The Mid-Season Invitational kicks off on May 1st with the Play-In Group Stage. There, eight teams from emerging regions will fight for the right to represent their respective leagues in the main event.
We gave you all a brief introduction to these squads after the Group Draw Show, but it's much easier to get excited about a match when you know who you're rooting for. Here's our list of players to watch throughout the MSI Play-In Group Stage.
Player to watch: INTZ top laner Rodrigo "Tay" Panisa is a vet who’s used to winning championships. His two and a half years with paiN Gaming and one with INTZ have been each organization’s best seasons.
Player to watch: Aleksandr "SaNTaS" Lifashin is a two-time LCL champion and an incredibly dynamic support player. Teams will have to be careful of his roaming Blitzcrank.
Player to watch: Kyohei "Ceros" Yoshida has played with DFM 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.
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Player to watch: Top laner Min "Mimic" Ju-seong previously played for KT Rolster and the disbanded European team Millenium. His back-to-back OPL championships show he’s still got what it takes to be a winner.
Player to watch: Volkan "Hades" Dinçer is notorious for his Yasuo. Don’t be surprised to see him break it out in the botlane.
Player to watch: Kwon "Jjun" Jun-seok is a talented Jungler, and one of the team’s two Korean imports. He also had the highest KDA (12.0) of all junglers in the LST according to statistics site lol.gamepedia.
Player to watch: Võ "Naul" Thành Luân is Buffalo’s mid laner, and at Worlds last year, he was easily able to hold his own against G2 Luka "Perkz" Perković (before his role-swap to bot lane). A similar performance at MSI could turn PVB into a legitimate threat.
Player to watch:
Sebastián "Oddie" Alonso Niño Zavaleta is a dominant force in the jungle for Isurus and is considered to be one of the best junglers in the LLA. He's also one of the few players to reach Rank 1 in solo queue in two different regions (LLA, NA).