Riot reveals new League of Legends Worlds 2023 format and location, MSI expansion

Worlds 2022 trophyRiot Games

Riot Games have announced locations for League of Legends’ Worlds and MSI in 2023, with Korea and London getting the nod respectively. Both tournaments will undergo significant changes with Worlds getting a Swiss groups stage, and MSI expanding.

League of Legends’ Worlds and MSI formats are changing again for 2023, with Riot implementing some community suggestions into the game’s two major tournaments for the year.

While it’s still single-elimination playoffs for the most part, Riot has increased the stakes of every match and trimmed back the fat to reduce the number of ‘dead rubbers’ with a mix of Swiss and double-elimination brackets in the early stages of events.

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Invictus Gaming with Worlds 2018 trophyRiot Games
Worlds is returning to South Korea for the first time since Invictus Gaming lifted the trophy in 2018.

MSI 2023 expands to 13 teams

MSI 2023 will be heading to London, as international League of Legends returns to the United Kingdom for the first time since 2015.

The format of the mid-season event will also be expanding to 13 teams with Riot’s global regional changes now in effect. The top four leagues ⁠— LCK, LPL, LEC, and LCS ⁠— will now send two representatives to the event, with the LLA, CBLOL, PCS, VCS, and LJL sending one.

The LCO has been rolled into the PCS now, meaning there is no direct invite for Oceania’s best team.

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With the expanded format, eight teams will play through a double-elimination bracket in Play-Ins. The winner of each four-team bracket will make the Main Stage, along with the winner of the Loser’s Final.

The Group Stage has been removed with the top eight teams going straight into the Bracket Stage. It will be a double-elimination format the whole way through.

“MSI is an opportunity for fans to evaluate the relative strength of teams and regions at the midway point of the season,” Riot said. “With this new competitive format, we hope to better deliver on that opportunity, as well as showcase more exciting best-of series, and allow for more player stories to unfold.”

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MSI 2023 format explainerRiot Games

League of Legends Worlds 2023 goes to Korea with big format changes

As for Worlds 2023, it’ll be returning to League of Legends’ spiritual home of Korea. The last time Worlds was hosted in South Korea was 2018.

There have been numerous format changes to the big gong too. Play-Ins is now two four-team double-elimination brackets versus round-robins, with the top two teams from each bracket duking it out for two spots in the Main Event.

Groups have also been replaced with a Swiss bracket. Previously, League of Legends’ World Championship has relied on a 16-team group stage, with a double round-robin format in four groups of four.

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This new system amalgamates them into one group of 16, with matchups decided on seeding from Play-Ins for Round 1, and Swiss bracket results from there on out. Teams who rack up three series wins will progress to playoffs. Teams will play Best of 1s until a deciding series for progression or elimination, which will be a Best of 3.

Worlds 2023 Swiss Bracket explainerRiot Games

The eight-team playoffs will remain single elimination with Best of 5 series the whole way through. Riot did previously confirm there would be no double elimination.

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“We also wanted to make sure that every single game at Worlds had stakes and that we could minimize elimination games that do not impact the outcome of the tournament for both teams playing,” Riot said.

“Bringing a multiple elimination format to Play-Ins and Swiss gives teams a chance early in the tournament to make a comeback if they started off poorly and gives us more games to watch our favorite pros compete.”

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