Big news from Riot Games this week as the company has officially canceled the League of Legends Esports MSI 2020. The company made the announcement yesterday in a blog post, citing the continuing health concerns currently happening around the world as the reason for the cancelation. But also saying the company would be looking into holding alternative events later this year. It's a shame the event couldn't continue online, but we also understand them looking out for the safety of everyone involved. Here's a snippet from the announcement as we look forward to hearing what the company has planned to replace the event with or what new events may be created in its place.
The Global League of Legends Esports team has been working hard over the past few months to react to these changes, support our regional leagues as they have successfully pivoted to online competition, and try to preserve our next big international competition, the Mid-Season Invitational. One outcome of this hard work was the decision to delay MSI from May to July with the hope that the crisis would be waning, travel restrictions would come down, and we could deliver an exceptional MSI.
Based on the modeling of our external risk advisors, however, it appears highly unlikely that either the global spread/impact of COVID-19 or the restrictive travel and public gathering policies responding to the crisis will abate significantly by the time of MSI's current planned dates (July 3-19). With this model plus input from health authorities, local governments, regional leagues and teams, travel experts, and other stakeholders, we have made the difficult decision to not hold MSI in 2020. We believe this decision was necessary to ensure the health and safety of the players, teams, crew, partners, media, and fans.
MSI serves as an international tournament that brings together the global League of Legends community—and any other version of the event this year would not meet our standards.
Fortunately, our 12 regional leagues have continued to operate using innovative production resources. Our game and esport has served as an important source of entertainment on an almost daily basis to millions of players and fans—and will continue to do so. By making this decision now, our regional leagues can revert to their original Summer Split schedules without the disruption of a multi-week, global event in July. We want to support and amplify the weekly play of the regional league teams and players as they now compete to win their Summer Splits and qualify for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.