On Monday, Riot Games announced that it would be holding two esports tournaments in Reykjavik, Iceland. The first will be League of Legends’ Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), which was canceled last year due to COVID-19. MSI. The event, which features top global teams, will run from May 6 to May 23.
The MSI is the second most important international League of Legends tournament aside from the World Championship. Last year, MSI was replaced by the 2020 Mid-Season Streamathon, which features international competitions and exhibition matches from multiple regions. The event was primarily held raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts.
The tournament included the top four teams from the spring season of the LCK (South Korea) and LPL (China). The games, which were played online with artificially standardized ping to guarantee competitive integrity, had players compete at their respective league’s home arenas without a live audience. The tournament’s total prize pool was $600,000.
On May 24, Riot will kick off the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Masters Reykjavik, the first live international tournament for the game. Ten teams will compete to qualify for Valorant Champions 2021, the final global tournament of the Valorant esports season.
According to Riot, “The VALORANT Champions Tour will feature three levels of competition: Challengers, Masters, and Champions. Challengers will focus on regional competition and will be organized both by Riot and top-tier tournament partner operators, some of whom you’ve already seen running Ignition Series events and First Strike qualifiers.”
Like most esports, League of Legends and Valorant have had to adjust to changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of tournaments were held virtually to ensure the safety of players, many of whom were unable to travel abroad. Despite the pandemic, Riot managed to host last year’s in-person League of Legends World Championship in Shanghai by implementing strict safety protocols.
For both upcoming events in Iceland, which will be held in the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena, teams will be required to quarantine once they land. In addition, there will be no audience attendance, however, all MSI matches and VCT Masters Stage 2 matches will be livestreamed online.
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Mark Lugris is a Contributing Writer at TheGamer. After graduating from the University of Connecticut, he’s worked as a lifestyle and technology writer and editor for the past twenty years in Boston, Madrid and Zurich. Now, he’s chosen the less stressful life of freelance writing at home with his dog, where he can focus on his pop culture passions like film, television, games and sports.
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