Group A of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational has concluded. League of Legends Pro League champion Royal Never Give Up and League of Legends Circuit Oceania champion Pentanet .GG have advanced to the rumble stage, while League of Legends Continental League champion Unicorns of Love finds itself as the first team to be eliminated from MSI 2021.
Group A, like the other two groups at MSI, was supposed to have four teams, but complications due to the global COVID-19 pandemic barred Vietnam Championship Series champion GAM Esports from traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland.
As a result, each team had to play against its groupmates four times instead of the two head-to-head matches the other groups play, and Royal Never Give Up had a field day. RNG looked like the strongest team of any group in its 8-0, 1st place finish in Group A, even allowing top laner Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao to start in his legacy role of mid lane for the final game of the group against Pentanet. GG.
Because of Xiaohu's final start in the mid lane, starting mid laner Yuan "Cryin" Cheng-Wei sat on the bench and substitute top laner Yang "Xiaobai" Zhong-He played his first competitive match of 2021. RNG finished 8-0, but had long before become the first team to qualify for the MSI 2021 rumble stage due to the disparity between the Chinese representative and the other two teams in its group.
Pentanet .GG was expected by many to not win a game at MSI 2021. The Oceanic region never had a standout performance internationally in seasons past, and with the dissolution of the Oceanic Pro League at the end of 2020, expectations for the Australian squad were even lower than previous representatives. Despite this, PGG remained resilient and forced a tiebreaker after winning half of its matches against UOL.
Pentanet.GG looked every bit as loose as it did against an off-balance Unicorns of Love earlier in the day to even force the possibility of a tiebreaker, but even after losing to RNG one more time before the tiebreaker, PGG won its most convincing game of the group stage in the tiebreaker against UOL and qualified for the rumble stage alongside Royal Never Give Up. RNG and PGG will now wait for the conclusions of Group B and Group C to determine who will join them in the rumble stage of MSI.