LOL – MSI 2022: The format is a pantomime without emotion, drama and interest (but easy solution)

We are in one of the most exciting moments of the year for those who follow the Legends competitive legends… or at least that’s what I would have to say. The arrival of MID Season invitational always brings the best teams of each regional competition, something interesting enough to grow the audience 19%, but do not remove so that the sensation among fans is not so visceral.

Of course it is interesting to play T1 against RNG , A G2 Against the leader of the LCS Spring in the classic Atlantic duel, or to alleged emerging regions as Vietnam. But to get to that, we have had to pay a two-week toll of practically inconsequential matches. Is it worth waiting for months for international tournaments to receive this?

A format without interest

The level difference between the three main regions, and rather between the two most top such as China and South Korea is no anyone’s fault. At least, not anyone who organizes the MSI. It is the result of many years of evolution of the competitive legends. But it cannot be an excuse when a format lacks interest in the vast majority of parties.

The Mid Season invitational must be a different format to Worlds , since the latter would subtract prominence. That is why only the champions of each league go, in the recopa style. It is not at all bad option, since this allows to reduce classified equipment, making it a much more “fresh”, direct and concise tournament. The problem is that this philosophy collides with the used format .

We had two weeks with groups of groups. The first, unequivocally called as “groups”, had three undefeated teams (the three of the three historically more powerful regions). The second, called “rumble“, faces all clubs classified in a second phase of all against all. One week to sift the worst teams, another to give us the first duels among the best regions.

As Christopher “Montecristo” Mykes says, after the conclusion of the first two phases of groups, a total of 66 best of one were disputed; 36 Between regions “Major” and “Minor”, that is, powerful teams and teams traditionally called “Wildcard”. Well, The result in those maps is 33-3 in favor of the top , belonging to those three defeats to the very dire g2.

It is a better oversaturation of a totally overwhelming 1. The demonstration is that in a regular season of LEC, which lasts between 8 and 9 weeks, 90 are played. **, and being most of them practically inconsequential.

And, additionally, Half of what we see on screen is barely relevant. There is hardly any drama, the fuel of any professional competition is of the sport that is, to the point that G2 Esports can lose 5 games in a row in the second phase of groups and still pass as third classified.

A Stockholm Syndrome

So… Why does the MSI have so much audience? I think there are several reasons for it. The first and most obvious is that League of Legends is an eSport tier s, that is, the public will see almost anything because it is one of the most durable phenomena, well produced and with familiar faces of every internet. As if this were not enough, it is a world esport, which is consumed in almost the entire globe.

But we investigate a little more. One of the reasons that we can argue before is The relative shortage of international tournaments . Although the same regions are always the ones that dominate, the reality is that the teams are not always. This makes a RNG vs T1, possibly the two organizations with the most history in League of Legends, is not possible every year.

The fan is seeing matches between mid-table clubs in his region, or even national leagues, hoping that the Faker vs. G2 or the debut of the new sensation in China arrives. Fans are eager to see duels between regions, and to the great stars of the world LOL, after many months. The 66 best of five are the window with bars that the kidnapper allows us to behave a few weeks.

and a format proposal

Why do the NBA qualifiers, the NFL playoffs, the rooms, semis and end of the Champions League work? Because there is drama . The one that a team can go home and another continues on their way is the basis of professional sport. Why do we have to see a lot of inconsequential matches the best of one in the MSI? It is as if the variance of the best of one tries to correct with a lot of matches.

But if this were not enough, in League of Legends we are already willing to make use of one of the best tools that the formats have to cancel this variance: The double elimination format .
In addition to serving to rescue powerful teams and they deserve even win, as happened with G2 in LEC, it is a way of having more duels and more relevant between Korea, Europe and China without having to inflate the phases of groups.
Therefore, why not start with a qualifying format with bracket lower than the best of five?
A seeding of the last World Cup could be used and at the beginning we would have a G2 vs Order or a T1 against Team Aze, but later the talent would be concentrated in an Aúpa box.
Each party would import and would remain good for minority regions .
Not surprisingly, they would play a maximum of six maps, which is the same as the Japanese of detonation focusme or the Brazilians of Red Canids played.
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