The annual Mid-year League of Legends tournament that sees some of the best teams in the world clash in preparation for the World Championship has been delayed due to the Coronavirus.
Riot Games confirmed that the Mid-Season Invitational would be delayed in an announcement on March 10, citing the safety of players and staff, as well as travel restrictions, as the main reasons behind the decision.
This comes only days after both the LCS and the LEC announced changes to their Spring Finals, with the latter notably shifting locations to Germany from Hungary.
“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,” Riot announced, before delving into the reasons behind the decision and shedding light on the new schedule.
“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. Competition will begin on Friday, July 3 and conclude on Sunday, July 19.”
Previously, the event was set to being at the start of May and fit into a similar timeframe. This change also means that the Summer Season of every league will begin earlier, with most dates set for May, turning the Mid-Season Invitational into more of a post-season event.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) March 10, 2020
Most notable, the LCS will begin on May 16, while the LEC kicks off on May 22. Most regions will be kicking off their second split within that period and a full list of dates can be found on the official announcement.
Finally, the fan-favorite Rift Rivals events will be canceled for this year, meaning fans won’t see any cross-region competition until July.
Riot have also issued a final notice, stating that while current plans are for MSI to kick off in July, it is still possible for it to change depending on the situation of the Coronavirus.