At least it's not cancelled!
LoL Mid-Season Invitational postponed for July
With the Coronavirus still a major concern around the world, the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational has been moved from May to July.
After several rounds of rumors about the fate of the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational, Head of League of Legends esports John Needham has confirmed that the event will be delayed due to the risks posed by the spread of Coronavirus and its impact on international travel and live events.
Instead of its typical slot in May, immediately after the Spring Split, the tournament has been moved to July. This announcement follows an earlier statement by John Needham from February 25, where he stated that Riot was looking into possible solutions to the problems posed by the Coronavirus epidemic.
In order to accommodate this change in schedule, the starting date of the Summer Split has been moved to an earlier time: the regional leagues will begin their games between May 15 and June 6, and there will be a pause in games for the international event.
A clash of champions
Since its inception in 2015, the Mid-Season Invitational – commonly shortened to MSI – has been League of Legends’ second-biggest international event after the World Championship. The tournament gathers the Spring Split champions and pits them against each other in several stages. First, there is a play-in stage for the minor regions. That is followed by a group stage where the top minor region teams and the champions of the major regions face off. It all culminates at the playoff stage.
While only one team has ever taken both the MSI and the World Championship cup in the same year – South Korea’s SK Telecom T1 in 2016 – the list of winners includes some of the best teams from South Korea, China and Europe.
Rift Rivals rides off into the sunset
The change in schedule also heralds the departure of Rift Rivals, a series of interregional tournaments that focused on regional rivalries in LoL esports. While several regions have long had their clashes – EU and NA and South Korea and China, for example – the tournament struggled to find its traction. According to Riot Games, it also made it difficult for the various regions to coordinate and fit another event in their schedules.
While we are saddened at the delay, we welcome the concern shown for both players and fans. Hopefully, the situation in July will be much better and we can enjoy the MSI to the fullest!