Why Riot is finally making changes to its international League events

League's competitive scene is changing. Here's why.

League of Legends international esports events will see some major changes in 2023, and Riot Games shed some light on the reasons behind these decisions in a post on Jan. 10.

The play-in and group stage of the World Championship will be revamped, with the latter becoming the Swiss Stage, featuring best-of-one and best-of-three matches. MSI will also see more teams from four major regions and will introduce a double-elimination format in its second stage. Riot explained that the main goal of these changes is to have more cross-regional competition and best-of-match play, while also ensuring every game at events matter.

When Riot’s team took the Worlds format under their scope, they wanted to make the play-in stage “more impactful” and the group stage “more open and less dependent on a draw or a small number of potential opponents,” according to the post.

As a result, the double-elimination bracket for play-ins will be introduced, and the group stage will transform into the Swiss Stage. “We believe this will result in a more competitive Play-In Stage,” Riot said.

Image via Riot Games

In the Swiss Stage, 16 teams will battle it out for eight spots in the knockout stage, with the first two rounds of matches being best-of-ones, and both advancement and elimination matches being best-of-threes. As a result, every match should matter for both opponents. At the same time, it’s a way to introduce 13 more best-of series without giving up on a day full of best-of-ones. Furthermore, this should create matchups where both teams represent similar levels, and a series is winnable for both of them, which should result in no more groups of deaths.

Image via Riot Games

Fans of competitive League have been asking Riot to introduce a double-elimination bracket for the knockout stage for years, however, this won’t happen in 2023. While Riot believes it has a number of benefits, overall, it would also lengthen the tournament too much and lower the stakes for upper-bracket games.

Other announced changes feature a major update to MSI, with two teams from four main regions being invited, and a revamped play-in and bracket stage format. With these changes, Riot aims to eliminate games that have no stakes and invite more teams from the four major regions to showcase more cross-regional competition, while also maintaining full regional representation.

Image via Riot Games Image via Riot Games

Riot is aware there is a risk of having only the four largest regions in the bracket stage. But it believes with a double-elimination format, the play-in stage participants will have enough chances to advance forward if they deserve to do so.

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