roadtolarissa
Adam Pearce

The 64 Ways into the Mid-Season Invitational Knockout

The final day of group play at the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational starts today when the six remaining teams play their last set of games. Only four teams advance to the semifinals.

Since there are six games left and each game ends in one of two ways, there are 22222*2 = 64 possible ways that the group stage could end. The boxes below each team how that team would advance in each scenario. Red boxes indicate elimination, orange a tie-breaker match and green advancement, with higher guaranteed seeds shown with darker shades.

SKT, currently 7-1, is almost locked into the 1st seed and would have to drop both its matches today and tie-breakers to lose it.

There are only two ways that WE, currently 5-3, could drop to 4th seed. In every other scenario, SKT and WE are on opposite sides of the playoff bracket.

The remaining four teams, all 3-5, have much foggier futures with roughly even chances of getting the 3rd/4th seed or getting eliminated today. There are some slight variations - G2 has a winning record against the other teams at the bottom of the bracket, so it has slightly more ways of advancing. GAM is the only one that could get a 2nd seed because of its winning record against WE.

SKT v G2

To see how each game will affect each team's chance of advancement, I've rearranged the boxes so that scenarios identical except for the outcome of SKT v G2 are next to each other. Scenarios where SKT wins are on the left; scenarios where G2 wins are on the right.

Looking at SKT, the left column is all dark green - so a win locks in their top seed.

Both columns of WE are identical. This indicates that the game has no impact on their standings.

The 10 green boxes on G2's left column show that even if they start their day with a loss to SKT they could still advance. The additional green boxes on the right are paths to advancement that open up with a win. Note that there are still some red boxes on the right; even if G2 beats SKT they might not advance! Mouse over the boxes to see some ways that could happen.

GAM fans should cheer for SKT: G2 picking up a game could push them into a tie-breaker or even elimination.

TSM v FW

This is the first game of consequence to both teams. If TSM loses, they have to beat G2 to advance.

GAM should root for FW; a TSM loss unlocks four tie-breaker scenarios for them.

If G2 thinks FW will beat GAM later, they should root for TSM against FW. If they think GAM will beat FW, they should root for FW against TSM. Group play is weird! G2 is up 2-0 against FW and will advance over them if they finish with the same record. If G2 and FW both win one game and lose one game, G2 will advance over FW.

WE v GAM

If WE wins this game, they'll secure their second seed and avoid SKT until the finals.

A WE win also helps TSM a lot, G2 a little bit and has a mixed impact on FW.

If FW has lost its game to TSM, they should root for GAM to set up a potential 3- or 4-way tie. If FW has won, they won't want GAM to win - if GAM also beats FW later, GAM could take the 4th place spot from FW.

TSM v G2

This game is a must-win for G2. Beating TSM almost secures a playoff spot for them. Staying in the tournament after a loss here would require an exceedingly unlikely win against SKT and the other games breaking the right way.

TSM is playing another game against one of the bottom four teams so this game isn't as important to them, at least on paper. If they win one/lose one, they have a reasonable shot at advancing. I'll keep these charts updated as matches are played - check back to see if this game changes into a must-win for TSM.

FW loses ties to G2, so they want TSM to win.

FW v GAM

This game is even more important to GAM than the previous one was to G2. Like G2, GAM is only playing one of the bottom 4 teams today and without a win against FW they have, at best, a small chance of tie for 4th place.

Depending on how earlier games go, TSM fans might be cheering for FW to keep their team out of a tie-breaker match.

SKT v WE

SKT and WE are so far ahead that their game will barely have any impact on the standings. No mater how the rest of the day goes, the teams that make it out of the group stage will not be impacted by the results of this match up.

It is possible that SKT might want to consider throwing the game to WE in order to get a semis draw against GAM or TSM.

code