The LCS, LEC, and LCK have concluded their Spring Splits, and we now know that Team Liquid, G2 Esports, and SK Telecom T1 are headed to MSI in May.
But they’re not alone. 10 other teams will take part in the competition, with three of those teams advancing to the main event after two rounds of play-ins. So to help you prepare for MSI, let's take a look at some of the potential opponents that Liquid, G2, and SKT may face at the tournament.
The Brazilian representatives should be no strangers to longtime fans, who might recognize them from their appearance at the 2016 World Championship. However, none of that lineup remains. Instead, this is an all-star squad, made up of CBLOL veterans and acquisitions from promotion teams.
Player to watch: INTZ top laner Rodrigo "Tay" Panisa is a vet who’s used to winning championships. His three years with paiN Gaming and two with INTZ have been each organization’s best seasons.
Vega should be familiar with fans of CS:GO and StarCraft 2, but their League of Legends team is not to be underestimated. They stomped league favorites Gambit and Elements Pro Gaming by embracing a non-standard meta.
Player to watch: Aleksandr "SaNTaS" Lifashin is a three-time LCL champion and an incredibly dynamic support player. Teams will have to be careful of his roaming Blitzcrank.
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DetonatioN FocusMe have been a top team in Japan for six years, placing first or second consistently in regional tournaments. For the past two splits, they’ve dominated the competition with a roster that has played together for the past three years. They’re consistent and a genuine contender at MSI.
Player to watch: Kyohei "Ceros" Yoshida has played with them since its inaugural season. His goal is to become “the Faker of Japan.” His Heimerdinger may sound like a troll pick, but it’s a legitimate threat.
Australia’s Bombers are a team that completely rebuilt themselves after a disappointing first year. With their two Korean imports and solid mechanical gameplay, they’ll prove an unexpected challenge for any organization that underestimates their ability.
Player to watch: Min "Mimic" Ju-seong was the previously the Top Laner for KT Rolster and disbanded European team Millenium. His back-to-back OPL championships show he’s still got what it takes to be a winner.
Turkey’s Fenerbahçe Esports are a team with a few familiar faces. Thomas "Kirei" Yuen and Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min are both former EU LCS players. Along with the TCL’s signature unorthodox picks (high priority on Blitzcrank, Yasuo, and Urgot), teams could find themselves caught out by this group of imports.
Player to watch: Volkan "Hades" Dinçer is notorious for his Yasuo. Don’t be surprised to see him break it out in the botlane.