What is the Play-In Stage?
As we previously announced, the Play-In Stage is a new stage of the tournament and will be played before the Group Stage. The Play-In Stage consists of three rounds with 10 regional teams including:
CBLOL’s Red Canids - Brazil (BR)
LCL’s Virtus.pro - Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
LJL’s Rampage - Japan (JPN)
TBD (LLN Finals on 4/15) - Latin America North (LAN)
CLS’s Isurus Gaming - Latin America South (LAS)
TBD (NA LCS Finals on 4/23) - North America (NA) - Round 1 bye, starts in Round 2
TBD (OPL Finals on 4/16) - Oceania (OCE)
TBD (GPL Finals on 4/16) - Southeast Asia (SEA)
TBD (LMS Finals on 4/23) - Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau (LMS) - Round 1 bye, starts in Round 2
TBD (TCL Finals on 4/22) - Turkey (TUR)
Round 1 takes place on April 28-May 1 with each day featuring six games from one of the two groups.
The winners of each group in Round 1 advance to Round 2 and randomly be paired against NA or LMS. Round 2 takes place on May 3-4 and the winners of Round 2 advance to the next stage of the tournament, the Group Stage.
The losers of Round 2 will face-off in Round 3 on May 6 for the final spot at Groups.
What is the Play-In Draw?
As noted in the above graphic, the eight teams are randomly sorted into two groups. The Play-In Draw is how we randomly sort the two groups for the eight participating region for the Play-In Stage, Round 1. Play-In Draw Show takes place live on Wednesday, April 19 at 4:00 PM PT.
During the Play-In Draw Show, the on-air team will explain the teams and breakdown the process as it happens live.
How does Play-In Draw work?
Eight teams will be sorted into two pools based on past regional performance for the Play-In Stage, Round 1. As with MSI 2017 seeding, we’ll be using the last two years of competitive results where all Round 1 regions participated including IWCI 2015, IWCI 2016, and IWCQ 2016. Because IWCQ 2015 took place as two separate tournaments and not all eight regions participated at the same event together, those competitive results were not counted.
When determining seeding for the Play-In Draw, we relied on principles similar to the ones used for overall MSI 2017 seeding:
We prioritize events that qualified for Worlds over MSI (as Worlds is the most important tournament of the year) - in this case, IWCQ 2016
We prioritized recent results over older results as a better indicator of current strength - IWCI 2016 and IWCQ 2016.
We evaluated tournament results by the stage achieved, regardless of opponent or game record.
Here’s the Play-In Draw seeding results:
Pool 1: BR, CIS, TUR, and SEA
Pool 2: JPN, LAN, LAS, and OCE
It’s important to remember that exactly two teams from each of the pools will be sorted into each group.
The draw process will start by drawing one team from Pool 1 into Group A. Then, we’ll draw one team from Pool 1 into Group B. We’ll switch to Pool 2 and repeat the process with Pool 2 - The first team drawn from Pool 2 will go to Group A and the second team will go to Group B Finally, we’ll repeat this entire process again for the remaining four teams.
Why does the Play-In matter?
The top three teams from the Play-In Stage will advance to the Group Stage in Rio de Janeiro on May 10-14. The recently crowned split champions from China, Europe, and Korea will join these teams for the Group Stage. As we previously announced, the Group Stage schedule will be confirmed immediately after the Play-In Stage.
How do I watch?
Watch the live MSI 2017 Play-In Draw Show on Lolesports on April 19 at 4:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM BRT.
Don’t miss any of the MSI 2017 action starting with the Play-In Stage on on Friday, April 28 at 11:00 AM PT.