Riot Games’ Head of Global Esports gave us some updates.
After reports surfaced yesterday, Riot Games confirmed today that the 2021 League of Legends World Championship will move from China to Europe. The exact location hasn’t been revealed yet, but the main factors will be accessibility for the highest number of teams and players.
Numerous esports news sites reported yesterday that the increasing travel restrictions and reappearing COVID protocols forced Riot Games to make the decision to move this year's Worlds out of China. The reports by sites such as Upcomer and Dot Esports talked about difficulties in getting the production team into China. And that the teams competing for the last spots of Worlds still couldn’t get their visas, something that should’ve already happened this close to the event. The decision was recent and it was to be officially released today.
The official statement
Which it did, after Riot Games’ Head of Global Esports John Needham talked about the difficult decision on LoL Esports’ social media outlets. In the video about the decision, Needham talks about that they have been working hard with the Chinese Riot team and other partners to hold an event that would span over five major Chinese cities, making up for the spectator-less Worlds of last year. They also hoped that with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, life would be closer to normal in 2021 than in 2020.
However, with the delta variant spreading again and the world preparing for the fourth wave, travel restrictions made it difficult to guarantee entry for teams to the country. As such, Riot has decided to move the event from China to Europe, as they think they can hold a safer event there. Needham apologized to their Chinese partners and to the players, and especially fans, who will likely have to watch this year's Worlds from home again. Riot Games promised to keep the integrity of the event to the highest standard, while also making sure the most teams and players can attend their event.
The regional championships around the world are coming to an end. We already know that Gen.G, T1 and DAMWON Kia will represent the LCK. MAD Lions, Rogue and Fnatic will be playing from the LEC. Finally, Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Team Liquid from the LCS will be traveling across the Atlantic to attend the tournament. It won't be long until we will know the rest of the participants. Until then, keep an eye out for more information about Worlds 2021!