The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is an incredible time of year. After the dust settles on the Spring season, it’s when teams get together to throw down and see where they stand half-way through the competitive year. It’s also a major stop on the way to League of Legends Worlds, with regions competing for a shot at better pool placement in the yearly grand League of Legends championship. Unfortunately, it looks like the MSI 2020 competition is the latest to fall victim to cancelings due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
League of Legends Global Head of Esports John Needham shared the decision on MSI 2020 on the League of Legends esports website on April 23, 2020. Though the esports league attempted to wait and see if the competition could be delayed until a better time was available for teams to prepare and compete, the change in flight national and international flight policies, the continuing effort to curb the disease, and the time table it would take to get preparations underway for the event simply made MSI 2020’s execution impossible.
Needham apologized for the cancelation of MSI 2020, but added that ultimately, it could not be avoided, given the current world climate around the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Based on the modeling of our external risk advisors 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),” Needham wrote. “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.”
It makes sense. League of Legends events have been pushed back and forth between cancelation and online events in 2020 with the North American LCS, European LEC, and other leagues forced to dance around the logistical issues associated with the pandemic and the policies that have come from it.
Unfortunately, it seems there is to keeping MSI 2020 off the chopping block for an alternative this year. It will remain to be seen if League of Legends Worlds follows suit. Stay tuned to Shacknews as we await further news and information regarding the status of further major League of Legends competition.