Riot Games confirmed Tuesday that the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational has been postponed to take place July 3-19. The delay is due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has already forced rescheduling of multiple League of Legends events.
“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. Shifting the tournament to the summer offers the best chance to see travel restrictions lifted, allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely,” said John Needham, head of esports at Riot.
There is still no information where exactly MSI 2020 will take place, as the spread of the COVID-19 virus has affected many of the traditional esports host nations. China and South Korea are the most heavily affected countries in the world, but Riot’s original plan never included the option of MSI 2020 going there anyway. It is more likely that Riot hold MSI close to their western bases of operation. All confirmed cases of coronavirus in United States are just north of 200, which is significantly less than some locations in Europe where Riot have previously held events, like France (1116 cases), Germany (1112 cases) and Spain (589 cases). Spread of the virus is also much slower in the US compared to Europe, making North America the most likely destination for MSI 2020.
Furthermore, Riot confirmed that all Rift Rivals events this year will be cancelled. Rift Rivals already made scheduling and travelling a difficult task and the COVID-19 situation has practically made squeezing in all these tournaments impossible.
With the updated schedule, for the first time ever, MSI will happen during the Summer Split, instead of between the splits. These are the starting days for the Summer Split for the four major regions:
- LCS — May 16
- LCK — May 20
- LEC — May 22
- LPL — May 23
Speaking of the major regions, the LCK is already on an indefinite break, with no telling when it will return. To help the battle against the coronavirus outbreak, several LCK pros, including Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon have donated sizable sums, totaling over $45,000 so far.