MSI Cancelled Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Riot Games cancelled MSI 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Riot Games cancelled MSI 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. / Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Riot Games cancelled the Mid-Season Invitational on Thursday, the international League of Legends tournament between spring and summer splits, to prevent adding to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

"International travel restrictions and local/regional/national mandates change daily, and nearly all assessments have the pandemic dramatically impacting large social gatherings throughout the summer," global head of League of Legends esports John Needham wrote in the announcement.

"Based on the modeling of our external risk advisors, however, it appears highly unlikely that either the global spread/impact of COVID-19 or the restrictive travel and public gathering policies responding to the crisis will abate significantly by the time of MSI’s current planned dates (July 3-19)."

Riot Games and Needham previously delayed the announcement of location and timing information about MSI 2020, ultimately scheduling the tournament for July instead of its usual May timeframe.

Riot Games is now investigating possible alternative events and now hopes to share information about them in the coming weeks. The developer remains committed to hosting the 2020 League of Legends World Championship in China, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of League of Legends esports.

MSI's cancellation will allow regional leagues to maintain their normal schedules and avoid the disruption the event's July dates would have created. Those leagues have largely shifted to online-only competition to avoid person-to-person contact that could abet the spread COVID-19.

"We look forward to continuing to see you on Summoner’s Rift in the weeks, months, and years ahead," Needham concluded.