Riot Games announced Tuesday that the Mid-Season Invitational 2022 will take place in Busan, South Korea from May 10 to 29, according to a statement provided to Italian esports outlet EsportsMag.
The article has since been taken down but included statements from the mayor of Busan as well as Riot Games. Upcomer confirmed in February that MSI 2022 was scheduled to take place in South Korea following a report from Dot Esports about the move.
This would be the first time South Korea has been chosen to host an MSI event. Last year’s MSI was held in Reykjavík, Iceland, which also played host to the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Stage 2 Masters. This year’s Stage 1 Masters will be held in Reykjavík once more, but Riot’s titles will have different hosts for each of its primary esports.
MSI 2022 is scheduled to take place in the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center, commonly known as BEXCO, and live audiences have also been greenlit at the moment, making this the first big event that Riot has allowed a spectating audience since the 2020 League of Legends World Championship in China.
“Busan is an esports mecca and has hosted some of the most important esports tournaments in the world,” Park Heong-joon, the Mayor of Busan, said in the statement EsportsMag published. “The city of Busan has joined forces with the gaming industry to create esports professionals, as well as a dedicated arena, BRENA. Take the time to visit Busan City during MSI 2022 as we look forward to welcoming you in person.”
MSI 2022’s format will be the same as last year, with teams separated into three groups. The top teams from each group will move on to the rumble stage, which features six teams. From there, the competition will move into a four team, single-elimination knockout stage with best-of-five matchups.
The double round-robin group stage will be held from May 10-15, the rumble stage from May 18-22 and the knockout stage from May 27-29.
MSI 2021 included 11 teams due to the Vietnamese VCS being unable to participate, and in 2022, there will also be 11 teams due to the LCL being canceled because of the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.
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“We are thrilled to honor this country’s heritage in esports, to celebrate the passion of Korean fans and to bring all the talent of MSI pro teams to Korea for the first time,” Naz Aletaha, the global head of League of Legends, said in the statement. “Busan was an incredible setting for the 2014 and 2018 Worlds, and we can’t wait to go back to see the challenge between the best League of Legends teams in the world.”
The League of Legends Pro League’s representative Royal Never Give Up won last year’s edition of MSI over South Korea’s DWG KIA in a tense five game series.