MSI 2023: Breaking down the new two-stage format

Welcome to the first international event of the year.

Image via Riot Games

After four months of furious competition, the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational is right around the corner with the best professional League of Legends teams getting ready to collide in a whole new setting.

From North America to South Korea and everywhere in between, 13 top organizations will be making their way to London, England, where the tournament will be held at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is the first time that an international LoL Esports event has been hosted in London, and this will also be the debut of Riot Games’ new MSI format.

The new format brings plenty of games for every region, with every team competing in best-of-three series through the play-in stage and playoff brackets. For those looking to track the path of their favorite squads, here is how the MSI’s new format will play out.

Explaining the new MSI 2023 format

MSI 2023: Play-in stage

Image via Riot Games

For the first time in MSI history, the event will consist of two double-elimination stages. First, the play-in stage will feature eight teams, including the second seed teams from the LEC, LCS and LPL, along with the top seed from the LLA, CBLOL, PCS, VCS, and LJL.

Related: All League of Legends teams qualified for MSI 2023

After these teams are broken off into two groups, they will all battle in a collection of best-of-threes. Two teams will earn their way to the playoffs by winning the upper bracket, while the final spot will be earned through the lower bracket that culminates in a Last Chance Qualifier series between the last two teams remaining from the lower bracket.

MSI 2023: Playoffs

Image via Riot Games

Those three teams will join the top seeds from the LCS, LEC, LCS, and LPL. Since the LCK won the World Championship last year, the region has earned two spots in the playoff bracket. Like the play-in stage, there will be a lower bracket where some of the most incredible storylines in esports have been written.

There are so many different chances for teams to practice their skills and relative flexibility, whether they are representing a major or minor region. MSI 2023 is a perfect platform for fans and analysts to witness some of the best teams in the world battle it out for supremacy at the midway point of the year.

With the four major regions sending two representatives each, this MSI should be a much more accurate representation of a region’s relative strength as well, especially if one team falters while the other has a far more successful run at the tournament.

Get ready for the next Cinderella story when MSI 2023 begins on Tuesday, May 2.

About the author
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.