Locations for LoL Esports’ international events in 2023 are reportedly decided.
Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship are two international events hosted by Riot that capstone each regular season split, MSI after Spring and Worlds after Summer. Riot generally hosts these events in one of their major regions: Europe, North America, Korea and China. This year, MSI was held in South Korea, while North America (USA and Mexico) was the home of Worlds 2022. And as we are done with the 2022 circuit, rumors started about where the esport will be heading next.
According to a recent report by ENUK’s Dom Sacco, MSI 2023 will be held in London. This would be the first time an MSI was hosted by the UK, although the capital city was home to the Worlds 2015 Quarterfinals. The venue OVO Arena (known as SSE Arena at the time) saw teams from all over the world clashing for the trophy, with SK Telecom T1 eventually coming out as the victors.
Sacco, who is familiar with the local LoL scene, said his sources indicated that MSI could also take place in OVO Arena which is located next to one of the biggest stadiums in the country, Wembley Stadium. If not though, London definitely does not lack any options when it comes to venues. London is also home to the ninth largest venue in the world, O2 Arena which is a popular spot for concerts and sporting events.
Worlds is returning to Korea after a five-year break
With DRX surprising everyone at Worlds 2022 and lifting the trophy after starting out in Play-Ins, it isn’t surprising that Worlds 2023 would be slated for South Korea. Although not official yet, independent journalist Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seeger tweeted today that the 2023 League Of Legends World Championship will be held in South Korea.
Although Korean crowds saw international competition on their home soil during the MSI 2022, the last time a World Championship visited Korea was in 2018. 2018 was also the year when LPL’s Invictus Gaming won the championship and thus the LCK’s dominance on the Worlds stage.
When it comes to cities and venues at Worlds, it is a little bit different from MSI. Worlds generally splits the tournament stages among each city. Back in 2018, players traveled to four different cities across Korea: Seoul, Busan, Gwangju and Incheon, with Busan also hosting the MSI 2022.
While Seoul and Busan have esports arenas like the former’s LoL PARK where LCK is played, they don’t have the capacity to hold more than 500 visitors. LoL PARK can be used during the Play-In Stage, as it was in 2018. If not, Seoul can be the Finals destination as they didn’t have games in front of a big audience back in Worlds 2018 and it is the biggest city in South Korea with nearly 10M people. Another candidate can be Incheon. The third biggest city in the country and was the host of the 2018 Finals, which was held in the 50K capacity Incheon Munhak Stadium.
For now, though, all these are just speculation, as there is no official word from Riot about either the location or the format of the events. There was a lot of discussion about the international event formats as fans online weren’t particularly happy with the ratio of Bo1 to Bo5s during these competitions. We know there are some changes planned, but no official word on these yet either.
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