Riot Games Update on MSI from John Needham – League of Legends

The Global League of Legends Esports team has been working hard over the past few months to react to these changes, support our regional leagues as they have successfully pivoted to online competition, and try to preserve our next big international competition, the Mid-Season Invitational. One outcome of this hard work was the decision to delay MSI from May to July with the hope that the crisis would be waning, travel restrictions would come down, and we could deliver an exceptional MSI.

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). 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.

MSI serves as an international tournament that brings together the global League of Legends community—and any other version of the event this year would not meet our standards.

Fortunately, our 12 regional leagues have continued to operate using innovative production resources. Our game and esport has served as an important source of entertainment on an almost daily basis to millions of players and fans—and will continue to do so. By making this decision now, our regional leagues can revert to their original Summer Split schedules without the disruption of a multi-week, global event in July. We want to support and amplify the weekly play of the regional league teams and players as they now compete to win their Summer Splits and qualify for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.

We also are working with other teams throughout the Riot organization to evaluate alternative events and activities. We are hoping to have some plans far enough along to share with you in the weeks ahead.

This decision also allows us to dedicate our global esports team and resources to planning for Worlds 2020. We are totally committed to delivering the biggest spectacle we’ve ever produced in China to celebrate our sport’s 10-year anniversary. While we must remain nimble with our plans, we are eager to celebrate everything that we love about League of Legends with a memorable Worlds 2020. Today, we are announcing the 24 invites based on regional competition in this post here. We will share more information about Worlds, including pool placements for all seeds, closer to the event.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time. It bears repeating that the health and safety of our players and others involved in our events is our top priority. It has been inspiring to see the resilience of esports during this crisis. We look forward to continuing to see you on Summoner’s Rift in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

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