Riot Games is pushing through with the 2020 World Championship for League of Legends, despite safety concerns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The global health crisis has affected the video game industry in the form of delayed releases such as The Last of Us Part II and canceled events such as E3 2020. However, it appears that Riot Games will not allow the coronavirus to affect its plans for League of Legends‘ Worlds 2020.
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
In a blog post, Riot Games said that Worlds 2020 will be held exclusively in Shanghai from September 25 to October 31, as the inaugural event at the new Pudong Soccer Stadium.
The top teams from regional leagues across the world will compete in the tournament, which will be hosted in a single city to reduce travel and for control over the environment. Riot Games said that it will follow safety guidelines to protect the players who will be attending the event, as well as the fans who will watch if local guidelines will allow an audience by the time of the tournament.
Riot Games, however, did not share the specific measures that it will implement at World 2020. In comparison, Epic Games canceled this year’s Fortnite World Cup due to the pandemic, deciding against holding the tournament in an online format like many e-sports counterparts due to the “limitations of cross-region online competition.”
Digital Trends has reached out to Riot Games to confirm whether there are teams that have already expressed an intent to join the tournament, and for the developer’s plan in case some of the top League of Legends teams refuse to participate. We will update this article as soon as we hear back.
League of Legends‘ World Championship will be returning to its full multi-city tour in 2021, still in China, then in North America in 2022.