After the conclusion of all the major regional split playoffs, qualifying teams will embark on their annual quest for early international fame at MSI. This year the tournament will be undergoing significant changes.
Previous tournaments featured the winner of each region’s Spring Split as well as two two teams from the International Wildcard Region. Riot will be changing that up this year, with MSI being broken up into two tournaments essentially.
The Play-in Stage will also use a new formula developed by Riot to determine what teams will have to participate. This new seeding system takes into account the overall performance of a region over the last two years.
Riot provided a graphical representation of their new seeding that includes the aggregated results from the past two years:
In accordance with the new seeding rules, the two highest ranked teams in the play-in (currently the NA and LMS regions) will be afforded a bye, while the other teams must first play a Double Round Robin in Round 1. The winners of Round 2 will move on to MSI’s Group Stage while the losers of Round 2 will have one last chance in Round 3. Korea, China, and EU teams will automatically qualify for the Group Stage due to their performance at MSI and Worlds the past two years.
The Play-in Stage will take place in São Paulo, Brazil at the CBLoL Studio. The remainder of the tournament will move on to the Rio Arena in Rio De Janeiro.
Rio Arena, also known as Jeunesse Arena, has a seating capacity just under 15,000 for sporting events. The indoor, multi-purpose arena just recently was home to a large portion of the gymnastics events during the 2016 Summer Olympics.
With the recent expansion of MSI, the tournament will now take place in São Paulo and Rio De Janerio, Brazil over the course of three weeks.
The Play-in Stage will start on April 28th before moving to the Rio Arena to start the Group Stage the following weekend. The Finals will take place on May 21st.
MSI will be Riots first test of the Play-in stage at their critically acclaimed international tournaments (with Worlds sharing a similar format this year). The tournament will also be expanding to 13 teams, with representatives from the following regions:
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Latin America – North (LAN)
Latin America – South (LAS)
North America (NA)
Southeast Asia (SEA)
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (LMS)
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