Game developer Riot Games has unveiled significant League of Legends format changes to its Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and season-ending World Championship.
Some of the announced changes include the introduction of double elimination at MSI and a Swiss Stage format at Worlds 2023.
In addition to the format changes, the publisher also confirmed 2023’s MSI will take place in London following reports emerging in December. The tournament will expand from 11 teams to 13 while the Play-In Stage and Bracket Stage will become double-elimination.
Play-Ins will feature eight teams split into two groups of four, these groups will compete in double-elimination matches. The group winners advance to the Bracket Stage alongside the winners of a last-chance qualifier between the two lower bracket winners. The three teams from Play-Ins advance to the Bracket Stage to compete with the top seeds from the LEC, LCS, LPL, and LCK.
For Worlds 2023, the tournament will return to South Korea for the first time in five years. Alongside the return to the region, a total of 22 teams will receive invitations to the event that features a new stage known as the Worlds Qualifying Series (WQS).
The WQS sees the fourth seeds from the LEC and the LCS compete in a best-of-five match to earn a place at Worlds. The winner will advance to the Swiss Stage where teams attempt to secure qualification by winning three matches. Whilst being a relatively new system across League of Legends, the Swiss format is regularly used across CS:GO’s esports ecosystem.
Despite calls for the Knockout stage to feature a double-elimination bracket, Worlds 2023 will keep a best-of-five, single-elimination bracket to determine the eventual winner.
The change in format follows changes to the League of Legends and VALORANT esports broadcasting schedule which aims to create schedules that match the preferences of viewers.