Riot Games have announced that League of Legends' second biggest tournament of the year, the Mid-Season Invitational 2019, will be hosted by Vietnam and Taiwan. This is coming just one year after Vietnam became an independent region.
While some fans may be wondering why Riot Games are not hosting MSI 2019 in one of the major regions, such as China, Korea, Europe or North America, it is crystal clear to anyone who has followed the development of League of Legends' popularity in Taiwan and Vietnam.
League of Legends boasts especially massive popularity in both Taiwan and Vietnam, which is also the region where several popular content creators from other regions, such as SivHD and Cowsep, enjoyed a temporary stay. On top of that, Vietnam dominated GPL for four seasons, before becoming an independent region in 2018, while Taiwan is the home of Taipei Assassins, the World Champions from Season 2.
MSI 2019's play-in stage will be held in Hanoi, while the group stage will be moved to Ho Chi Minh City. Taipei will be hosting semifinals and finals, which seems appropriate, since it's the home of former world champions. Contenders for the grand prize are still unknown as the new season is yet to determine the top teams in each region.
Some of the popular teams, such as Fnatic, will likely miss out on MSI 2019 as their start of the season is rather abysmal, where they lost all of their first four matches. G2 are looking as the favourites for the European spot on MSI this year, while Phong Vu Buffalo looks like the strongest Vietnam team so far, meaning EVOS Esports will likely not make a new appearance.
Standings in North America, Korea and China are still rather tight so it's hard to guess which teams may be the favourites, but the former MSI champions, RNG, do not look like they will be on top of the Chinese ladder this split.