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MSI 2019 Betting Preview: The Knockout Stage

The Mid Season Invitational group stage has concluded, another two teams bite the dust, and we are down to a top four on the way to Taipei. They are Team Liquid, G2 Esports, SKT T1 and Invictus Gaming, representing the the four strongest regions as of this moment.

With four of the top teams in the world tilting off, there can only be one winner, and while the public may have a winner in mind, don’t let the public sway where your MSI 2019 betting goes.

MSI 2019 Knockouts Format

The format of the finals stage is extremely simple. There will be two semifinal matches, each a best of five. The winners of these will go on to the finals in a best of five to decide the winner of the League of Legends 2019 Mid Season Invitational.

The biggest shift from the group stage is the change from best of one series to best of five series. The best of one round robin format has been widely criticized for the randomness that can leave better teams on the outside looking in, with cheese strategies and gimmick picks coming out on top. In a best of five you have more chances to read your opponents and adapt as they do. And so do you as a bettor, this can give you enough time to study and bet on LoL wisely.

Plain and simple best of five favors a different breed of teams. But the group stage did show one thing, and that was that Invictus are the best team in the world at the moment. They have lost only one game so far, and are facing Team Liquid, the perceived weakest team in knockouts, in the first round. Focusing your MSI bets on Invictus Gaming would be the safest way to go.

MSI 2019 Betting Odds: Knockout Stage

We have two types of MSI 2019 Betting Odds at the moment and those are the Head-to-head winners as well as the Outright Winners (who will win the event). As one can see below, the head-to-head betting odds are clearly favoring Invictus Gaming and SK Telecom to meet at the finals.

Invictus Gaming - Team Liquid (1.03 - 9.49)*
SK Telecom T1 - G2 Esports (1.29 - 3.38)* (1.03 - 9.49)*

MSI Betting: Which Teams To Favor In The Knockout Stage

Team Liquid (67 To Win Outright)*

4-6 in groups, 0-2 vs IG

The North American fanbase rejoices as the region has earned an MSI Knockouts berth for the first time since 2016, and the Pool 1 seed at worlds that comes with it. The best, best of five team in North America will finally get to play one in international competition. Unfortunately for them, this is all they have to celebrate.

Team Liquid looked stronger in the second half of the group stage, taking out G2 Esports to close out the stage. The issue is that they still lost all but one game they played against the other knockouts teams.

They play slowly, have weaker laners than the rest of the pack, and have the betting odds stacked against them in the first round against the tournament favorites Invictus Gaming. Team Liquid are far better at the best of five than best of one, but the sheer dominance of their opponent outweighs that by leaps and bounds.

To be completely blunt, Team Liquid are a massive longshot in this tournament. They may be a horse, but this isn’t the winning horse to bet on. They have the strongest round one opponent, the worst groups record, and the history of finishing fourth or worse working against them. Make your bets on Team Liquid wisely, after all they might still bring glory back to NA.

G2 Esports (13 To Win Outright)*

5-5 in groups, 2-0 vs SKT

What started so strong fell apart like a house of cards. What looked like the second best team at the tournament collapsed in the second half. They made knockouts with ease, but many questions remain for the European champion, especially after losing to Team Liquid.

Despite dropping a game to Team Liquid and two games to Phong Vũ Buffalo, G2 actually have the seemingly ideal opponent in semifinals. During the group stage they swept SK Telecom, giving them the mindset and momentum edge going into the match on Saturday. They are still not the betting favorites, but of the two underdogs they are the safer bet by far, at least against SKT T1. If they do win and face Invictus in finals, they go from a dark horse into glue.

Not all is lost for G2, as they were the only team to sweep SKT in the group stage. They have faltered as of late, but still carry a strong top half and good mid-game macro play. This could be a good opportunity to bet on MSI and cashout. If you are to take a shot at it, take it on G2 Esports in the semifinals.

SKT T1 (3 To Win Outright)*

7-3 in groups, 0-2 vs G2

With a strong second half, SKT came storming back to topple the seemingly unbeatable Invictus Gaming to close out the group stage. They go into the knockout stage as a second seed, but face an extremely familiar opponent in G2.

SKT started weakly, dropping ugly games to both G2 and IG while sweeping up the rest of the field. They started to rebound, but still lost to G2 again despite being strong enough to beat IG.

The biggest question for them comes in their drafting, which has been extremely suspect for the entire tournament. They should still be the betting favorite against G2 and an even split with IG, just like when entering the tournament.

SKT is not a bad bet in semifinals, and if they win and go to finals they would be an equally safe bet going against either opponent. However safe does not mean guaranteed, which is the last thing I would call these matches for the LCK champions. Both have a chance to beat them, but the inverse is true.

Invictus Gaming (1.5 To Win Outright)*

9-1 in groups, 2-0 vs TL

Finally we get to the team hailed as the best in the world, and being talked about as repeat world champions a full five months before Worlds. Despite losing a single game to SKT, IG still posted the best group stage record since the move to double round robin, a feat in of itself. In fact, the MSI 2019 betting odds are all in their favor.

Invictus really has nothing to fear from their semifinal opponent, but don’t be surprised if they drop a game to Team Liquid. IG has a nasty habit of making games interesting when they have no right to be, and Team Liquid is on the most dominant run of best of five matches in LCS history.

The likelihood is a sweep, but a 3-1 is not unfathomable. The finals will depend on who wins the other semifinal. If G2 are the opponent, another 3-0 sweep is in order, but SKT are another story. SKT was the only team to take a game off them, and a full five game series is not unlikely.

To summarize, Invictus are your safest MSI bet. They are the reigning world champions, posted the best record in groups, and are still the favorites to win Worlds. No team will have favorable odds against them, and they seem destined to win MSI in effective fashion.

We hope this article will give more insight when it comes to 2019 Mid-Season Invitational betting for the Knockout Stage!