It’s been another busy week in the esports industry with a number of key tournaments coming to a close and others set to start in the next week or so. We begin this week’s review of the top tournaments with a look at the 13 confirmed entrants into the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, the tournament that takes place in between the Spring and Summer Splits.
Mid-Season Invitational Qualifiers confirmed
All 13 of the teams that will contest the forthcoming Mid-Season Invitational tournament in Vietnam and Taiwan from May 1-19 have now been confirmed.
The Mid-Season Invitational begins in the GG Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, with the Play-In Group Stage, which runs from May 1-4. The top two teams in each of the two groups then advance to the Play-In Knockout, which starts on May 5 and is also hosted at the GG Stadium.
In the Play-In Knockout, the two group winners will face the team from the LCS and the team from the LMS in a best-of-five double-elimination format. Three of the four teams will earn places in the Group Stage.
For the Group Stage, which begins May 10, we relocate to the National Convention Center in Hanoi. There, the three qualifiers will be joined by the three teams seeded into the Group Stage to play in a Round Robin opening phase. After this, the top four teams qualify for the Knockout Stage, which will be played at the Heping Basketball Gymnasium in Taipei from May 17 to May 19.
The full list of qualifiers (and the region they qualified from) is outlined below:
Group Stage seeds
- LCK – SK Telecom T1
- LEC – G2 Esports
- LPL – Invictus Gaming
Seeded into Play-In Knockout
- LCS – Team Liquid
- LMS – Flash Wolves
Seeded into Play-In Groups
- OPL – Bombers
- LJL – DetonatioN FocusMe
- VCS – Phong Vu Buffalo
- TCL – 1907 Fenerbahce Esports
- CBLOL – INTZ eSports
- LCL – Vega Squadron
- LLA – Isurus Gaming
- LST – MEGA Esports
The draw for the opening Play-In Group Stage has been made and is as follows:
- Group A – 1907 Fenerbahce Esports, Bombers, Isurus Gaming, Phong Vu Buffalo
- Group B – DetonatioN FocusMe, INTZ eSports, MEGA Esports, Vega Squadron
Group A winners will face Team Liquid in the Play-In Knockout Stage, while Group B winners play Flash Wolves at the same stage.
The action gets underway in Ho Chi Minh City on May 1 and betting on all of the MSI Play-In opening phase games is now available at bet365 Sport.
Emerging Dota 2 aces Keen Gaming land ESL One Mumbai title
You may remember last week that Chinese qualifier Keen Gaming had a superb start to the ESL One Mumbai 2019 tournament. They topped their group and moved into the Playoffs.
Things took a turn for the worse, however. Drawn against veteran team Natus Vincere, Keen Gaming went down to a 2-1 defeat in the opening round, dropping them down into the lower bracket and with a much tougher route to the final.
Natus Vincere were then dropped into the lower bracket themselves as Mineski won both their Upper Bracket Games to reach the Grand Final. Keen Gaming, though, showed real quality to make it through the Lower Bracket. The defeated The Pango 2-1 in Round 2 and then earned a 2-0 victory over TNC Predator in Round 3.
Then followed a rematch with Natus Vincere. This time Keen Gaming got their revenge with a 2-0 victory to earn a spot in the Grand Final.
The Chinese team started as the slight underdogs against Mineski, but they produced a masterful performance, winning all of the first three maps in this best-of-five contest to claim a 3-0 victory and the top prize of $135,000.
The win is the second big payday for Keen Gaming in the space of a month. It follows their 2nd place finish, earning $200,000, at the recent World Electronic Sports Games 2018, where they were beaten by TNC Predator in the final. More importantly, it was also the team’s first success in a Dota 2 Major.
Keen Gaming will be next in action as one of China’s three representatives at the forthcoming DOTA Pro Circuit Major event the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, which gets underway on May 4.
AVANGAR claim victory in CS:GO DreamHack Open Rio De Janeiro
The lastest DreamHack Open may not have featured many top-tier teams, but there were still eight emerging teams battling it out in Brazil over the weekend to earn the lion’s share of the $100,000 prize pool. In the end, the Kazakhstan-based AVANGAR landed the $50,000 top prize.
They came through the group stage in dramatic fashion, earning a 25-23 overtime win over eUnited in their opening match before then defeating INTZ eSPorts in their second game to claim the top seed from Group A.
Valiance were next up in the semifinals, but AVANGAR proved to be too strong, winning an entertaining and evenly contested semifinal 2-1. In the final, AVANGAR would face FURIA Esports, and things didn’t get off to the best start for the Kazakhs. FURIA took the first map comprehensively 16-2.
Then, AVANGAR bounced back to win the second 16-8 before the third and deciding map went into overtime before AVANGAR eventually came through in dramatic fashion to clinch a 19-16 win and, with it, the title.
The $50,000 prize is the biggest the team has won although it is not the first Major. They picked up a couple of CIS Minor Championships in Boston 2018 and Katowice 2019 previously.
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