worlds 2020

Riot Games has finally announced updated plans for this year’s League of Legends World Championship. After much uncertainty due to COVID-19, the event will officially be held in Shangai, starting September 25 through October 31.

Although COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic, there are specific safety protocols that all participants will be following. Nicolo Laurent and Global Head of Esports John Needham explained how they plan to keep fans, staff, and players safe during the event. “We have been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19, partnering with local and national authorities, external risk and safety consultants, and we continue to follow guidance from various health organizations,” Laurent added.

Keeping the event in one location, mostly online

In previous years, games would be held in several cities throughout the region. As part of the plan, Riot will keep the games in one location rather than touring across China. This will reduce the amount of traveling between all participants while preventing the spread of COVID-19. Doing so will help create a controlled environment throughout the week-long event.

Unfortunately, most of the event won’t be taking place in front of a live audience. Since COVID-19 is still a public threat, Riot believes it’s safer to create a virtual fan experience instead. Similar to the previous World Championships, there will be a surprise virtual show for viewers this year. “We’re committed to bringing our unique visceral live sporting experience throughout the event to you digitally—in true League of Legends Esports style,” Laurent emphasized.

In the meantime, fans can only watch the competition via live streaming.

A 33k- seater stadium

The World Championship Finals will be held during the inaugural event of the Shanghai Pudong Soccer Stadium. This giant stadium has a capacity of 33 thousand seats and will serve as an entertainment and sports center. Originally planned to take place in the Shanghai Stadium, Riot has changed plans to better serve the needs of the participants.

Although the location is already set, it seems that there’s still some uncertainty in the air. In the official statement, Riot shared that more information will be revealed if local guidelines allow them to have a live audience. As of now, there is no ticket information available regarding attendance for the Finals. Nevertheless, Riot will still go on with the show regardless of a live audience.
Pushing North America to 2022

Next year’s Worlds will return to China for an entire multi-city tour, much like last year’s. This will give fans a chance to experience the event live, unlike this year. Doing so means pushing North America’s World Championship event to 2022. At the moment, there is no additional information regarding next year’s competition.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba