MSI 2022: Format, teams, schedule and more

The break is coming to an end: Mid-Season Invitational 2022 is approaching and LoL esports crowds are ready for the competition in Busan. The groups were already drawn, and Riot Games announced that MSI 2022 will have a live audience! If you are searching for details, let’s have a look at them together.

MSI 2022 is starting on May 10, and after three stages, the grand final will be played on May 29. The tournament is hosted by South Korea in Busan, on venues Busan Esports Arena and Bexco Exhibition and Convention Center. Let’s meet the teams, have a look at the format and find out where you can buy some tickets to live the action in person.


Image via Riot Games

After CIS league LCL’s discontinuation, MSI is missing a team once again, and the tournament will be played with 11 teams so it will use the same format as last year. The teams are drawn into two groups of four and one group of three teams.

MSI 2022 includes many teams that were the underdogs in their local leagues, and Group C fully consists of teams that weren’t the favourites, those teams weren't even the favourites at the grand finals of their respective leagues. Thus, we might witness some interesting results from each group and the teams could surprise us easily.

Group A: DetonatioN FocusMe, Saigon Buffalo, Team Aze, T1

They made some noise during Worlds 2021 and they are back: Yutapon’s DetonatioN FocusMe is the champion of Japan once again and they are carrying the Japanese flag here in Busan. The team finished the spring season of LJL first place with a record of 19-2, but it wasn’t as easy to win the playoffs. After a chaotic final which ended 3-2 in their favour, DFM secured the ticket to MSI.

Their replacement of Aria, Yaharong, will be their key to success at MSI 2022 with his 10.7 KDA and 9 champion wide champion pool during the LJL regular season.

Vietnam is here: As GAM Esports forfeited MSI due to the fact that they have to represent Vietnam at SEA Games, Saigon Buffalo is back after MSI 2019 (Phong Vũ Buffalo). Don’t worry G2 fans, the roster is totally different. Buffalo had a score of 9-5 in the regular season and was defeated by GAM 3-1 in the finals of VCS. There isn’t a player that stands out but their ADC Shogun and mid laner Froggy could be dangerous.

An unknown team joins from LLA this year, Team Aze. You might remember their mid laner Aloned. The team finished LLA 2022 Opening regular season 9-5 and moved on to the grand finals of playoffs to defeat Estral 3-2 and advanced to MSI 2022. Aloned really does take his team to another level, playing 14 different champions and having a KDA of 5.08.

Finally, T1 from South Korea. They are easily the favourites here at MSI 2022, they secured a 18-0 streak during the regular season and won two more series in the playoffs, finishing 20-0 and setting an unbreakable record. There isn’t any need to get into details for T1, but MSI 2022 could be the place where Gumayusi and Keria duo claim their throne as the best bot laners in the world.

Check out the first two matches of Group A below:

T1 (1.03)vs Saigon Buffalo (9.00) - May 10, 10:00 CEST
DetonatioN FocusMe (1.45) vs Team Aze (2.60) - May 10, 11:00 CEST

Group B: Istanbul Wildcats, PSG Talon, RED Canids, Royal Never Give Up

A familiar name from MSI 2021, Istanbul Wildcats is coming back this year. With a score of 1-5, only defeating MAD, MSI 2021 was a disappointment for them but they managed to dominate TCL this year. Their mid laner Serin, a mechanically-gifted youngster with high potential, managed to overcome his inexperience and became a different kind of monster this year, playing 9 champions with a KDA of 10.32. Keep your eyes on him.

Guess what? PSG Talon joins from PCS. After a 16-2 regular season, PSG Talon did struggle to take the title but even though it was 3-2, they are here at MSI 2022. Obviously, filling the places of River and Maple wasn’t easy for the team but as always, Taiwanese representatives will be a dark horse here. Hanabi has been leading the team with his mechanics and experience, but Kaiwing also turned into a different player, 6.86 KDA as support.

Brazil is sending in an underdog, like that would surprise you: RED Canids. After finishing the regular season third place with 11-7 and getting thrown into the lower bracket, RED managed their way to the final and defeated paiN, another underdog, 3-2. Although players hardly stand out, take note of TitaN and Aegis, they might surprise you.

They don’t need any introduction at all: LPL champions Royal Never Give Up is the last team in Group B. After a successful 12-4 regular season run, RNG outclassed V5 and TES to stay alive and head on to MSI 2022. With the addition of Bin, the team is more dangerous than ever and they are the real opponent of T1 here. Even with Bin, GALA and Wei on the roster, Xiaohu’s improvement as a player stands out, he accumulated a 5.52 KDA and played 13 different champions this year.

Check out the first two matches of Group B below:

Istanbul Wildcats (7.50) vs Royal Never Give Up (1.06) - May 10, 14:00 CEST
RED Canids (3.40) vs PSG Talon (1.26) - May 10, 15:00 CEST

Group C: ORDER, Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports

Oceania champions ORDER participate in the Group C as the underdogs. After a mediocre regular split, the team was able to improve their performances for the playoffs and defeat Chiefs in the finals. With a 5.99 KDA and 15 different champions played as an ADC, which is a rare record, Puma stands out as the real danger of ORDER, and he is their primary weapon to catch G2 and EG off-guard.

Evil Geniuses is yet another underdog champion, they won LCS by stealing it away from the trifecta of TL, C9 and 100. A balanced team, consisting of two experienced players, one incredibly skilled jungler and two rookies, EG is here to bring something exciting to MSI 2022. After his many pentakills, keep an eye on Danny, but take note of how confident jojopyun plays in the mid lane as if he’s been playing on this level for many years.

G2 Esports is the last team in MSI 2022 and Group C, and they were not the favourites of LEC either. Once, undoubtedly the best team in Europe, 2021 was rough for the super team and they changed their roster significantly. This year, their performances were mediocre but a 12-0 lower bracket run secured them the title. You should focus on caPs’ performance, he has been nothing but incredible during the playoffs and on his best form, caPs is one of the best mid laners in the world.

Check out the first two matches of Group C below:

G2 Esports (1.06) vs ORDER (7.50) - May 10, 12:00 CEST
G2 Esports (1.62) vs Evil Geniuses (2.15) - May 10, 13:00 CEST

Format and schedule

MSI 2022 will start with the group stage, with the first two groups playing a double round robin and Group C playing quadruple round robin. Top two teams from each group advance to stage 2, called “Rumble”. Rumble is the second group stage with six teams, like the original MSI format. After a double round robin, the top four move onto the Knockout stage, two BO5 semifinals and a grand final, meaning a single elimination bracket.

The group stage of MSI 2022 will start on May 10. First set of matches will be played mixed, on May 10-11-12. On May 13, Group B will finish, on May 14 Group C and on May 15, Group A. We will have a short break before the start of the Rumble stage, the double round robin of that stage will be played between May 20-24. Finally, the semi finals are on May 27-28 and the grand final will be played on May 29.

Image via Riot Games

Can I buy tickets to MSI 2022?

Yes, you can, if you can attend the tournament in Busan. Check out this announcement from Riot Games to see what you can do to buy tickets to MSI 2022. The group stage will be played with 300 people, Rumble will be played with 2,356 and the Knockout will be played with 4,000 people attending the venue. Prices for the tickets vary between $12.48 and $49.94.

If you can’t attend the tournament in person, don’t worry. You can find the games, watch them live and even place your bets on your favourite teams on Luckbox during MSI 2022.