Due to the COVID-19 issues in China, Riot Games has announced that the LPL representative will be allowed to participate in the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational remotely.
The LAN event will host 11 of the best teams in the professional League of Legends across the globe, but only ten will be in the arena.
The COVID-19 travel restrictions in China will prohibit the LP representative from attending the live event, but Riot Games is willing to give them a fair shot of winning a piece of the $250,000 prize pool.
Riot Games’ head of global esports Naz Aletaha was responsible for breaking the news to the esports community.
Via an official statement, he said, “Currently, the LPL (our Chinese regional league) is facing ongoing pandemic challenges, and as a result, the league’s MSI representative will be unable to travel to Busan, Korea. However, after extensive diligence performed by our technology, events, and competitive operations teams, we are able to allow the qualifying LPL team to compete remotely from China.
“The team will play from either their team training facility or from the LPL Arena in Shanghai, in accordance with local health and safety protocols.”
For the 2022 edition of the MSI, Busan, South Korea, will be the host city. The 20-day event, which will commence on May 10, is scheduled to be held at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center.
While it has already been determined that the LPL reps will play remotely, we are yet to find out what team will make it through.
At the time of writing, eight teams have secured qualification to the 2022 MSI. They include G2 Esports, Saigon Buffalo, T1, DetonatioN FocusMe, Istanbul Wildcats, PSG Talon, and ORDER. Teams from North America (LCS), Brazil (CBLOL), and China (LPL) are yet to be decided.
The LPL spot will be taken by either Royal Never Give Up or Top Esports. It will undoubtedly be a closely-contested best-of-5 series as even the esports bookmakers have found it difficult to split the teams.
According to esports betting sites, RNG is the narrow favorite with moneyline odds of -108.7 while Top Esports’s moneyline odd stands at +102.
Whoever comes out on top will get $310,162 of the $651,399 prize pool.
Although playing remotely is unorthodox, Riot Games has promised to guarantee fair play and competitive integrity. The organization has given an insight into how they plan to pull off the event, especially with China playing from home.
“To keep the competition fair, we will be using a network latency tool to maintain a ping as close to 35ms as possible for all teams throughout the competition” Aletaha added.
“This same tool was used to maintain ping between China and Korea for the LPL vs 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.”
Riot Games has shown initiative to make sure every team gets a fair shot at competing. Last year, Vietnam’s GAM Esports were not so lucky as they had to forfeit because they could not make it to Reykjavik, Iceland, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.