2022 MSI Update: LPL Team to Play Remotely Due to Covid-19 Crisis
The 2022 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) was scheduled to begin on 10th May at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) in Busan, Korea. In an MSI update, Riot Games announced that China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) representative will be unable to travel to Busan due to the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, the LPL team will participate in the 2022 MSI remotely, said Riot’s Global Head of LoL Esports, Naz Aletaha, in .
Why can’t the LPL team participate in person?
Riot Games stated that its Chinese regional league is facing pandemic-related challenges and that the league’s MSI representative will be unable to fly to Korea because of travel and quarantine restrictions. Earlier on 6th April, LNG’s mid-laner that Shanghai mandates people to quarantine for 21 days after entering the city. As a result, the players may not be able to make it back in time for the commencement of the LPL Summer Split.
As a result, Riot is allowing the qualifying LPL team to compete remotely from China, either from its training facility or from the LPL Arena in Shanghai, in accordance with the local health and safety protocols.
“Many factors were considered before implementing this decision including safety, infrastructure, location, and competitive integrity. In addition to the LPL having the infrastructure necessary to support remote play, the ping from China to Korea is manageable,” stated Riot Games.
Riot discusses competitive integrity
In order to keep the competition fair, Riot will be using a network latency tool to maintain a ping as close to 35 ms as possible for all teams throughout the competition. This means that all the teams will be playing on an inflated ping at the 2022 MSI. The company added that the same tool was used to maintain ping between China and Korea for the LPL vs. League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) Showdown during the 2020 Mid-Season Cup.
“To ensure the competitive integrity of the competition, all MSI teams will be able to practice and scrim at this ping, and we will deploy referee support and monitoring throughout the tournament in both Korea and China,” added Riot Games.
Many of the prominent esports personalities in the League of Legends scene have been memeing about how European and North American teams have an advantage of playing in 35 ms since they are used to it in Solo Queue. However, regions like Korea play on 9 ms regularly and it could potentially be a disadvantage for the Korean representative on their home turf.
Aletaha also stated in the release that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the live events landscape in the last couple of years and that Riot’s goal has been to produce safe and fair events for all the participants.
This 2022 MSI update from Riot Games has confirmed that the tournament has gotten affected three years in a row by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the representative from the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) was not able to participate in the event and the year before, the MSI was called off completely.
Notably, Riot is sticking with the same format for MSI as last year. It has already announced that the League of Legends Continental League (LCL) will not be sending a representative to the event because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and due to the LCL (Commonwealth of Independent States) Spring Split being canceled.