Riot Games announced its official plans for the 2020 and 2021 League of Legends World Championships on Friday.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 world championship will be held entirely in Shanghai from Sept. 25 through Oct. 31, eschewing the typical city-to-city country tours that have been a worlds staple since 2014. The finals will be held in the Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium.
"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," Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent said in Riot's statement on Twitter.
Laurent added that keeping everything in Shanghai will allow the esports team to more closely monitor the well-being of players and staff.
China's official League of Legends professional competition, the LoL Pro League, is currently held in Shanghai at the Hongqiao World IE Hub. Teams and broadcast talent are live at the venue, but audiences are still not permitted.
Due to the lack of travel around China in 2020, the world championship will return to China in 2021 for a full country tour. The last world championship in China was in 2017, when players, staff and fans traveled to Wuhan, Guangzhou and Shanghai, with the finals at the National Stadium (the Bird's Nest) in Beijing.
North America, which was scheduled to hold the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, will host the event in 2022.
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