What happened to every MSI 2021 attendee in the past year?
The first international tournament of the 2022 League of Legends season, the Mid-Season Invitational, begins on May 10. Comprised of the Spring Champions from around the world, the 11 entrants will make the final attempt to assert their dominance over all other League of Legends Region.
While there are some new faces in the mix this year, others are returning after varying campaigns of MSI 2021 success. Additionally, some previously successful teams have failed to repeat themselves. And how better to understand what awaits us than by learning from the past? Let’s take a look at each MSI 2021 entrant and see if their story went well or not before the next iteration of the tournament begins.
China (LPL): Royal never gives up
Of the 11 participants at MSI 2021, RNG is one of four returning to the tournament this year, having won the League of Legend Pro League Spring Split two years in a row.
After winning MSI last year, RNG faced issues caused by burnout and quarantine, so they were eliminated at the start of the 2021 Summer Qualifiers. However, they returned during the regional final to earn a ticket to the 2021 League of Legends World Championship. They easily left their group but lost 3-2 to eventual world champions Edward Gaming.
Now, with star player Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao back in the mid lane, they’ve nabbed former Worlds runner-up top laner Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin and knocked out Top Esports in the LPL Spring Finals. 2022 to return as a starter. champions.
Korea (LCK): DWG KIA
After losing a five game streak to RNG in the 2021 MSI Finals, DK went on to dominate the 2021 LCK Summer Split and destroy everyone on their way to Worlds. Only EDG was able to stop them in the Grand Finals. Although it did not achieve its ultimate goal, DWG KIA had a spectacular year. But afterwards, the organization made enough changes in the top and bottom lanes to look like a new team in 2022.
With a new bot lane duo and two additional top laners, this roster hasn’t reached the level of success of its predecessor. They lost 3-2 to Gen.G in the Spring Playoffs and finished third on the season. They have since re-signed their former top laner, Jang “Nuguri” Ha, signaling the potential return of the Worlds-winning, LCK-dominating DK roster.
Europe (LEC): MAD Lions
Europe’s underdogs looked as strong as they could have during MSI 2021 – taking previous world champions DK to five games and showing everyone that what happened at Worlds 2020 wouldn’t happen at Worlds 2021. Unfortunately for them, the gap between MAD and the powerhouse that was DWG KIA only widened during the Summer Split, despite winning the LEC Trophy in the Summer Split Playoffs. They didn’t go further than the quarter-finals.
In the first split of 2022, the loss of their veteran mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and bot laner Matyáš “Carrzy” Orság hit them hard. Even though new additions William “UNFORGIVEN” Nieminen and Steven “Reeker” Chen showed they were worth their salt, they didn’t even get a chance to prove their top-5 excellence. They finished seventh in the regular division and did not make the playoffs.
North America (LCS): Cloud9
Unable to qualify for the semi-finals of MSI 2021, Cloud9 returned a little earlier than expected. However, after finishing 28-17 in the regular splits, they managed to snatch the final Worlds ticket given to North America.
Going up the play-ins, Cloud 9 was lucky enough to land in a group with two former world champions: DK and FPX. No one thought they would go further given the legacy of their opponents and North America’s historical lack of international success. Yet, surprising everyone, they managed to escape from their group. Gen.G quickly swept them in the quarterfinals, but they still achieved more than any other NA team in the tournament.
Along with dropping their head coaching weeks in the 2022 spring season, a semi-final in the Lock In Tournament and a fourth place finish in the playoffs (both 0-3 losses to Evil Geniuses) made a season decent. However, Cloud9 missed out on their chance to attend MSI 2022.
Still, the organization has a long history of falling behind and returning to the top, so who knows what it will do in the summer?
Pacific (PCS): PSG Talon
Alongside other Asian representatives, PSG had an impressive run, qualifying after the Rumble Stage against League Championship Series representatives Cloud9. After being beaten by the champions, RNG, they managed a flawless 18-0 summer season in the PCS to be propelled into the bottom bracket of the playoffs by Beyond Gaming. However, they later got their revenge and qualified for Worlds in a higher group than NA. Unfortunately for them, they were eliminated by RNG (their former international opponents) and Hanwha Life Esports (who fought their way out of the play-offs).
Once again, they had an amazing even spread this spring, but were knocked down just before the playoff finale by CTBC Flying Oyster. They managed to get back up and win against them in the final, 3-2, just like they did last summer against BG. Now they return as one of the contestants at MSI 2021 to continue their streak of success and maybe get some revenge on RNG, who eliminated them.
