League of Legends World Championships 2021 leaves China and returns to Europe
Those who were hoping to do battle in China for the upcoming 2021 League of Legends World Championships will have to change their plane tickets. Riot Games has revealed that the competition has been relocated. Europe is now hosting LoL’s World Championships for 2021.
If you’re sitting there thinking “But Europe is a big place—where exactly will the Worlds be taking place?”, that remains to be seen. Riot hasn’t yet finalized the new location.
Originally plans were for the League of Legends 2021 World Championships to be spread across the cities of Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
Last year China also hosted the competition, but thanks to COVID-19 play took place offline, with Shanghai ground zero for the finals.
A major reason for this year’s change was that getting production crews greenlighted for China was proving challenging.
In a video post, Riot Games esports spokesman John Needham acknowledged that accessibility for teams and support crews will be tantamount in settling on a new location. He added that the Delta variant and strict COVID protocols have made travel even more challenging in 2021 than 2020.
“Sadly, we reached the point where it is extremely difficult to guarantee that qualifying teams and their best players would be able to attend Worlds this year,” he said. “As a result, we’ve made the tough decision to pivot Worlds from China to Europe.”
This won’t be the first time that the League of Legends World Championships have taken place on European soil. Madrid, Berlin, and Paris hosted the competition in 2019. At that time action took place before a live audience.