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.
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.
Revamped MSI to take place in London
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 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.
Worlds 2023 returns to South Korea
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.
Worlds Qualifying Series (WQS)
Before the main event, a new qualifying event, the Worlds Qualifying Series, will also take place for two regions.
The Worlds Qualifying Series will be a best-of-five match between the LEC's fourth seed and the LCS's fourth seed.
The match winner earns a berth in Worlds and will compete against 21 other teams for a chance to become World Champions.
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 (Name Pending)
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.
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.
For more information on the format of both events, you can visit this page.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.