MSI will be hosted in South Korea for the first time amid a spike in Covid cases in the country.

This year’s League of Legends Mid Season Invitational (MSI) will head to South Korea as per reports today (February 19th). The news was first broken by Pablo Suárez of Dot Esports before being corroborated by other sources. 

The event will be the first League of Legends international tournament hosted in South Korea since 2018, when Worlds 2018 took place. At the present time exact details about the dates, locations, and whether this will be a remote or in-person event are not available.

MSI's Significance

International LoL returns to South Korea for the first time since 2018 (Image via Riot Games)
International LoL returns to South Korea for the first time since 2018 (Image via Riot Games)

One of only two international events in the League of Legends Calendar, MSI provides a rare chance for League of Legends teams to test their metal against international opponents outside of domestic play. Last year’s MSI was hosted under lockdown conditions in Reykjavik, Iceland. The event was an in-person LAN, but was played without a crowd.  

The global pandemic has scuppered dozens of international events across esports. But against all-odds, Riot Games has successfully hosted two Worlds and an MSI during COVID-19. Bringing to bear the incredible resources afforded to it's esports arm, the company has done what few tournament organisers could do: Consistently hold tournaments during a pandemic. 

Another lockdown MSI in South Korea?

Cases in South Korea are on the rise (Image via JHU CSSE Covid-19 Data)
Cases in South Korea are on the rise (Image via JHU CSSE Covid-19 Data)

Ultimately it’s unknown whether MSI 2022 will face similar restrictions to Reykjavik in 2021. In South Korea, Covid cases spiked dramatically over the past four months. Rising from negligible amounts in October to the tens of thousands in just weeks

However the country has also pushed to an almost 90% vaccination rate. Additionally the increase in cases corresponds to a huge increase in the amount of testing going on. There are more cases but also hundreds of thousands of more tests being carried out than eight months ago. 

But if there’s any company that can pull off an event in a country with a spiking rate in positive tests it’s Riot Games. 

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