Vietnamese teams pull out of League of Legends Worlds

Need a reminder that the world as we know it continues to be a place where everything changes daily? Consider that the League of Legends World Championship will be a little different than any of us imagined at the beginning of the year.

Organizers originally expected that 24 teams would head to Shanghai later this month to compete for the highly coveted championship.

Instead, Vietnam is withdrawing two teams that had been scheduled to participate. Getting into China for the League of Legends World Championship won’t be a problem. Player safety is ironically assured, with all participating teams undergoing mandatory pre-match quarantines and strict safety measures.

It’s what happens after the championships in Shanghai that has the two Vietnamese teams—including Team Flash, which has secured a berth—worried.

Players and coaches are concerned that coronavirus regulations in Vietnam will prevent them from returning home. To stop the spread of COVID-19 at home, the Vietnamese government has cracked down on who’s allowed into the country.

Borders closed to outsiders

Borders are closed to outsiders, with Vietnamese citizens strongly advised not to travel to other countries.

Having Vietnam pull out means that 22 rather than the originally scheduled 24 countries will participate in the LOL World Championship.

Riot Games director of operations Tom Martell issued a statement on how things will now proceed.

“Earlier this month we shared with you our plans for Worlds,” he says on the LOL site. “But due to national travel restrictions related to COVID-19, our two qualifying teams from Vietnam will unfortunately be unable to travel to Shanghai to compete this season.

“Over the past several weeks, we explored every possible option to include VCS teams. While ensuring the safety of VCS players and the delivery of a world class event. VCS teams and VCS fans have been an irreplaceable fixture of Worlds. But in consideration of current circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to proceed without them this year.”

League of Legends World Championship

However that’s not all with the League of Legends World Championship.

“We look forward to seeing them next year. Knowing that Vietnam will be that much more passionate to bring home a World Championship title. As a result of these changes, we will have 22 rather than 24 teams challenging for the championship.

Martell added that he’s disappointed. And that not being to compete on a global stagee is disappointing for everyone. But that Vietnam will still get a share of the prize pool.

Described as the “crown jewel global event” of the League of Legends Worlds kick off in Shanghai on September 25. Unless something else happens.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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