Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends (LoL), has kicked off the LoL Esports 2023 season with some exciting news on its annual international events.
More opportunities for comebacks, cinderella runs, and exciting narratives come with the MSI and Worlds format changes
Both the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and the World Championship, more commonly known as Worlds, are finally getting double-elimination stages and more best-of-five matches this year that can make room for more comebacks, Cinderella runs, and other narratives throughout the competition.
Riot also announced the location for both tournaments, with London and South Korea hosting the MSI and Worlds 2023 respectively.
Let’s take a look at what both event formats now look like.
This year’s MSI will take place in London from 2 to 21 May and will now have 13 teams, up from 11, from around the World competing for the title.
There will now be two double-elimination stages: the Play-ins and the Bracket Stage.
The play-ins will include eight teams: two seed teams from the LEC, LCS, and LPL, and one-seed teams from the LLA, CBLOL, PCS, VCS, and LJL.
As the victors of the 2022 World Championships, LCK 2 will advance directly to the Bracket Stage in 2023.
These eight teams will be divided into two groups of four and will participate in best-of-three, double-elimination games.
The winners of each group, as well as the winner of a last-chance qualifying match between the winners of the two lower brackets, will advance to the Bracket Stage to join the five qualified teams.
The MSI Playoffs, also called the Bracket Stage, will have a double-elimination best of five matches until a winner is crowned.
The Bracket Stage has replaced the Groups and the Knockouts of the previous MSI events.
Eight teams will compete in a double elimination, best-of-five bracket until a winner is crowned.
This will include the three Play-Ins winners and the first seed teams from the LEC, LCS, LPL, and LCK's first and second seeds.
Considered the birthplace of esports and the home of the defending LoL World Champions, South Korea will host this year’s Worlds 2023.
Format changes include a new qualifier series, double-elimination in the play-ins, and “Stage 2” (name pending), which will replace the Group stage.
The Knockouts format will stay the same for this year.
The Play-ins will have a best-of-three double-elimination bracket, where the top four will compete in a final pair of best-of-five Advancement matchups.
Participating teams in this stage will be the top 2 teams from VCS and PCS and the regional champions from the LLA, CBLOL, LJL, and WQS.
These teams will be divided into two groups for a best-of-three, double-elimination bracket.
The top four teams from these brackets will compete in a final pair of best-of-five Advancement matchups.
The two teams that come out on top will advance to Stage 2.
Stage 2 of Worlds (name pending) will have 16 teams face each other in a Swiss Format: teams will the same standing will face off.
16 teams will go head-to-head in a Swiss format, where teams with the same score or standing will face each other.
These will be best-of-one matches. Advancement and elimination matches will be best-of-three.
The Knockouts at Worlds remain unchanged for the season.
Eight of the winning teams will advance to the Knockout Stage in a single elimination, best-of-five showdown.
More details on the final date of Worlds will be shared in the coming months.