Today we’re happy to announce that Vietnam has been promoted to its own independent competitive region, and will have a guaranteed play-in slot to compete at international events like MSI and Worlds.
As a country ecosystem within a larger region, Vietnam has been dominant in its qualifying regional league, winning each of the last four splits of Southeast Asia’s Garena Premier League (GPL). Additionally, Vietnam’s competitive performance at international events like 2017’s Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds makes them more performative than a majority of the 13 other regions that compete. When we combine these consistent achievements with Vietnam’s mature competitive ecosystem and passionate player base, we think the time is right for them to compete as a unique individual region.
So what does this mean?
In the past, Vietnam’s league (VCS) was part of the Southeast Asian region and competed for one spot at international events with other members of Southeast Asia in the GPL tournament: the Philippines (PGS), Malaysia (LCM), Singapore (SLS), Indonesia (LGS), and Thailand (TPL). Now, Vietnam will have independent representation at international events and will no longer participate in the GPL. The remaining SEA leagues will continue to send their own top team from the GPL.
If you would like to follow the VCS throughout the season, head to: http://vcs.lienminh.garena.vn
Moving forward, Vietnam (VCS) will be grouped with Turkey (TCL) and CIS (LCL) for Rift Rivals, while Southeast Asia (GPL) will remain grouped with Oceania (OPL) and Japan (LJL). This will allow us to keep clusters to no more than 3 regions and maintain competitive parity within clusters.
WORLDS AND MSI
As mentioned above, Vietnam will now have their own slot at MSI 2018 and Worlds 2018, separate from SEA.
MSI will be expanded to be a 14-team tournament.
Worlds will remain a 24-team tournament. The extra play-in spot that was earned by the highest ranking region of BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, or TUR will now be owned by Vietnam.
We aim to keep Rift Rivals, MSI and Worlds as inclusive competitive events that every region has a path to competing in. That said, we also want to avoid making these events significantly larger than what they currently are in order to strike the right balance between high-level competition and inclusion. As the global ecosystem of League of Legends matures and new regions emerge (or the relative ranking of regions changes), our thinking will continue to evolve on this subject.
Stay tuned for more information regarding host locations for our international events, including the upcoming 2018 Mid-Season Invitational, in the coming weeks!