The Mid-Season Invitational is finally back. After a year off due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the pandemic, MSI 2020 never happened. This was a big blow to many teams who had fought tooth and nail to win their respective regions. Now in Reykjavik, Iceland, MSI 2021 will take place with the top 11 teams battling it out. The VCS representative will not be attending.
As a reminder, the top two teams will make it to the next round and they will face each other in a double round-robin. Here is a look at the four teams that make up Group C.
DAMWON Gaming (LCK)
TOP: Dong-ha “Khan” Kim
JNG: Geon-bu “Canyon” Kim
MID: Su “ShowMaker” Heo
ADC: Yong-jun “Ghost” Jang
SUP: Geon-hee “BeryL” Cho
Without a doubt, DAMWON is the favorite to make it out of groups with the best record. DWG finished the first split in 2021 with an impressive 16-2 record.Only Gen.G and Fredit Brion were able to find DAMWON’s weakness during the regular season. However, when it came to the playoffs, no one could slow DAWMON down. In fact, they didn’t drop a single map on their way to winning the LCK Spring bracket.
DWG’s jungler Canyon took the MVP honors for the regular season. Along with Canyon, Khan and Showmaker were awarded the All-LCK First Team position for top lane and mid lane respectively. This DAMWON team is aiming to simply outclass every other opponent in their group. It’ll take a massive meta change and a bit of throwing for the former World Champs to miss the Rumble Stage of MSI.
TOP: Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami
JNG: Robert “blaber” Huang
MID: Luka “Perkz” Perković
ADC: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
SUP: Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme
Cloud9 won’t be denied a trip to MSI this year. Last year’s LCS representative didn’t get a chance to prove their worth at the international stage after winning the 2020 Spring LCS split, but they are back and ready to play. A 13-5 record was good enough for first overall in the playoff bracket, where they rolled over both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid on their way to the final. After a tough rematch against TL in the final, C9 punched their ticket to Iceland.
Much like DAMWON, C9’s jungler Blaber won the honor of regular-season MVP. His teammates didn’t go without awards though. Perkz and Zven were voted onto the LCS First All-Pro Team. Rookie top laner Fudge is the key player for Cloud9, as his slow start to the season drew the attention of opponents and found himself the target of constant pressure. His growth as a player through the season was incredible and proved every bit worthy to replace former Cloud9 top laner Licorice. NA’s last hope is poised to make it out of groups, but they need to come ready for formidable international competition.
Gillette Infinity Esports (LLA)
TOP: Mateo Alejandro “Buggax” Aroztegui Zamora
JNG: Diego “SolidSnake” Vallejo
MID: Cristian Sebastián “Cody” Quispe Yampara
ADC: Matías “WhiteLotus” Musso
SUP: Gabriel “Ackerman” Aparicio
The LATAM entry for MSI faces a pretty big uphill battle in Group C. Overall the roster had a pretty solid Opening 2021 stage. With a 10-4 record, Infinity placed second overall in the regular-season standings. In the playoff group stage, Infinity once again found themselves just behind Furious Gaming thanks to a 2-2 split against the other four teams. But it was in the playoffs where Infinity eSports displayed their ability to come through and perform when everything was on the line. They upset Furious Gaming 3-2 to take the LLA Opening split crown.
EL INFINITO ESTÁ LISTO
— Gillette Infinity Esports (@InFinitye_sport) April 25, 2021
Despite being the underdogs, Infinity eSports could prove to be the bracket-buster in 2021. The LLA rep owns a couple of players that aren’t new to the international stage. Buggax participated in MSI 2019 as well as 2019 Worlds with Isurus Gaming. Solidsnake helped Infinity eSports make it to the knock-out stage of the 2018 World’s Play-Ins. There is a chance their experience could help this team
DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL)
TOP: Shunsuke “Evi” Murase
JNG: Geon-yeong “Steal” Moon
MID: Ga-eul “Aria” Lee
ADC: Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura
SUP: Kazuta “Kazu” Suzuki
A familiar name on the international stage, DetonatioN FocusMe is making another run at MSI. The perennial LJL champion joins a power-packed Group C in hopes to finally break through into the deeper stages of MSI. DFM can make some serious moves in 2021, and after their strong Spring performance, they are primed to shock some of the big contenders in Iceland this year.
The highlight of this team is the exciting mid-laner Aria. In a group with ShowMaker and Perkz, Aria will be looking to truly get their name out there as one of the more promising talents coming out of the LJL. DFM will look to their mid laner to make plays on an individual level in order to make room for the rest of the team to work. Even though this group is incredibly talented, 2021 may be the best year for DetonatioN FocusMe to make waves at an international tournament.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games
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