Why are the VCS champions GAM Esports not attending the 2022 MSI?

On April 24, GAM Esports were crowned as the VCS 2022 Spring Split champions after defeating Saigon Buffalo with ease in a best-of-5 series. The spring split winners of each league are expected to go to the MSI as representatives of their region, but GAM Esports has other plans in mind. They wouldn’t be able to compete at the 2022 MSI because of an overlapping schedule, as their players will represent Vietnam at the 31st SEA Games which will be held from May 12 to 23, while MSI starts on May 10.

Why are the SEA Games more important for GAM? Well, the 31st SEA games will feature esports as a medal sport and teams from different nations in Southeast Asia will be participating, so there’s regional pride involved. The 2021 Southeast Asian Games were originally going to be held in Vietnam at the Vietnam National Convention Center on November 21 to December 2, 2021, but due to the COVID pandemic, it had to be postponed to almost 6 months later. 

This was quite shocking considering that the MSI is the 2nd most important event when it comes to League of Legends international tournaments. We’ve seen GAM Esports in past international events and they always perform well, which is somewhat unexpected because minor region teams generally don’t do well against teams from major regions. A lot of fans will be sad as they won’t see GAM Esports scoring some amazing upsets against the best teams in the world.

In their place, Saigon Buffalo will be Vietnam’s representative in the upcoming MSI. But Vietnamese fans shouldn’t be too disappointed as the Buffalos did have a good run during the spring split. It’s obvious to say that they are not as strong as GAM Esports, but Vietnamese teams do tend to perform better than the other minor regions in general. The best example is Levi, who is currently the jungler for GAM Esports, but after performing exceptionally well internationally, he was transferred to 100 Thieves, a North American team. This was one of the first big international transfers we saw in the League of Legends esports scene. This year, the VCS representative got drawn into group A where they will be playing LCK’s T1, LLA’s Aze, and LJL’s DetonatioN FocusMe. This group will be particularly exciting to watch considering that both VCS and LJL representatives had good runs at the international events from last year. If you want to read more about this, you can check out our post about the group stage for MSI 2022. Stay tuned as we will be posting about the upcoming matches, our predictions and what to expect from different teams participating in the MSI.