The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational begins on May 1. All League of Legends regions sent their No. 1 teams to this tournament, but only one of them will get to lift the trophy. Find out who it’s going to be in our in-depth MSI power rankings!
13. INTZ e-Sports (CBLOL, Brazil)
Roster: Tay (top), Shini (jungle), Envy (mid), Mills (bot), Redbert (support)
INTZ e-Sports were never even supposed to make it this far. They spent the entire regular season lagging behind the unstoppable Flamengo eSports, and it was only in the finals that INTZ managed to find a narrow victory over their rivals.
Their side lanes are shaky, and it’s common to see them bleeding CS and giving away solo kills. On top of that, they don’t seem to know how to work together as a unit, so they tend to crumble in teamfights and skirmishes. Combine that with the fact that INTZ’s idea of macro is grouping as five and running it down the mid lane, and we don’t see much hope for this CBLOL lineup.
12. Isurus Gaming (LAA, Latin America)
Roster: Buggax (top), Oddie (jungle), Seiya (mid), Warangelus (bot), Slow (support)
Isurus Gaming aren’t looking too hot either. They make a conscious effort to draft winning lanes and accelerate the pace of the game, but they frequently mess up their rotations and take fights with 1-3-1 comps. Usually, they pull through thanks to the constant aggression from Oddie and potent carry play from Seiya. Yet this duo won’t be able to cover for the underwhelming side lanes at the MSI 2019 stage. Thus, Isurus will have a hard time executing their playstyle.
11. Vega Squadron (LCL, Russia)
Roster: BOSS (top), AHaHaCiK (jungle), Nomanz (mid), Gadget (bot), SaNTaS (support)
Vega Squadron is creative but unrefined. This team has a plethora of pocket picks at their disposal, so you can count on them to come up with creative drafts and off-meta strategies. Unfortunately, their players are far too inconsistent to put these game plans in motion. AHaHaCiK is the worst culprit. He can single-handedly throw the game with haphazard dives and questionable invades. And you can’t have that kind of weakness if you want to stand at the top of the MSI power rankings 2019.
10. DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL, Japan)
Roster: Evi (top), Steal (jungler), Ceros (mid), Yutapon (bot), Gaeng (support)
Japanese teams have always had a rough time at international events. And it’s unlikely DetonatioN FocusMe is going to turn this trend around. The best thing about them is their top laner. Evi is the definition of a 1v9 carry, and his teamfighting and teleport timings are the driving force behind DetonatioN’s success.
However, playing around this win condition is a tall order for the LJL champions. Steal is all over the place with his pathing, and Yutapon and Gaeng are uninspiring in the laning phase. These players frequently fall apart before Evi can get something going in the top lane. And while DetonanioN FocusMe know how to set up objectives and basic rotations, it won’t be enough to make them a strong MSI 2019 team.
9. MEGA (LST, Southeast Asia)
Roster: Rockky (top), Jjun (jungle), G4 (mid), Lloyd (bot), PoP (support)
Few teams have experienced as much domestic success as MEGA. This squad took the Southeast Asian scene by storm and qualified for the MSI 2019 without dropping a single game. It would be easy to attribute this success to the Korean duo of Jjun and PoP. The jungler has certainly been a massive asset for MEGA’s early game.
However, Rockky, G4, and Lloyd have also cemented themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their polished mechanics and veteran game sense became a solid foundation of this roster. Our only concern is that MEGA didn’t meet enough pushback in their home region, so they might be ill-prepared for international competition. But if they overcome this challenge, they might very well climb into the upper half of our rankings.
8. Bombers (OPL, Oceania)
Roster: Mimic (top), BalKhan (jungle), Ry0ma (mid), FBI (bot), Rogue (support)
It’s been a while since Oceania had a team as well-rounded as Bombers. Much like MEGA, they brought in two Korean imports—Mimic and BalKhan—to conquer the OPL. This tactic paid off in spades. Mimic’s laning and BalKhan’s pathing turned Bombers into one of the most dominant teams in their region.
Yet that’s not the only thing they bring to the table. Their native players are surprisingly solid, and it’s common to see Ry0ma securing sizeable CS leads and FBI crushing the enemy AD carry in the laning phase. Moreover, Bombers always seem to know exactly what they need to do on the map, so we fully expect them to have a macro edge over most play-in teams.
7. Phong Vũ Buffalo (VCS, Vietnam)
Roster: Zeros (top), Meliodas (jungle), Naul (mid), BigKoro (bot), Palette (support)
Vietnam has always been known for its wild aggression, and Phong Vũ Buffalo are looking to keep the momentum going at the MSI 2019. This team is all about forcing fights and initiating skirmishes. Zeros and Naul act as the primary carry threats in the solo lanes, and BigKoro and Palette provide some much-needed utility in the bot lane. Throw in a young mechanical prodigy in Meliodas, and Phong Vũ Buffalo have all the tools they need to shake up our MSI power rankings. The only problem is that their aggression is still unrefined, so it’s entirely possible Phong Vũ Buffalo will fall against more rounded lineups.
