Riot finally making changes to international League tournaments—but it’s not exactly what players wanted

Good news and bad news.

Over the past few years, fans of professional League of Legends have clamored for format changes for the two major international tournament of the competitive year, the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship.

For those who have joined the crowd of restless fans, it’s time to celebrate.

At a press conference in San Francisco, Riot Games’ global head of League esports Naz Aletaha finally addressed the growing demands for updated formats for both events and confirmed changes were on their way in 2023.

“Format changes are coming [to MSI and Worlds],” Aletaha said. “When we heard the feedback last year, we took this season to really dive into it, and to really start to access what parts of the format were working, what parts we think could use improvements, working with our regional teams around the world to beat out what these formats can and should be.

Aletaha didn’t go into detail about the specific changes headed to the two tournaments, but she did say that updates and more information will be given out by the start of the season.

On the other hand, however, Riot’s president of esports John Needham followed up with what could be disappointing news for some supporters, confirming that Worlds’ knockout stage will remain single elimination next year.

“At the end of the day, Worlds is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet,” Needham said. “All of the biggest sporting events on the planet have single elimination as a core part of their tournament, and at least from knockouts forward, we will be continuing with single elimination because that puts the stakes at the very highest level.

This might underwhelm many fans, who believe that a double-elimination style format provides the best storylines for teams to make possible Cinderella story runs to a championship. It also gives teams a second chance at life if they’re thrown into a Finals-level matchup early into the stage.

Even still, fans can only hope that these format changes provide a good step forward for a better experience at the biggest League events of the year.

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