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League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) starts again on Feb. 5, after the Lunar New year break in Korea. Riot Korea, however, has announced that the league will not have a live studio audience for the upcoming weeks. This announcement comes after rumors of the possible delay of the LCK Spring split due to the risk of the coronavirus.
The most recent number of infected patients stands at over 6000 in China alone. While the coronavirus is very limited in other regions in the world, it is spreading. The death toll so far has just exceeded 130 people, though this number is currently limited to the elderly and previously very sick people.
For now, there have only been four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Korea. However, a number of Chinese tourists visited the country in recent weeks, back before the restrictions on China’s tourism. As such, it is expected that the Korean number will rise quickly over the coming week.
The risk for the LCK
With the chance of the coronavirus increasing by the day, precautions have to be taken to keep people safe. Riot Korea is doing its part in limiting exposure for its staff and the pro players by not allowing the live audiences. At this time, Riot Korea believes it is safe enough for the pro players to continue competing. Unfortunately, this does mean that all previously purchased tickets have been canceled. Those who bought these tickets will receive the opportunity to attend on a different day or receive a refund.
The LCK will continue to be broadcast when the lunar new year break ends next week. Starting Feb. 5, there will be games streamed live Wednesday to Sunday. The second week of the LCK will kick off with the series between two of the top teams in the league, T1 vs. Damwon Gaming.