The 2020 League of Legends World Championship will still be held in Shanghai, as originally planned, but now all stages of the competition will take place within the city.
Originally, Riot Games announced plans to hold the qualifying stages across five other cities in China, but has changed that plan to minimise player travel and help mitigate the risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the venue has changed. Last year, Riot Games announced that the World Championship 2020 finals would take place at Shanghai Stadium, but now they will be held at the newly-constructed Pudong Soccer Stadium instead.
The 2020 League of Legends World Championship will begin on September 25, with the competition set to wrap up on October 31.
In a video accompanying the announcement, Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent said that the company has been working with local officials and safety consultants to ensure that the competition is safe for competitors, casters, and crew members.
It’s not yet known whether the finals will be able to accommodate fans at Pudong Soccer Stadium. Further details will be shared later this summer if local guidelines allow for a live audience at the event. Earlier stages in the World Championship will not feature a live audience at all, however.
Due to the modified format for this year’s World Championship, Riot Games has announced that the 2021 World Championship will return to China to attempt to fulfil the company’s original, wider-scale vision for the tournament. Meanwhile, the 2022 World Championship has been announced for a yet-undisclosed location in North America.
Esports Insider says: It wasn’t clear whether Riot Games would be able to hold any form of live competition for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, so this is good news indeed for fans who come to expect a large-scale showdown to cap off the esports season. We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not it’s deemed safe to bring in live fans in late October, as well.