Group And Format For The Mid-Season Invitational 2020 Featuring Korea’s LCK And China’s LPL

Group And Format For The Mid-Season Invitational 2020 Featuring Korea’s LCK And China’s LPL
Credit: Image via Riot Games

The groups and format for the upcoming 2020 Mid-Season Cup were leaked in a recent stream by Invictus Gaming’s support player Su “Southwind” Zhi-Lin.

Replacing this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, the Mid-Season Cup pits the top League of Legends teams from Korea’s LCK and China’s LPL against each other later this month.

The eight-team event will feature a group stage with a single round-robin, with each team playing three games. The two top teams from Groups A and B will then advance to the next stage of the competition.

The event will be played over the course of four days, from May 28 to 31. The group stage will presumably be played on the two opening days, followed by the playoffs, including the semifinals and finals, on the two closing days of the event.

The winners of the 2020 LPL Spring Split, JD Gaming, will join former world champions Invictus Gaming, LCK runner-up Gen.G, and third-place team DragonX in Group A. The 2020 LCK champions T1 will face Damwon, Top Esports, and FunPlus Phoenix in Group B.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on travel, the LCK representatives will compete from the LoL Park in Seoul, while the LPL teams play from the Shanghai LPL Arena. The event will “adhere to the local health regulations of both cities” and there won’t be a live audience at either stadium. Riot will also artificially standardize ping to 30 to 40 milliseconds to ensure competitive integrity.

“While the current environment has made it difficult to host international events, the close proximity of the LCK and LPL allow for the opportunity to create a meaningful inter-league competition that fans all over the world are eager to see,” Riot said.

This tournament is a good testing ground for the future. If it will have success and the pandemic continues, then Riot could explore doing an online World Championship to combat this and maintain the safety of all players and personnel involved. One key problem would be the ping with so many geographical regions participating at the World Cup. This is combated during this year’s MSI by putting an artificial ping for both LCK and LPL to be on even ground. But how could this be done for EU to Korea or LPL, the ping difference would be too massive to be playable. Someone connecting from Europe would have a ping of around 400-500 when connecting to the Korean servers due to how far it is.