Steven R. April 30, 2019
The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational is getting hit with a scheduling change at the last minute.
According to a report by outlet LienMinh360, the play-in stage of the event scheduled to take place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is being shifted around due to the declaration of two national days of mourning for the death of former prime minister Le Duc Anh. These reports were confirmed by Riot Games.
“Out of respect to the host nation of Vietnam, the schedule for the Mid-Season Invitational will be modified for the Play-In Stage,” Riot said in a statement on its official website. “In accordance with the local customs, entertainment focused events and broadcasts will be put on hold. The Mid-Season Invitational will modify the tournament schedule to adhere to local customs.”
As a result of the changes, no games will be played on May 3 or May 4. Though the Play-In stage will continue on with the same format, the schedule has been extensively reworked to accommodate the two days of official mourning.
Though Riot has not confirmed a new game schedule, reports have the event beginning on May 1 with eight games taking place on the first day in Group A. On May 2, Group A will wrap up play with four additional games before Group B closes out the day with its first four games. The Play-In stage will then pause for the two days of mourning and return on May 5 with the remaining eight games from Group B.
If this format is used, presents multiple challenges. The winner of Group A may be cooled off by the three days without competition ahead of a Knockout Stage series with Team Liquid, while the winner of Group B will have to make a quick turnaround for a series against Flash Wolves after closing out the group stage.
Thankfully, the Knockout Stage and primary tournament are set to continue on as normal. The Play-In stage begins on May 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, with the tournament’s main stage beginning on May 10 in Hanoi.