'League of Legends' championship will start in Shanghai despite pandemic
The company is clearly following the practices of conventional sports that have relied on limited travel and virtual fans to minimize the risk of infections, but that also means it shares some of the same issues. While a single city reduces travel, it doesn’t eliminate travel — teams will have to fly across the planet to participate. There are also no mentions of whether or not teams will live in a “bubble,” how often they’ll be tested for COVID-19, or what happens if players get sick.
This is also assuming enough teams are willing to show up. There may not be much of a tournament if would-be participants decide it’s not worth risking their health to compete.
The company is committed to a return to normality in subsequent years, at least. It expects a full multi-city tour in China in 2021, and plans for North America to host the 2022 championship. It’s so far convinced that 2020 will be a blip — it’s just a question of how large that blip is.
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