Tuesday Riot announced its 2017 plans for the Mid-Season Invitational to take place in Brazil.
The first stage of the tournament, the new play-in stage, will take place in São Paulo Brazil in the CBLOL Studio and will run from April 28 to May 1 and May 3 to 4 and May 6. The Group Stage and Knockout Stage will both be played in Rio de Janeiro on May 10 to 14 and May 19 to 21. These final two stages will be held in the Jeunesse Arena. This marks the first major international League of Legends tournament in Brazil.
The international tournament marks the halfway point in the season, and this year it is undergoing some major changes.
In past years the tournament has featured the winner of each region’s Spring Split as well as two teams from the International Wildcard Regions. This year, however, Riot is adding a "Play-in" stage of the tournament and expanding the pool to include 13 teams who will qualify by winning their respective regions.
These regions will be: Brazil (BR), China (CN), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe (EU), Japan (JP), Korea (KR), Latin America - North (LAN), Latin America - South (LAS), North America (NA), Oceania (OCE), Southeast Asia (SEA), Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macau (LMS), and Turkey (TUR).
Along with an expanded field of participants comes a new seeding system that takes into account the overall performance of a region over the last two years to help get a wider picture of the region’s strength. The system prioritizes Worlds performance over MSI as well as more recent results over older ones. For more information on how teams will be seeded at MSI, Riot provided this handy graphic of the aggregated results from the last two years:
The play-in represents a new experiment for Riot and will carry with it a specific format for the regions that will be vying for a spot in the group stages. Because of the new seeding, the two highest ranked teams in the play-in, NA and LMS, will be afforded a bye, while the other teams must first play a Double Round Robin in Round 1. The winners of Round 2 will move on to MSI’s Group stage while the losers of Round 2 will have one last chance in Round 3. This is a little different from any other system Riot has used, so they created a graphic that lays all of it out:
The final change to the Mid-Season Invitational has to do with it’s relationship to Worlds. Similarly to last year, the tournament will have a direct effect on where each region is seeded going into the 2017 World Championships. Unlike last year, this will now take into account the variety of other regions that are entered into the tournament. This new system of Worlds seeding can be seen below: