LoL MSI 2023: Teams, Location & New Format

Preseason is finally over and we're going to hit it into high gear with this League of legends season. Alongside upcoming game content we've also got more information on the upcoming League of Legends Legends Mid-Season Invitational. Let's go over the new format and everything we know!

MSI 2022 Finals Trophy
League of Legends: This is the trophy at the center of it all. | © Riot Games / Colin Young-Wolff

Okay guys, it's time to get serious again. The League of Legends Season 2023 is in the grasp of our hands and finally we received some good news this off-season, especially for all the esports fans out there. Worlds 2023 is a long ways away, which is why we've got to talk about the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational 2023!

Riot have finally revealed some juicy details on the upcoming tournament, like location, as well as the format, and that's what we're going to go over today so you're well-informed on everything MSI ahead of the 2023 tournament.

LoL Mid-Season Invitational 2023: Location

It wasn't long ago that rumours were floating about that the Mid-Season Invitational would make its way to the UK. Well, now those exact rumours have been laid to rest and proven to be correct. Riot event got the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to make the announcement himself:

I am thrilled to support Riot Games in this dynamic industry both in grassroots and professional levels. London warmly welcomes all the tournament players and fans to our city and wish you all the best.

I don't think anyone thought that the mayor of the capital of the United Kingdom would be making a guest appearance during the Season Kickoff 2023, right? But even if we might not see him at the arena during the MSI finals, knowing that he took time to make this announcement just shows how far esports has come as an industry on its own.

MSI 2023: Tournament Dates

Okay guys, write it down, because the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational will start on May 2 and go until May 21, 2023. London is going to become the centre of the esports world for the whole month of May. Of course, the first arena we think of is the historical O2 Arena with a capacity of 20,000, but that hasn't been confirmed yet... but we do think that there are enough LoL fans to fill every seat in the house.

Mid Season Invitational 2023: The New Format

Throughout the last few years fans have consistently begged for a format reform for both the Mid-Season Invitational, as well as the League of Legends World Championship. Many have been asking, begging, Riot for double elimination and for once it seems the community was heard because Riot unveiled some exciting new changes to the MSI format in 2023.

First and foremost, starting this year, there will be thirteen teams competing instead of the usual eleven. Here is a quick overview of the regions and teams that will partake in the MSI action:

  • LCK, LPL, LEC, LCS: Two Teams
  • LLA, CBLOL, PCS, VCS, LJL: One Team

Also, new is the overall format of MSI. The tournament will be played in two stages with teams facing off in a double elimination bracket. This means that there is going to be an upper bracket, as well as a lower bracket, similar to the LEC playoff format from the past year.

MSI23 Format Bracket Stage
We present: The 2023 MSI tournament format! | © Riot Games

MSI 2023: Play-In Stage and Bracket Stage Explained

The 2023 MSI will kick off the action with a Play-In Stage. Here we are going to have two groups of four competing in a set of best-of-three matches. The two winners will move onto the next stage, while the final team for the Bracket Stage will be determined through the loser's bracket. Two teams from each group will compete in a "Last-Chance-Match" to try and earn the spot.

The Bracket Stage will encompass a total of eight teams. The three teams that made it through Play-Ins, as well as five seeded teams (first seeds of LEC, LCS and LPL, as well as first and second seed of the LCK) will partake in this stage. Since the LCK won Worlds in 2022 they don't need to send a team to the play-in stage.

Double elimination is not just part of the Play-In Stage, but also in the Bracket Stage of the event. One thing to note though, is that in this part of the tournament teams will only play Best-of-Five games. The Bracket stage has four rounds where fans can witness the best of the best go head-to-head and send one another to the lower bracket for a redemption run.

Yes, on the first look the format is a bit confusing, but it does have insane comeback potential for some teams. We've seen what lower bracket runs can do in LCS and LEC playoffs, now let's apply that to international play and honestly, anything can happen.

The mere thought of a team going from last to first through the lower bracket is quite exciting and could rival the run DRX had at the 2022 World Championship. We can already see the headlines, right now? But unfortunately, we'll have to wait until May 2, 2023 to find out what will truly happen!

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