Riot Games has cancelled this year’s League of Legends (LoL) Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) tournament over coronavirus concerns.
The global head of League of Legends Esports, John Needham, revealed the news through a post on the game’s official site. He notes that based on “the modeling of [Riot’s] external risk advisors”, the restrictions on global travel and public gatherings will unlikely be lifted by MSI’s planned dates in July. As a result, the company has 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,” Needham added. “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.”
The participants of the 2020 MSI tournament will now revert to their original Summer Split schedules, through which they will qualify for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, which is set to take place later in the year in China.
Leading up to the cancellation, LoL had hosted online tournaments, with the finalists going head-to-head at the MSI. MSI was initially set to take place in May, but was postponed to July, when international travel and large gatherings became prohibited.
The announcement also revealed that Riot Games is working with other teams throughout the Riot organisation to evaluate alternative events and activities, although nothing has been confirmed as yet. Announcements can be expected in the coming weeks, per the statement.
Earlier this month, the Call Of Duty League returned as a virtual tournament instead of the LAN event that had originally been planned. The CDL made its debut in January, and operates under a city-based format modelled after traditional North American professional sporting leagues.