The first international tournament of the 2023 League of Legends season has just started as of May 2nd. Being held in London at the Copper Box Arena, the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) has captured the attention of millions of League of Legends fans around the world. However, unlike past MSI tournaments, the format of MSI 2023 has changed and made it the most competitive MSI ever.

MSI 2023 Changes

Usually, MSI only invites the number one team from each region to the tournament, but this year, the major regions have been allowed to send their two best teams. Instead of 9 to 10 teams at MSI, there are now 13 teams competing. This means there are more games to be played and more time for a new international meta to be set.

There are two teams from the Korean, Chinese, European, and North American Leagues, as well as one team from the Vietnamese, South Pacific, Japanese, Brazilian, and Latin American Leagues. The Turkish League generally also sends one team to MSI, but with the earthquake that hit the Turkey/Syria region earlier this year, no team could be sent, unfortunately. That being said, Riot Games has set up a relief fund for that region so they can hopefully send a team to Worlds from October to November 2023.

The number of teams is not the only change that has come to MSI, though. The tournament format is also seeing some major changes. While the two stages (Play-Ins and Bracket stages) of the tournament remain the same, the Play-Ins are now comprised of best of 3 games with double loss eliminations instead of best of 1s. This change is a highly anticipated one as MSI was infamous for best of 1s which are unpopular due to a lack of team skill expression. Eight teams have been duking it out in the Play-Ins best of 3s since May 2nd, and only the top three will make it into the Bracket stage.

The Bracket stage is where the top teams from each major region are waiting for the Play-In stage top three. Upon reaching this stage, all matches will turn into best-of-5s. There are no other changes to the Bracket stage other than the fact that there could be two teams from each major region instead of one.

What to look forward to at MSI 2023

Just like all international League of Legends Tournaments, MSI will display the best League of Legends gameplay that can be offered. Along with this, there is always a tournament meta that forms, which always translates into solo queue games. The most notable tournament meta pick that has been introduced at MSI is Nautilus in the middle lane. It has been a while since this Nautilus has been played in mid in pro-play, but so far at MSI, it has a very high win rate.

Another exciting part of MSI is the theme. Riot Games always does a spectacular job at creating a theme for their international events, and this MSI is no different. The MSI theme is ‘Defy’, and the anthem is called ‘Rule (Are Meant To Break)’. The anthem is debatable whether it is good or not, but the theme ‘Defy’ is great, and the stage is decorated for it accordingly. Defying expectations, the MSI stage looks like it is underground, so it is not flashy like it normally is, but the size of the stage makes it looks amazing. It will be great to see the final games and the trophy ceremony on this stage.

If any of this is exciting to you, MSI is currently live every day while the Play-In stage plays out on the Riot Games channel.