Riot Games have announced significant changes for its professional League of Legends tournament run, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The 2020 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) will be moved from May to July. It will kick off on Friday, July 3rd and conclude on Sunday, July 19th.
What is MSI? And Why has it Been Canceled?
MSI is a global League of Legends event and is held in the middle of the season wherein teams from each competitive region around the world come together to attend and participate all in hopes of winning the tournament and take the more significant share of the prize pool.
MSI is usually held in May, but with the Covid-19 affecting League of Legends esports, that has changed. In an article post by John Needham, the Global Head of League of Legends Esports. John stated the reason behind the change and why it needed to be done:
After discussing with our leagues and other stakeholders, we’ve made the decision to move our annual mid-year global tournament event from May to July this year […] Allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely.
Additionally, John gave the shifted dates for the 2020 regional tournament runs:
- Oceania Pro League/OPL (Oceania) – May 15th
- Vietnamese Championship Series/VCS (Vietnam) – May 15th
- League of Legends Championship Series/LCS (North America) – May 16th
- Turkish Champions League/TCL (Turkey) – May 16th
- LoL Champions Korea/LCK (South Korea) – May 20th
- League of Legends European Championship/LEC (Europe) – May 22nd
- Campeonato Brasileiro League of Legends/CBLOL (Brazil) – May 23rd
- LoL Pro League/LPL (China) – May 23rd
- Pacific Championship Series/PCS (Southeast Asia) – May 30st
- League of Legends Japan League/LLA (Japan) – May 30st
- League of Legends Continental League/LJL (CIS) – May 31st
- Liga Latinoamérica/LCL (Latin America) – June 6th
Subsequently, Rift Rivals has been canceled with the acknowledgment of the situation at hand. John gave some insight behind the decision with a follow-up statement:
Rift Rivals produced some epic battles, but the challenges it created to the annual schedule were felt at both a regional and global level. We remain committed to producing globally resonant events that showcase our sport, and will work with regions to determine fresh ways to do so in the years ahead.
So far, Covid-19 has affected League of Legends on a global level. It’s canceled, and postponed events left and right. And it’s not different for MSI. But with proper safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus, MSI will still be the League of Legends tournament the world loves, just a little bit different.
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