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Esports: Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Tuesday preview

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational - one of the biggest events on the entire Esports calendar - is back.

Fuelling regional rivalries and pitting the best in the world against one another, the Mid-Season Invitational is not to be missed and this year the teams involved have been upped to 13 with a prize pool of $250,000 on the table. 

The bracket stage of the Mid-Season Invitational 2023 is set to take place at the Copper Box Arena in London but first the final lineup must be determined by the play-in stage which begins on Tuesday. 

The MSI will feature the top seeds from minor regions the LJL, LLA, VCS, PCS and CBLOL as well as two teams from each of South Korea's LCK, China's LPL, Europe's LEC and North America's LCS. 

And there are some big names involved even in the play-in stage with the likes of Bilibili Gaming and G2 Esports in action. 

On Tuesday, the first two matches in the MSI play-in will take place with PSG Talon locking horns with DetonatioN FocusME and G2 Esports taking on LOUD. Here is a look at how the matches could unfold.

PSG Talon and DetonatioN FocusMe could be tough to separate

WhatPSG Talon vs DetonatioN FocusMe, MSI Play-In
WhereCopper Box Arena, London, UK
When13:00, Tuesday 2nd May 2023
How to watchTwitch / Youtube
OddsPSG Talon 4/9, DetonatioN FocusMe 13/8

PCS representatives PSG Talon managed to make it to the Rumble Stage of last season's Mid-Season Invitational and will be hoping they can make that experience count in the play-in stage of this year's event. 

Their opening match in the upper bracket is, however, against a tricky DetonatioN FocusMe side from Japan and it could be tougher than the prices suggest. 

PSG Talon are 4/9 favourites to win and progress to the second round of the upper bracket, in which they would face the winners of G2 Esports against LOUD, but punters should not rush to back them.  

PSG Talon were comfortable in the group stage of the PCS Spring, winning 15 of their 18 matches, and in the playoffs, eventually taking down Frank Esports 3-0 in the Grand Final. 

But DetonatioN FocusMe looked equally comfortable in the LJL Spring 2023, winning 12 of their 14 matches in the group stage and also winning 3-0 in their Grand Final against Sengoku Gaming. 

DetonatioN FocusMe also have the added advantage of having been at the most recent major international event in League of Legends - last year's World Championship. 

It doesn’t get any bigger than that and the Japanese outfit managed to reach the knockout stage at the event, whereas PSG Talon were not even one of the two PCS representatives to make the play-ins. 

These sides are closer than the odds suggest and the best betting angle is over 2.5 maps at a decent price of 1/1.

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G2 Esports can ease to victory over Brazilians LOUD

WhatG2 Esports vs LOUD, MSI Play-In
WhereCopper Box Arena, London, UK
When16:00, Tuesday 2nd May 2023
How to watchTwitch / Youtube
OddsG2 Esports 1/12, LOUD 6/1

Europe's LEC has shaken things up a bit this year, changing its format to feature three splits this season - the LEC Winter, the LEC Spring and the LEC Summer. 

As a result, rather than sending the top two from the LEC Spring to this year's Mid-Season Invitational, they sent the winners of the LEC Winter and the winners of the LEC Spring. 

As a result, LEC Winter champions G2 Esports will be involved in the MSI despite having finished fourth in the LEC Spring and they are red-hot favourites to defeat Brazilians LOUD at 1/12.  

G2 Esports were in action at Worlds last year, although they were outclassed in a tricky group, finishing with a 1-5 win-loss record. 

That suggests they are some way off matching the very best in League of Legends but when it comes to their own region, they are one of the best sides around. 

They may not have won the LEC Spring title but they were still impressive in the regular season, winning six of their nine matches, and they managed to finish above KOI and SK Gaming in the group stage. 

Even though they did not go deep in the playoffs, they pushed eventual champions MAD Lions close in a 3-2 defeat and they are one of the strongest sides in Europe. 

They are a cut above Brazilian opponents LOUD, who will simply be happy to have made the MSI play-in stage, and a 2-0 win for G2 Esports could still offer a bit of value at 4/9.  

Alternatively punters should look to back them to cover the -11.5 kill handicap on map one at 5/6.

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