The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countless sporting tournaments into cancellation, even extending towards eSports. Guests-in-Attendance weren’t permitted to ensure the safety of employed personnel. There’s been considerable speculation regarding when eSports Tournaments would allow guests to return, with the 1st being announced on August 1st. Riot Games confirmed that they’re hosting the “League of Legends 2020 World Championship”.
It’ll be held in Shanghai between September 25th to October 31st at the Pudong Soccer Stadium. One site has been selected instead of the standard seven, allowing Riot Games to control the safety of their environment better. It’s unknown if international visitors will receive permission to attend this Chinese venue, with most nations not allowing for their civilian’s admission to purchase international flight tickets.
Riot Games clarified that the initial stages of this tournament wouldn’t permit audiences in-attendance. Local guidelines in Shanghai aren’t allowing for civilian personnel to attend largescale venues until October 1st. Riot Games emphasized that under these local guidelines, they’ll not allow for public attendance until the Finals. Tickets will be sold under the pretence that guests obey all social distancing measures.
An official statement from Riot Games evoked that their following Shanghai’s Centre of Disease Control, while also maintaining delegations with the Chinese Communist Party. This is to guarantee the safety of those attending the finals & employed personnel. Considering that China is the initial outbreak location of COVID-19, multiple high-profile names in the video game industry have expressed their discontent with Riot Games decision to launch the 1st eSports Tournament of 2020.
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Inside sources with Riot Games mentioned that their mentality follows similarly to Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the National Basketball Association. All three sporting entities have restarted their 2020 Seasons, quarantining anyone that’s contracted with COVID-19. Riot Games believes that the “Bubble Strategy” is enough to guarantee the safety of active personnel, gamers that compete in this tournament, and the inevitable guests.
Riot Games is most likely incorrect about their assessment. It should be clarified that the “Chinese League of Legends Pro League” is still suspended from maintaining in-person venues, causing numerous gamers to question their safety is competing in the 2020 Championships.