League of Legends Championship Commissioner Chris Greeley announced that Week 9 of the LCS will remain remote after two COVID-19 scares from the Immortals camp.
Recently, the LCS learned that Immortals had two positive COVID-19 tests which forced them into a brief quarantine. Chris Greeley initially made a statement about contact tracing and keeping the community safe. After the COVID-19 scare in Week 8 and another positive test from an LCS staff member, the organization decided to keep Week 9 of games remote to continue safe procedures.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) July 24, 2021
Following the multiple COVID-19 cases, the LCS Players Association made the announcement that more than 95% of all LCS and Academy players located in Los Angeles, California are fully vaccinated. That number rivals the vaccination rate of the Women’s National Basketball Association at 99% and goes way beyond leagues like the NBA and NFL.
What does this mean for the LCS finals?
The LCS finals are set to take place in person, with fans, at the end of Aug. in Newark, New Jersey. However, with the recent surge in positive COVID-19 tests from players and staff, there is room for caution with the upcoming finals. For Week 9, the players will be competing remotely, while the rest of the broadcast will continue from the arena. But, what could that mean for the in-person finals?
I know this is a hard pill for most LCS fans to swallow but Riot rly needs to consider cancelling in-person finals in the midst of the rise in Covid numbers
If this event takes place it’ll put so many people in danger, even ppl like myself who are from NJ and wont be attending
— CLG Beora (@_Beora) July 28, 2021
Some individuals on Twitter have expressed their desire for Riot Games to cancel the LCS finals due to COVID-19. Beora, an analyst for CLG’s LCS team, made a statement about canceling the finals due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. “I know this is a hard pill for most LCS fans to swallow but Riot really needs to consider cancelling in-person finals in the midst of rising COVID-19 numbers,” he said. “If this event takes place, it’ll put so many people in danger, even ppl like myself who are from NJ and won’t be attending.”
The LCS finals are to take place in the Prudential Center in Newark. There are over 19,000 seats in the stadium, but they won’t be filled to capacity during the finals. However, even half that amount is still a lofty number of people in one space. Furthermore, due to the high demand, Riot Games made additional tickets.