MSI 2020 postponed due to growing concern over coronavirus

By Olivia Richman


Feb 26, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is the latest esports event to be delayed due to the coronavirus. 

In a statement on Twitter, Riot’s global head of esports, John Needham, addressed the virus’ ongoing threat to travelers. 

“As countries around the world respond to the coronavirus, we’ve had to adjust our plans and delay announcing the timing and location of MSI 2020,” Needham told League of Legends fans. “While we remain committed to making the event happen, the health and safety of players and fans comes first and foremost, with the integrity of the competition a close second.” 

He then thanked fans for their patience and stated that he will keep everyone updated with new information once it comes. 

Surprisingly, many of the responses to the update were negative, with fans sarcastically noting that Riot had essentially given an update with no updated information. Still, others felt that MSI should just be canceled completely for the safety of the people involved, even if it means a lack of international competition until later in the year.

MSI was not the first League of Legends event to be impacted by the threat of the coronavirus. The LPL announced a delay mid-January after the World Health Organization deemed the virus “high risk” for not just China, but the world. The LPL may not begin until May, with test games soon to be played online. The LCK Spring Split was not delayed, but the matches are being played in front of an empty arena due to health concerns. 

Riot has announced that the World Championship will be held in China this year, so hopefully the coronavirus is under control by the time Finals is set to head to Shanghai. 

The Overwatch League was another global esport affected by the coronavirus. The new 2020 schedule has matches held around the world, but games that were to be hosted by teams in China and Korea were canceled due to the health threat

Blizzard refunded fans who purchased tickets and stated that the matches would be rescheduled.