6. 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports (TCL, Turkey)
Roster: Ruin (top), Kirei (jungle), Bolulu (mid), Hades (bot), Japone (support)
1907 Fenerbahçe Esports have a solid claim to being the strongest team in Round 2 of the Play-In. Their jungler is a bit of a wildcard, but other than that, their players are more than capable of holding their own in lane and outside of it.
Yet their biggest strength is macro. 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports are well-aware of their win conditions, so you can count on them to set up good vision, take advantageous teamfights, and pressure the right objectives. Combine that with several off-meta picks, and 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports might be Turkey’s best chance to break into the Main Event.
5. Flash Wolves (LMS, Taiwan)
Roster: Hanabi (top), Bugi (jungle), Rather (mid), Betty (bot), ShiauC (support)
It’s no secret the LMS got a lot weaker this season. The disbandment of the 2018 Flash Wolves lineup was a huge blow to the region, and while the organization managed to rebuild its roster, it’s nowhere near the powerhouse it once used to be. However, even second-rate LMS squads have always been a step ahead of teams from emerging regions.
Flash Wolves still have a lot of bite thanks to their carries. Rather and Betty exert tremendous pressure in the mid and bot lane positions, and either of them can take over the game in the right circumstances. Mix in two potent supporting pieces in Bugi and ShiauC, as well as a hyperaggressive top laner in Hanabi, and you get one of the most cohesive rosters in our MSI power rankings 2019.
4. Team Liquid (LCS, North America)
Roster: Impact (top), Xmithie (jungle), Jensen (mid), Doublelift (bot), CoreJJ (support)
There’s no denying Team Liquid are a cut above other play-in lineups. Much like Flash Wolves, this squad lives and dies by its carries. Doublelift and CoreJJ are downright oppressive in the bot lane. They frequently outmuscle their enemies in the laning phase and break open teamfights in the late game. Meanwhile, Jensen provides a strong presence in the mid lane, so TL can attack their opponents from two angles at once.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, though. Impact has clear champion pool issues, and he will be out of his element on anything other than tanks and a handful of bruisers. And while Xmithie is renowned for his supportive playstyle, he will have a hard time keeping up with some of the more proactive junglers at the tournament.
3. G2 Esports (LEC, Europe)
Roster: Wunder (top), Jankos (jungle), Caps (mid), Perkz (bot), Mikyx/Promisq (support)
G2 Esports are the definition of a Western powerhouse. Every single player here could be the focal point on a different lineup, but when you gather under the same banner, you get an explosive mixture of brains, brawn, and raw firepower. Combine that with the fact that G2 are exceptional at making split-second decisions and outmaneuvering their opponents in the pick/ban phase, and they have the moving parts to become the best team in the West.
Hold on, though. There’s always a “but.” G2’s support, Mikyx, is suffering from wrist issues, so there’s a good chance he won’t be able to play at the MSI 2019. And while G2 Esports got Promisq as a potential replacement, the substitute doesn’t even begin to measure up to the starter.
2. SK Telecom T1 (LCK, South Korea)
Roster: Khan (top), Clid (jungle), Faker (mid), Teddy (bot), Mata (support)
SK Telecom T1 are the LCK juggernauts. This team has a long-standing history of international success as well as the benefit of fielding the greatest League of Legends player of all time—Faker. However, SKT’s mid laner might not even be the best part of their 2019 lineup. Teddy and Mata are absolute monsters in the bot lane, and Khan is a massive carry threat on the top side of the map. Throw in an explosive playmaker in Clid, and you get a roster that was forged with the single idea of becoming the No. 1 team in the world.
Finally, the best thing about this SKT is their macro. SK Telecom T1 are exceptional at navigating the map, setting up neutral objectives, and challenging their foes in late-game teamfights. And it’s this strategic depth that puts them in the top-2 of our MSI power rankings 2019.
1. Invictus Gaming (LPL, China)
Roster: TheShy (top), Ning (jungle), Rookie (mid), JackeyLove (bot), Baolan (support)
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say Invictus Gaming are the favorites to win this event. This team made a splash at the 2018 World Championship with their relentless aggression and overwhelming individual talent—and they’ve been riding this high ever since. A lot of it comes from IG’s solo laners. TheShy and Rookie are textbook examples of mechanical prodigies, and it’s common to see them scoring solo kills, turning jungle ganks, and single-handedly taking over teamfights.
Other players aren’t too shabby either. Ning is renowned for his unpredictable pathing and wild playmaking, and JackeyLove and Baolan made a name for themselves by constantly pushing their bot lane edge to the absolute limit. With that, Invictus Gaming have everything they need to run over other MSI 2019 teams. And we highly doubt someone will be able to challenge them.