Riot Games stalls League of Legends MSI 2020 announcement over coronavirus fears

G2 - MSI 2019

The Mid-Season Invitational is one of the highlights of the competitive League of Legends calendar, but after growing concerns from fans about the lack of information on this year’s tournament, Riot has released a statement addressing the issue.

While the date and location for MSI are usually disclosed by now, Riot’s Global Head of Esports, John Needham, says that Riot has had to “adjust its plans” due to the global outbreak of coronavirus and won’t release the details just yet. Needham does reassure fans that Riot is still planning on holding the event, despite other League of Legends tournaments like the LCK and LPL facing disruption due to the virus.

“As countries around the world respond to COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, we’ve had to adjust our plans and delay announcing the timing and location of MSI 2020,” Needham’s statement reads. “While we remain committed to making the event happen, the health and safety of players and fans comes first and foremost, with the integrity of the competition a close second.”

He also says that Riot wants to ensure that fan’s expectations of a “globally inclusive tournament” that features teams from every competitive LoL league are met.

Elsewhere, the government in Shanghai, which will play host to Worlds this year, has reassured journalists at a press conference that the city is “putting in full effort” to prepare for the tournament.

The final of last year’s Worlds was reported to have reached over 20 million fans a minute on average, and still remains to be the most watched event ever on Twitch. It is, without doubt, the biggest event in the esports calendar.

While it looks as if Riot is doing all it can to ensure the competitive season plays out as close to its schedule as possible, it’s likely fans will be waiting a little while more before details of MSI are revealed.