Riot Games has officially canceled the 2020 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament is the company’s second-largest annual international League of Legends competition.
The MSI was originally pushed from May to July with the hope that coronarivus infections and travel restrictions would wane as testing and public health services ramped up efforts to contain it, unfortunately that has yet to occur globally. John Needham, Riot’s Global Head of League of Legends Esports, made the announcement Thursday.
“Based on the modeling of our external risk advisors, however, it appears highly unlikely that either the global spread/impact of COVID-19 or the restrictive travel and public gathering policies responding to the crisis will abate significantly by the time of MSI’s current planned dates (July 3-19),” said Needham. “With this model plus input from health authorities, local governments, regional leagues and teams, travel experts, and other stakeholders, we have made the difficult decision to not hold MSI in 2020. We believe this decision was necessary to ensure the health and safety of the players, teams, crew, partners, media, and fans.”
The cancellation of MSI has a serious impact on the games largest annual international competition, the World Championship. Traditionally the MSI is used to determine seeding for the World Championship, so with MSI out of the picture a new system is being put in place.
First, the 12 regional leagues will move into their Summer Splits under the schedules set at the beginning of the year, which were initially changed due to MSI being rescheduled.
With the LPL and LEC being ranked first and second based on their international performances over the past two years, each region will receive four slots for qualifying teams for Worlds. For having the strongest international performance out of all the single-seed leagues, the VCS will have two teams.
“This decision also allows us to dedicate our global esports team and resources to planning for Worlds 2020,” said Needham. “We are totally committed to delivering the biggest spectacle we’ve ever produced in China to celebrate our sport’s 10-year anniversary.”
Here’s how the 2020 World Championship will seed:
- LPL (China), LEC (Europe): 4 Teams each
- LCK (Korea), LCS (North America): 3 Teams each
- PCS (Southeast Asia), VCS (Vietnam): 2 Teams each
- CBLOL (Brazil), TCL (Turkey), LJL (Japan), LLA (Latin America), OPL (Oceania), LCL (Commonwealth of Independent States) : 1 Team each
The finals for Worlds this year is set to take place in Shanghai Stadium in Shanghai, China which has the capacity to hold over 50,000 people. Riot will be sharing more information about Worlds, including pool placement for all seeds, as we get closer to the event.
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