ESTNN dives Group B of MSI, breaking down the teams and their histories ahead of the Mid Season Invitational.
With the recent news that Riot has updated the schedule and all groups will play on consecutive days with only a day of rest before the second half, the change makes it interesting to adapt and get ready for the second round robin. We already explored the stacked Group A, so now we'll take a look at what each team from Group B brings to the table.
Since Group B isn't considered the Group of Death, it is possible that any of these teams could come away with the first seed. After the group, the winner of Group B will face Flash Wolves in the first of two chances to qualify for the main section of the tournament.
DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL)
The group starts with the representatives of the LJL, DetonatioN FocusMe. The first time we met this team (internationally, at least) was during the play-ins of Worlds 2018. DFM was unable to make it into the main tournament as they went down 0-3 against the LPL 3rd seed EDG in the knockout phase of play-ins. DFM has been a constant Top Two team in the LJL, and now that Pentagram/Rampage disbanded, DFM locks up the top spot by default.
The LJL is like the majority of all other emerging regions in the sense that only eight total teams are playing in the hopes to raise the competitiveness of the leagues.
DetonatioN FocusMe had an unbelievable regular season, finishing 20-1, five games ahead of second place Crest Gaming Act. In the finals of the LJL, they face Unsold Stuf Gaming and achieved a quick 3-0 victory over them. Now they look to prove that the LJL is a region that is improving and that the DetonatioN era will continue to lead the way in Japan.
Vega Squadron (LCL)
Vega Squadron is the representative of the Commonwealth of Independent States region and will showcase their skills for the first time on an international stage. VS finished third in the regular season behind Gambit and Elements Pro Gaming. In playoffs, they successfully eliminated Gambit 3-0 in the semifinals before going on to dominate Elements Pro Gaming with a game score of 3-1.
Vega Squadron might be taking part in their first international tournament, but fans should already be familiar to most as they were one of the two teams that were issued warnings due to unsportsmanlike conduct against Vaevictis eSports (the team that fielded five female players).
Drama from early on aside, VS will want the international community to remember them for the right reasons. We can't forget that the LCL has given us some great teams in the past such as Albus Nox Luna and Gambit/Moscow5. This squad can definitely be a dark horse for the play-in stage.
INTZ e-Sports (CBLoL)
INTZ e-Sports might not be the team that many CBLoL fans were hoping to see going to MSI, but it is a team that international fans have gotten to know in the past. Most notably, INTZ was the team that took down EDG back in 2016 Worlds.
The team finished the regular season second with a 13-8 record, seven games behind the number one seed Flamengo eSports. INTZ had to 3-2 the semifinals as well as the finals to qualify for MSI. Historically, we have seen Brazil generate some of the biggest upsets, and with the grit that INTZ showed in playoffs, it is possible that they can replicate this in Vietnam.
Southeast Asia will have MEGA from Thailand represent them in MSI. Southeast Asia has a unique way of deciding who will represent the region. Four regions, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia/Singapore, hold a national qualifier of 14 to 16 teams.
The winner of each region advances to the regional playoffs that end with the four regional winners playing in one last tournament to decide who will represent the whole of Southeast Asia. MEGA was able to go through all these circuits undefeated and will be hoping to continue their run into the play-ins.