Riot Games announced on Tuesday the locations and formats for the two largest international League of Legends tournaments of the calendar year, the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championships.
MSI will take place in various locations around Brazil, and Worlds will head to China, culminating in the 91,000-seat Bird's Nest in Beijing, host of the 2008 Olympics. The Bird's Nest will become the largest venue to ever host a large-scale esports event, breaking the previous record held by the 45,000-seat Seoul World Cup Stadium, which hosted the 2014 Summoner's Cup final between Samsung Galaxy White and StarHorn Royal Club.
The 13 winning teams from the inaugural split of the 2017 campaign will compete at MSI. For their consistency over the past two years at MSI and Worlds, South Korea, Europe and China champions will be awarded a direct placement into the six-team group stage, while the North America and Taiwan champions will need to compete in a play-in round to advance forward into the main event.
The 2017 World Championships will be staged over a six-week period in China from Sept. 23 to Nov. 4. The tournament will go through four cities: Wuhan (play-in stage, group stage), Guangzhou (quarterfinals), Shanghai (semifinals), and finally Beijing for the Summoner's Cup finals. The finals will take place inside the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which was used extensively during the 2008 Olympic Games, including the opening ceremonies.
Like MSI, the format for Worlds has changed. The field has ballooned from 15 clubs to 24, making it the largest World Championships of all time. South Korea, Europe, China and North America will continue taking three teams to the competition, as will Taiwan, having its total seeds at the tournament bumped from two to three.