MSI 2022 Venue Reportedly Confirmed for Busan, South Korea With Live Audience

MSI 2022 will reportedly be held at BEXCO in Busan, South Korea from May 10 to 29.
MSI 2022 will reportedly be held at BEXCO in Busan, South Korea from May 10 to 29. / Image courtesy of Riot Games

League of Legends' Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 will be held in Busan, South Korea from May 10 to 29, Riot Games reportedly announced Tuesday.

According to a since-deleted article by Italian esports outlet EsportsMag, who seemingly received the official announcement from Riot Italy without them mentioning that the information was embargoed (H/T Inven Global), an MSI will be hosted in South Korea for the first time, also marking the first international event League of Legends to be held in the country since 2018.

As Riot's current plan for the event reportedly stands, MSI 2022 will be hosted in the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) and will be open to League of Legends fans for the first time since the 2020 World Championship finals in Shanghai, China.

Last year’s MSI was held in Reykjavík, Iceland, alongside the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2021 Stage 2: Masters. Although the VCT is set to return there again in April once again without a crowd, it appears Riot has reached the confidence level with their long-established esport that is necessary to safely host an event that fans can attend.

"Busan is an esports mecca and has hosted some of the most important esports tournaments in the world," Mayor of Busan Park Heong-joon said in a statement according to EsportsMag. "The city of Busan has joined forces with the gaming industry to create esports professionals, as well as a dedicated arena, BRENA. Take the time to visit Busan City during MSI 2022 as we look forward to welcoming you in person."

Although a live crowd will be added to mix, it appears MSI 2022 will be keeping the same format as last year, unfortunately.

Whereas MSI 2021 included 11 teams after Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) representative GAM Esports was unable to attend because of COVID-19-related travel restrictions, there will also be 11 teams at MSI 2022 since the League of Legends Continental League (LCL) announced on March 25 that it won't be sending one as its Spring Split has been canceled amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As such, this year's teams will once again be split across three groups, with two having four slots and one having just three.

The top two teams from each double round-robin group will move on for another go-around in the six-team rumble stage to decide the top four participating in the single-elimination, best-of-5 bracket knockout stage, and ultimately the grand final.

"South Korea has been a frontrunner in the esports industry for decades," Global Head of League of Legends Esports Naz Aletaha said in a statement according to EsportsMag. "We are thrilled to honor this country's heritage in esports, celebrate the passion of Korean fans, and bring all the talent of MSI pro teams to Korea for the first time. Busan was an incredible setting for the 2014 and 2018 Worlds, and we can't wait to go back to see the challenge between the best League of Legends teams in the world."