For the first time in LoL Esports history, a perpetual rivalry will not be settled at MSI

The eternal rivalry has been put on pause.

Ever since the competitive League of Legends scene was established more than a decade ago, North America and Europe have remained fierce rivals on the Summoner’s Rift. Whenever an international tournament would take place, their clashes would be some of the most anticipated in the event, with supporters defending their region with plenty of molten hot trash talk.

But two weeks of frantic action have gone by at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational, and it seems like this epic feud will have to wait until the end of the year. Almost all of NA and EU’s representatives have been eliminated from the tournament, with Cloud9 being the final team left from a Western region as of May 16.

MAD Lions and Golden Guardians were both eliminated from the competition in the first round of the lower bracket at MSI, while G2 Esports was recently eliminated by China’s Bilibili Gaming in a closely contested series. As a result, the regions won’t get a chance to play against each other during this event.

This was also caused by the new format implemented by Riot Games, which had all teams playing in best-of series across all stages. In previous years, the second stage of the tournament would have every remaining team play each other twice in a rumble stage. During this frantic period, the LCS and LEC would finally collide in their first matches of the year.

Related: G2 Esports, Bilibili Gaming treat LoL fans to closest battle between East and West at MSI 2023 so far

This year, however, teams were drawn into a double elimination bracket, which led to NA and EU getting drawn into the same side of the bracket to face off against LPL and LCK teams. This also ensured that if NA and EU failed to beat their first round matchup, they would be forced to eliminate their fellow regional representative to keep their MSI run alive.

With the three other teams out of the event, this leaves C9 as the last hope for not just the LCS, but for the West. The last time that a North American team made it to the MSI finals was in 2019 when Team Liquid surprised the global community in a resounding series victory against Invictus Gaming to earn their place in the finals against G2.

Catch C9 in action when they clash with Gen.G on Wednesday, May 17 at 7am CT.

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