Riot Games announces MSI 2021 in Reykjavik
After almost two years since the last one, Riot Games has announced their latest Mid-Season Invitational event. The MSI 2021 news was announced across social media and on the company’s official website on March 1.
The news was initially leaked on the morning of February 28. It was keen-eyed viewers of the LoL Esports media website who first spotted the announcement graphic. This graphic was later confirmed to be legitimate with the official announcement. The international competition, traditionally held between the Spring and Summer Splits, will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland. The unorthodox location seems to have been inspired by caution over Covid, with the island nation having a remarkably low infection rate.
MSI 2020 was originally moved from May to July that year. It was later canceled due to the global pandemic on April 23, 2020. Prior to this, Spring Playoff champions from around the world, such as G2 Esports, Cloud 9, and T1, were scheduled to face off. Instead, a Mid-Season Streamathon to raise money for Coronavirus relief was scheduled.
Now, almost exactly two years since it was last held, MSI returns. Between May 6th and May 22nd, MSI 2021 will take place in Reykjavik’s Laugardalshöll. This 5,500 person capacity indoor arena hosted the World Chess Championship in 1972, and is the largest concert venue in the country.
A New Format
The event will see representatives from 12 regions compete in the event. The LPL, LEC, LCK, LCS, PCS, VCS, CBLOL, LCL, LJL, LLA, LCO, and TCL will all send their split’s latest playoff challenge to compete for a chance at the gold.
2021’s MSI will also see its format change. Play-ins are now gone, with all teams starting at the same group stage. From there, after navigating a double round-robin, the remaining six teams will play a final best of one. With just 10 teams left, the tournament will move into a knockout bracket, with the top four advancing to a best-of-five Semifinals and Grand Finals.
Riot also took the chance to announce it’s official partner for the event; Verizon. The American telecommunications giant will offer its support to the tournament via original video content and more. In an official release, Riot explained that “Verizon and LoL Esports will collaborate on opportunities for consumer promotions within the Verizon Up program featuring LoL in-game digital goods at a discounted price.” The company will also continue its support for the burgeoning VALORANT and League of Legends’ Wild Rift esports scenes.
With three whole months to wait before the start of MSI 2021, it’s going to be a tough wait. But until then, there’s still the weekly leagues of all the participating regions to enjoy. Full details on MSI 2021 are available on Riot’s official website.