With no MSI this year, the LPL and LCK are set to give fans globally a competition before Worlds. The event will begin on May 28.
The Mid-Season Cup will feature the top four sides from the the Chinese LPL and the South Korean LCK. This new event will take the place of the now-canceled MSI event which usually bridges the gap between Spring and Summer Splits. A similar competition has not been announced for the LEC/LCS at this time. Although in a release Riot Games did hint at more events being announced soon, we don’t know what those are.
Each region will be represented by the top four sides from its respective Spring Split. LPL will be JD Gaming (LPL Spring Split Champions), Top Esports, FunPlus Phoenix and Invictus Gaming. The LCK lineup will include T1 (LCK Spring Split Champions), Gen. G, DragonX, and DAMWON Gaming.
The event pits the two most dominant regions in League of Legends history. With the LCK being the old guard, going up against the LPL which has quickly risen to become the new powerhouse in League of Legends esports. With T1 going into the event as LCK champions, the event is bound to be spicy.
As is common in the COVID-19 world of esports, the event will be played online, with teams playing games at the LoL Park in Seoul for LCKl and LPL teams from the Shanghai LPL Arena. For the sake of competitive integrity, Riot Games will normalize teams pings between 30-40 m/s via third-party software.
Could we see other such events?
This event, as mentioned, will be the first inter-league event announced this month by Riot, with more expected to be announced soon. Riot made a point of noting the distance between China and South-Korea was a major factor in the move. This could hint at possible alternative plans such as the LEC, CIS or Turkish Leagues playing matches together. Other possibilities could include the LCS and South American regions playing out an event together. Which might just see the LCS win its first international event.