Oceania (LCO): Pentanet.GG
Former PGG top laner Brandon “Biopanther” Jeremy is the only member of his former team to return to MSI this year as part of ORDER.
“I think those teams are going to be tougher for sure,” Biopanther said of its MSI 2022 competitors. here to turn faces and surprise everyone for sure.”
After the merger of OCE and NA, many lost faith in the remnants of League of Legends Circuit Oceania. However, PGG surprised everyone last year by knocking out LCL representatives Unicorns of Love and going to the Rumble stage.
Back home, they took first place with their roster unchanged in the summer regular season, but lost to PEACE, who cruised through the bottom bracket to sweep them in the finals.
In early 2022, PGG changed four players, with bot laner Mark “Praedyth” Lewis remaining the only player on the 2021 roster. Finishing third in the regular season, they defeated PEACE with a clean sweep to be eliminated by ORDER, who crossed the lower slice to represent Oceania in this MSI.
“I want to do better than last year, and I have that chance again to make it happen. Shaking up major regions would be a great feeling,” Biopanther said. “I know a lot of the international community have been supporting us as a region for the last year, so I want to make them proud.”
Japan (LJL): FocusMe Detonation
In the absence of Vietnam, Japan turned out to be the best minor region in this era of League of Legends. Being stuck in a group with DK and C9, Detonation FocusMe did their best to challenge major regions, but ultimately finished third in their group.
Winning again domestically, they came to Worlds 2021 and haunted C9, who eliminated them at MSI. Finishing first in the play-ins, they qualified for the group stage of Worlds, a stunning achievement for LJL and DFM, putting them above other minor regions at the time.
They went 0-6 against EDG, T1 and 100T, but the fact that they were able to go this far is a testament to Japan’s growth as a region over the years.
Despite the loss of their mid laner Lee “Aria” Ga-eul, DFM won another LJL title this spring and can’t wait to prove once again that they are not to be underestimated. As one of the few MSI 2021 attendees returning this year, they’re ready to show off LJL’s strength.
Brazil (CBLOL): paiN Gaming
Last year at MSI, paiN Gaming may not have made it out of the groups, but they got something that could be worth even more – the upper hand in their rivalry against Turkey.
Returning home as winners, they went 14-4 and finished first in the Summer Split, but lost to Rensga Esports in the semi-finals. Much like PGG, paiN completely changed their roster except for their jungler, Marcos “CarioK” Santos de Oliveira Junior. With their new team, they won two best-of-five series in the Spring Playoffs, but lost to the RED Canids, who were also CBLOL’s 2021 Summer Split winners. Now they must trust RED to keep the upper hand in their rivalry against Turkey and represent Brazil’s might on the international stage.
CIS (LCL): Love Unicorns
Unicorns of Love’s story is the shortest due to reasons beyond their control. After not stepping out of the bands at MSI 2021, UoL returned home soon after, surprising and disappointing their fans. However, they finished first in the summer regular season and the playoffs, again giving their fans hope for international success.
Those hopes didn’t last long, as UoL were knocked out of the play-ins at the bottom of their group. With the cancellation of the LCL due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, no CIS team had the chance to represent their region at MSI 2022.
Turkey (TCL): FastPay Wildcats
Lacking international success in recent years, Turkey’s FastPay Wildcats returned home as the last team in their squad after losing to Brazil. They haven’t had a good summer spread either, ending their 2021 season in seventh place in the Turkish Championship League.
Yet, at the start of this year, something changed for the Wildcats as they began eating their opponents for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After taking absolute control of the league in week three, the Wildcats finished 14-4 before destroying everyone in their path throughout the playoffs. Lifting the trophy wasn’t just a national title for them – it was a chance to return to MSI as one of the 2021 entrants and show they’ve improved since last year.
Their group this year is very similar to last year, with the exception of RNG. According to veteran bot laner Anıl “Holyphoenix” Işık, their goal is to advance by taking second place over PSG Talon and RED Canids
“As we are on the same roster as last year, we want to learn from our mistakes and show a better IW to the world.” said Holyphoenix.
This is a chance for them to rekindle the rivalry of minor regions on their side and prove that Turkey is not bound by the absence of their past successes.
Latin America (LLA): INFINITY
Finishing last in their group of DK, C9 and DFM, INFINITY returned home with a thirst for success. Taking their fill of the Liga Latinoamérica, they finished first in both rounds of the closing split and won the final against Estral Esports 3-2 to qualify for the Worlds play-ins.
Once there, they finished last in their group of HLE and LNG and went home without a win. This year they were knocked out in the bottom bracket of the opening playoffs by Team Aze, who won their Premier League LLA.