The upcoming League of Legends Mid Season Invitational tournament will, for the first time, have a significant impact on the World Championship later in the year.
Any team that makes it out of the group stage at MSI will secure their region a top four seed at Worlds. This doesn't mean that making it out of groups at MSI will grant the team a spot at Worlds, instead it means that the top team from their region come the end of the Summer Split will get a top four seed.
If this new system had been in place last year the number one LMS team at Worlds, ahq e-Sports Club, would have been a top four seed in pool one instead of Counter Logic Gaming, the top NA team, due to their regions respective performance at MSI 2015.
The new seeding system means that MSI is now one of the most important events in the League of Legends season, whereas before it was seen as more of an event for the fans to enjoy and for the teams to get some international playing experience.
Previously seeds at Worlds were decided by Riot and were based on historical precedent among other things. This system was questioned by many, as the strength of a region could dramatically change in the space of a year. Using MSI as a seeding tournament of sorts removes this issue and is much more transparent, meaning we should get the best possible groups at Worlds with no teams feeling like they have been cheated out of a top four seed.
The Mid Season Invitational takes place between May 4th-15th in Shanghai, all the action will be streamed on the Riot Twitch channel.