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Riot Games announced the full details of the Mid-Season Invitational 2022 on Tuesday following reports revealing the upcoming international League of Legends tournament will be in Busan, South Korea, from May 10-29.

According to Riot, MSI currently has over 347 million hours watched, and with the event in South Korea for the first time alongside the welcoming back of a live audience, the 2022 edition of MSI will likely drum up more hype than any before it.

Here are the full details of what to expect from MSI 2022, including competition format details, who will be participating and other information.

What is MSI?

Royal Never Give Up winning MSI 2021 in Iceland
Royal Never Give Up winning MSI 2021 in Reykjavík, Iceland | Photo by Riot Games

The prestigious Mid-Season Invitational is only one of two ongoing international tournaments for professional League of Legends. It is marketed as the “tournament of champions,” as only the first-place teams in Riot’s 12 Tier 1 Regional Leagues around the world can qualify and compete in. Close second place? No cigar.

MSI is held between the spring and summer splits for domestic leagues and can serve as a litmus test for which regions and teams could perform best at the League of Legends World Championship. Worlds is a much bigger event that features a minimum of two teams invited from every region, with the strongest ones often having four teams invited.

Last year’s MSI was held in the Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Eleven teams will get the chance to compete for their region’s honor, a shot at lifting the golden MSI trophy and a possibility for an additional team from their region at Worlds by performing well at the event.

The current defending champion is a Chinese League of Legends Pro League team, Royal Never Give Up. They took down League Championship Korea representative DWG KIA in a thrilling five-game series to cap off MSI 2021. The LPL are also currently the most successful region at MSI, winning three of them out of six events.

RNG and the LCK’s T1 are the most successful teams at MSI with two titles each.

MSI 2022 location: Busan, South Korea

Busan, South Korea at night
Busan, South Korea at night | Photo provided by Riot Games

First off, yes, it will be in Busan. Secondly, no, there will not be zombies like in the that movie with the train.

This is the first time in seven editions of this tournament that South Korea will be the host, compared to the two times Korea has been the host nation for the League of Legends World Championship in 2014 and 2018.

“Korea’s second-most populous city and is considered the home of esports,” Riot said in its MSI announcement. “Gwangalli Beach is a 1.4-kilometer long beach in Busan where the StarCraft Brood War ProLeague finals took place from 2004-2010, and G-Star, the largest annual gaming convention in South Korea, also has made its home in Busan.”

The Mayor of Busan, Park Heong-joon, added that MSI 2022 will help them greatly in their bid for being the candidate city for the 2030 World Expo.

“Busan is a candidate city for the World Expo 2030. The MSI 2022 will serve as a decisive opportunity in Busan’s bid for Expo 2030, allowing us to promote how attractive Busan is to the world,” he said in a statement. “Busan is a home to the seven mesmerizing beaches, the world’s largest department store registered to the Guinness Book of World Records and a large scale theme park. I would like to warmly welcome you all to Busan, the heart of gaming culture and the pillar of the gaming industry.”

Sounds dreamy, right? The city even had KARDI, a Korean Rock band, introduce Busan to the world in their bid for the 2030 World Expo.

Where in Busan will MSI 2022 be held and when?

The Busan Exhibition and Convention Center or BEXCO will host MSI 2022
The Busan Exhibition and Convention Center or BEXCO will host MSI 2022 | Provided by Riot Games

Riot has selected the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center, or BEXCO for short, to host MSI 2022. This is the third time Riot will host an international event in this venue, the other times being the world championship in 2014 and 2018.

MSI 2022 will begin on May 10th and end on the 29th. Here are the stages of MSI 2022 and their corresponding dates:-

  • May 10 to 15: Group Stage
  • May 18 to 22: Rumble Stage
  • May 27 to 29: Knockout Stage

According to Riot, all stages of the MSI 2022 will be held in BEXCO.

BEXCO has played host to several big events in the past, such as Elton John performing a concert there in 2012, the ASEAN Summit in 2014 and the Brawl Stars World Championship in 2019.

MSI 2022’s format

If you’re wondering what the stages are and how they play out for the participating teams, Riot released a pretty handy video last MSI for you.

Even though it is from last MSI, Riot have said they will be keeping the format the same for MSI 2022.

Last year, the Vietnamese VCS was unable to send a representative due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, hence why there were only 11 teams. MSI 2022 will also only see 11 teams due to the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, the Commonwealth of Independent States’ LCL will not be sending a representative.

The group stage will separate 11 teams into three groups, with two groups of four and one group of three teams. Teams will play a double-round robin, and the top two teams from each group will advance to the rumble stage. Both the group and rumble stages are single-game matches.

Six teams play another double-round robin in the rumble stage, and the four best teams will then face off in the knockout stage. Knockouts are the playoffs, with a best-of-five, single-elimination bracket format.

Participating leagues for MSI 2022 and their playoffs schedule

No teams have qualified for MSI 2022 just yet. As mentioned previously, there will be 11 teams attending from Riot’s 12 professional leagues across the globe.

However, it should be noted that the VCS will most likely not be sending its champion due to conflicting dates with the 31st SEA Games held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from May 12 to 23. GAM Esports defeated Saigon Buffalo 3-1 to qualify as Vietnam’s national team, so even if GAM win the VCS finals on May 1, the MSI spot will probably be given to the second-place team.

Riot have not made a statement on this yet at this point of time and we will likely see one as MSI 2022 approaches.

Here are the finals dates for all the participating leagues which will determine which team goes to MSI:

  • LoL Pro League (China): TBD as coronavirus cases caused the event to be postponed
  • League Championship Korea (Korea): April 2
  • LoL European Championship (Europe): April 10
  • LoL Championship Series (North America): April 24
  • Vietnam Championship Series (Vietnam): May 1
  • Pacific Championship Series (APAC): April 17
  • Turkish Championship League (Turkey): April 9
  • Liga Latinoamérica (Latin America): April 16
  • Campeonato Brasileiro de LoL (Brazil): April 23
  • League of Legends Circuit Oceania (Oceania): April 11
  • LoL Japan League (Japan): April 10

Only the LCK has determined its two finalists so far, with T1 facing off against Gen.G on April 2 to determine who will represent the LCK at MSI 2022.

MSI 2022’s creative theme

MSI 2022 artwork featuring Morgana
MSI 2022 artwork featuring Morgana | Photo by Riot Games

Last year, the theme for MSI was “Break Out,” and for this year, the theme is “Take Notes.”

According to Riot’s statement, the theme “focuses on a confident, attitude-infused call to action that highlights the epic moves and original style is MSI’s greatest pros. It continues to build out MSI as the bolder, grittier battleground of LoL Esports.”

Where to watch MSI 2022?

The stream links have not been announced by Riot at this point of time and we will update it when we get news of it.

However, assuming nothing changes, last year’s MSI was broadcasted on Riot’s official Twitch channel and the LoL Esports channel on YouTube.