Riot Games announced Tuesday that the 2020 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational has been postponed. It will take place July 3-19. All Rift Rivals tournaments have been canceled.
"After discussing with our leagues and other stakeholders, we've made the decision to move our annual mid-year global tournament event from May to July this year," said John Needham, Riot Games' Global Head of League of Legends Esports. "Shifting the tournament to the summer offers the best chance to see travel restrictions lifted, allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely."
MSI is an international tournament held in the middle of the League of Legends season, in which the winning teams of every LoL region face off against one another. The event is one of two premier international LoL tournaments, the other being the World Championship.
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"Location and other details will be shared as soon as possible, though we need to remain flexible, given how much the COVID-19 situation has impacted international travel and live events for nearly every sports and entertainment property," Needham said. "That said, we're committed to ensuring that MSI remains a truly globally resonant experience."
Needham also shared updated dates for the start of the summer split in leagues around the world. MSI will take place mid-summer split. The list of start dates are as follows:
Oceania Pro League (Oceania): May 15
Vietnamese Championship Series (Vietnam): May 15
League of Legends Championship Series (North America): May 16
Turkish Champions League (Turkey): May 16
LoL Champions Korea (South Korea): May 20
League of Legends European Championship (Europe): May 22
Campeonato Brasileiro League of Legends (Brazil): May 23
LoL Pro League (China): May 23
Pacific Championship Series (Southeast Asia): May 30
League of Legends Japan League (Japan): May 31
League of Legends Continental League (CIS): June 6
Liga Latinoamérica (Latin America): TBD
In addition to the regional start date changes and the postponement of MSI, Rift Rivals has been canceled for League of Legends esports going forward.
"Rift Rivals produced some epic battles, but the challenges it created to the annual schedule were felt at both a regional and global level," Needham said. "We remain committed to producing globally resonant events that showcase our sport and will work with regions to determine fresh ways to do so in the years ahead."
COVID-19 has affected travel worldwide and has been impacting League of Legends esports since Jan. 25, when China's LoL Pro League and LoL Development League were postponed indefinitely during the Lunar New Year break. The LPL returned Monday as a fully online league.
In South Korea, LoL Champions Korea opened on Feb. 5 without audiences. On March 6, the LCK held its final match of the first round robin and was postponed indefinitely due to concerns about the virus. Yesterday, T1 mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok pledged 30 million Korean Won ($25,000 USD) toward charities focused on combating COVID-19.
More than 113,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, according to The Associated Press. More than 3,900 people with the virus have died, most of them in China. More than 62,000 people have recovered.