Riot has officially announced their plans for 2020 and 2021’s League of Legends Word Championship tournaments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament will be starting on September 25th and will last until October 31st, with the full series taking place entirely in Shanghai, China. The tournament finals are slated for Saturday, October 31st, and will be held in the new Pudong Soccer Stadium. Riot has also announced planned precautions for the tournament due to COVID-19, “Due to the outbreak, we will be centralizing the tournament in Shanghai so that we can more closely control and monitor the event,” says Riot’s Global Head of Esports John Needham.
Unlike prior League of Legends World Championships, this year’s series will not be composed of a tour of different cities across the country to ensure the safety of players and staff.”We’ve been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19, partnering with local and national authorities, external risk and safety consultants, and continue to follow guidance from various health organizations around the world,” Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games, tweeted on the Riot official Twitter page.
We’re excited to celebrate the 2020 World Championship this September in China! #Worlds2020
See this video message from Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent and Global Head of Esports John Needham about our current plans: pic.twitter.com/c8trp4x8LD
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 1, 2020
Along with the announcement for this year’s tournament location, Riot has also announced plans for next year’s championship series. Due to the lack of a “country tour” for the competition, the League of Legends World Championships will be returning in 2021 and will take place in different cities across China. Originally scheduled to host Worlds in 2021, North America will be hosting the series for 2022.
Similar to the NBA, Riot has also said that they would consider “bubble” tournaments for Worlds, with players being quarantined in a central location for their health. Riot has also announced that if local guidelines for COVID-19 permit it, audiences will be allowed for the tournament’s Finals, with safety precautions and health guidance rules in place.