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The golden MSI trophy, sitting on a plinth, in front of a packed arena.
Photo via Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

LoL fans agree MSI is better than Worlds after latest format changes

Welcome to one of the best tournament formats in League.

The 2024 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is less than a month away, and fans from around the world are already reaching a fever pitch as excitement ramps up for the tournament.

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Riot Games recently unveiled its latest format changes for MSI 2024 to ensure fair and exciting games from start to finish for every team attending this May. Starting this year, play-in teams will be separated into different tiers to guarantee the play-in draw will be as fair as possible without resulting in lopsided matches. There will be two play-in brackets with one team from each tier, making sure every team has a fighting chance.

League of Legends fans take in the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational in Vietnam, 2019
The excitement is palpable. Photo by David Lee via Riot Games

There are currently the four tiers available for the play-in stage:

  • Tier one: LPL second seed, LCK second seed
  • Tier two: LCS second seed, LEC second seed
  • Tier three: PCS first seed, VCS first seed
  • Tier four: LLA first seed, CBLoL first seed

For the Bracket Stage, another major shift has been implemented. In a similar vein to the play-in stage, the eight remaining teams will be separated into four tiers, with the LPL and LCK taking first tier as usual.

  • Tier one: LPL first seed, LCK first seed
  • Tier two: LCS first seed, LEC first seed
  • Tier three: Two play-in teams with 2-0 records
  • Tier four: Two play-in teams with 2-1 records

The biggest change that has fans buzzing is that each side of the bracket will only be allowed to have one team per region, meaning there won’t be any same-region matchups during the first two rounds of the upper bracket or the first round of the lower bracket.

This has been a huge pain point for LoL esports supporters since international tournaments were introduced because viewers are always interested in seeing cross-regional play over the same inter-regional matchups—especially when it comes to major rivalries that have built over the last decade. “A really good adaptation to prevent another disastrous draw,” one fan said on the League subreddit. “Unless major upsets happen, we’re pretty much guaranteed NA vs EU BO5s as well, which is really great to see as we’ve been so starved of those in the past few years.”

As a result, the decision has garnered plenty of support and approval from fans, who have even started to dub MSI as the superior event over the World Championship. League enthusiasts also agreed that although Worlds has “prestige and the hype, but the format pales” when in comparison to its mid-season counterpart.

Fans were also quick to look down at last year’s World Championship, saying the tournament was saved by T1 winning because of the team’s overall popularity and the historic significance of their victory. Besides that, a growing opinion has risen on how the rest of the tournament had lackluster matchups with horribly lopsided games.

Hopefully for fans, Riot listens to the widespread praise for the new MSI format, and eventually brings double elimination and the new “no inter-regional matchup” changes to Worlds soon.

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Image of Tyler Esguerra
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.