After an exciting Play-in Stage, the stage for the Main Event of the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational is set! We’ve collaborated with the analysts from Mobalytics once again to update the picks and bans we expect to see for the rest of the tournament.
The TLDW from Play-ins:
Flash Wolves and Team Liquid both made it through as expected. The home team, Phong Vũ Buffalo, secured the final spot after defeating Vega Squadron 3-2 in the final knockout series.
As a result, here are the six teams participating in MSI’s main event:
Invictus Gaming (LPL)
SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
G2 Esports (LEC)
Team Liquid (LCS)
Flash Wolves (LMS)
Phong Vũ Buffalo (VCS)
Tier List Methodology
In our previous list, we had to predict many of our picks based on Spring 2019 playoffs and the 9.8 patch notes. For this main event list, we’ll be involving the Play-in Stage meta along with the influence of new teams (LPL, SKT, G2) entering the fold.
Our champion rankings for MSI are based on three categories, Permapicks (S), Predicted Picks (A), and Pocket Picks (B).
Permapicks (S) represent champions that are highly contested and have a very high presence as picks or bans. These champions are either popular picks from Play-ins or are newcomers that we expect as a result of the new teams joining the tournament.
Predicted Picks (A) are champions that may have had a solid presence in Play-ins but weren’t Permapicks or champions that have been heavily played in solo queue by players from the new teams. Predicted Picks have the potential to become Permapicks as the main event progresses.
Pocket Picks (B) are champions that may not necessarily be “meta”, but are champions that players are known for and may use as a trump card. These picks are rare and would likely be used as surprise picks to catch opponents off-guard. They can also serve to counter Permapicks and Predicted champions.
Note that we could not account for champions that were played in scrims leading up to and during the tournament so it’s possible that we’ll miss some surprises here and there.
Priority on Aggressive Solo Laners
As we predicted, aggressive champions like Jayce, Irelia, and Akali had a very high presence in during Play-ins. We expect this trend to continue and even expand as the likes of IG, SKT, and G2 enter the fold. Don’t be surprised to see Fiora and Riven rising in priority at Top lane.
Speaking of G2...
The representatives from LEC are easily the most unpredictable team of this year’s MSI. They’re capable of funneling, role swapping, and flexing virtually everything. Who knows what will happen as Mid Laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther and Top Laner Martin "Wunder" Hansen have been spamming games as a bot lane duo with weird pairs like Rengar + Ivern — they’re probably trolling, but you never know with G2.
A Tale of Two Paces: SKT and IG
It’s no surprise that these two teams are the favorites heading into the tournament - IG is coming off of a 2018 World Championship victory and SKT is in the midst of their redemption arc — and of course, they still have Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok in the Mid Lane. The two powerhouses are basically polar opposites as IG likes to play fast and skirmish often while SKT likes to play controlled and measured.
The Battle of Bot Lane
While everyone is focused on TheShy vs Khan at Top and Caps vs Faker vs Rookie at Mid, don’t forget about the duos of the tournament. Keep an eye on the playmaking Supports like SKT's Cho "Mata" Se-hyeon, TL's Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in, and IG's Wang "Baolan" Lui-Yi (the latter two having championship Rakan skins) to take initiative as engagers have been key.
For ADCs, the meta will be similar but should have less mages than the previous stage (again, who knows with G2), and perhaps more hyper-carries, as Tristana saw an increased amount of frequency in the Play-In. Kai’Sa, Ezreal, Lucian, and Varus should all remain as dominant Permapicks.
We Underestimated Sylas
Although most of our picks were on point, Sylas went under the radar for us. We originally thought that he would have taken a hit due to his substantial nerfs from patch 9.7. He went from being one of the most played champs in 9.6 to being barely played globally. It turns out being able to steal ultimates is still really good in professional play!
Thanks again for following our MSI tier list, it’s been a blast following along and analyzing the progression of the meta. The upcoming main event has been hyped as one of the best ever with many incredible storylines colliding, we’re excited to see how it shakes out.
Let us know in the comments below if you think we’ve missed any predictions! This list was curated for pro play, if you want to know the best champions for climbing at your ELO, check out the Mobalytics tier list for solo queue.