Photo by: Riot Games
The 2019 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is headed for the far east. Riot Games announced Monday that Vietnam and Taiwan will play host to the upcoming edition of the international bout.
The tournament will start in Vietnam. The Play-in stage will be played in Ho Chi Minh and then move to Hanoi for the Group Stage. For the playoffs, the tournament will travel to Taiwan where Taipei will host the concluding matches.
This is the second time MSI will be hosted by two countries, after the 2018 edition went to Berlin, Germany and Paris, France. It is, however, the first time Riot are hosting a major international event in either of those countries, despite Taiwan being strongly connected with League of Legends. In 2012, Taipei Assassins became the first “real” world champions of the game and established their nation as one to watch. Today, the LMS hosts a number of strong contenders, including the likes of Flash Wolves, ahq, G-Rex and J Team.
“The [LMS] region has a storied history with League of Legends esports that dates back to 2012 when the Taipei Assassins won the World Championship and hoisted the Summoner’s Cup,” Riot Games wrote. “Since then we’ve continued to see a growing interest in League of Legends esports alongside improvements to competitive infrastructure. Most recently 2018 saw the launch of the Vietnam Championship Series, a new regional league which can qualify teams directly into the World Championship. We wanted to recognize the tremendous progress of the region and the enthusiasm of its players by hosting one of our biggest events there.”
Since it was established in 2015, the MSI trophy has belonged to either China or Korea (with two trophies each), with Royal Never Give Up being the latest champions. What’s more, every single one of the “big four” regions in EU, NA, CN and KR has made to at least one MSI final, so maybe 2019 is the year Taiwan or Vietnam make it that far on home turf.