Although six of the teams in the event were invited, two earned their place through Chinese and European qualification tournaments: Invictus Gaming came through a tough Chinese qualifier, and Vega Squadron hails from Europe.
They join six other teams — Team VGJ, Newbee, Team Liquid, TNC Pro Team, Team Faceless, and Alliance. This tournament is played with a group stage and then playoffs.
The eight teams were drawn into two groups of four:
- Group A – Invictus Gaming, TNC Pro Team, Team VGJ, Alliance
- Group B – Team Liquid, Team Faceless, Newbee, Vega Squadron
The top seed in each group will have won its opening two games in the group, with the second spot in the group (and a place in the playoff semifinals) waiting for the team that finishes with a 2-1 record in the group.
Once the four semifinalists are known, then the top team in Group A will face the second team in Group B, and vice versa, in a best-of-three semifinal. The winners of these two semis then meet in the final in a best-of-five matchup.
Bet365 is currently offering a wide range of betting markets. At the moment, the winners of the last StarLadder event, Team Liquid, are the narrow 2/1 favourites just ahead of Chinese qualifiers Invictus Gaming (at 21/10).
Newbee are 5/1 to win the event outright, with VGJ 7/1, TNC 12/1, Team Faceless 16/1 and both Alliance and Vega Squadron the outsiders at 25/1. In addition to betting on the outright market, Bet365 offers Match Winner markets on each of the first two games in the groups.
Of course, this event comes just a week before the huge Manila Masters event, which we will cover in next week’s article.
League of Legends Mid Season Invitational reaches its climax
The group stage was not without drama. While huge favourites SK Telecom T1 did top the group, they did lose two of their 10 games.
However, the real drama came in the upper middle of the pack where just one game separated four teams. Qualifiers GIGABYTE Marines, who were expected by many to be thumped heavily at this level, did very well to win three of their 10 games. G2 Esports, Flash Wolves, and Team SoloMid all finished with 4-6 records necessitating a tiebreaker between Flash Wolves and Team SoloMid for a place in the playoffs; Flash Wolves won.
That means the playoffs will begin with SK Telecom T1, who are a massive 1/33 to win the game, taking on Flash Wolves (9/1) in the first semifinal. In the second, Team WE (2/7) will face off against G2 Esports (5/2) for a spot in the final in the second game.
Bet365 is once again offering plenty of betting on the culmination of this big League of Legends esports tournament. SK Telecom T1 are the hot favourites at 1/5 at the moment. Team World Elite, who did beat them once during the league stage, are a tempting 5/1 shot. Flash Wolves are an 18/1 chance, while G2 Esports are the 40/1 outsiders.
Currently there are over 25 different markets for the Mid Season Invitational at Bet365 Sport, including betting without SK Telecom T1, Individual Map Winner bets, Handicap betting, Correct Map Score bets, as well as bets on individual events within a game.