceland for the MSI LoL 2021 Event. The MSI LoL Groups consists of.

  • Group A: Royal Never Give UP (LPL), Unicorns of Love (LCL), Pentanet.GG (OCL).
  • Group B: MAD Lions (LEC), PSG Talon (PCS), Istanbul Wildcats (TCL), paiN Gaming (CBLOL).
  • Group C: DAMWON Gaming (LCK), Cloud9 (LCS), Infinity Esports (LLA), DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL)

MSI 2021 Format

Riot Games has implemented a Double Round Robin ruleset for the 2021 MSI LoL Groups. Teams will play each other twice, under a best-of-one system. The top two teams in each group advance to the Rumble Stage, while the bottom two head home after their elimination. 

The Rumble Stage contains the six remaining teams, who will once again participate in a Double Round Robin. The teams will also play each other in best-of-one series, determining the top four teams of the event.

Knock Out Stage is the remaining portion of the LoL MSI event. The remaining teams will face each other in a stand Playoff bracket, with the MSI seedings yet to be decided. Each series will be a best-of-five, with the teams fighting to become the MSI Champion. 

There are world implications for the event, with the most consistent region earning a fourth slot at worlds and the MSI winner’s region getting the fourth slot at Worlds 2021.

LoL MSI Group Storylines

Several major storylines are heading into LoL MSI 2021. The first one is the continuation of the DWG and G2 rivalry, albeit through Luka “Perkz” Perković appearing on Cloud9. Both are no strangers to each other, after having a heated battle in the Worlds playoffs of 2019 and 2020. Both teams are in the same group, so we definitely in for at least two spicy storylines and promos ahead of the games.

Furthermore, the MAD Lions upset during the LEC Spring Playoffs 2021 showed us anything is possible. As a result, the MAD Lions will cause a Turkish darby, with their top laner, İrfan Berk “Armut” Tükek, facing off against his home region representative, the Turkish Wild Cats. Furthermore, MAD Lions attending an international event means the roster needs to show up after exiting the Worlds 2020 Play-In Stage. One of the other big storylines is the return of RNG. The Chinese organization is one of the most internationally recognized LoL teams in the world. However, the organization lost its franchise player, Jian Uzi Zi-Hao, in Spring 2020, with the team flopping. Although, the roster has course-corrected itself over the last year, especially in the most recent Spring 2021 Playoffs. Now is the time for the roster to return back to its dominant international form it once was.