The Coronavirus continues to leave its mark upon the esports industry with this latest announcement from Riot Games. In it, they indicated multiple events would be cancelled or postponed due to the outbreak. The Asian region has been hit particularly hard in that regard with the LPL (China) and LCK (Korea) regions of the professional League of Legends scene having either halted matches or haven’t started the season yet.
MSI being moved around: In a statement by Riot, Global Head of Esports, John Needham, stated that travel restrictions would have made holding the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) “difficult.” As a result, they are moving the event from May to July 3rd in the hopes that the global health crisis will have calmed down by the middle of summer. The mid-point of the League of Legends season typically culminates with the MSI, which brings together some of the top teams to compete. Because of this, the MSI is viewed as the second most-coveted prize in the LEague, next to the World Championship. Due to the schedule change, the Summer Splits across the world will begin before the MSI.
Another cancellation: In addition to the MSI being affected, Riot also indicated that another major tournament would be axed entirely, namely Rift Rivals. While this isn’t a hugely-popular tournament in the League community, this still marks yet another event canceled due to the outbreak. Many fans and players often harped on its long matches, “meaningless” wins, and overall lack of player interest. Riot did not indicate whether this cancellation was due to the Coronavirus, the timing does seem to hint at it.
Here are the starte dates for the 2020 Summer Split across all regions:
- OPL (Oceania) – May 15th
- VCS (Vietnam) – May 15th
- LCS (North America) – May 16th
- TCL (Turkey) – May 16th
- LCK (South Korea) – May 20th
- LEC (Europe) – May 22nd
- CBLOL (Brazil) – May 23rd
- LPL (China) – May 23rd
- PCS (Southeast Asia) – May 30th
- LJL (Japan) – May 31st
- LCL (Russia/Kazakhstan/Belarus) – June 6th
- LLA (Latin America) – May 30th