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The semifinals of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship will be relocated from Toronto to the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Riot Games announced Thursday. The matches were originally slated to be held at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto as part of a multi-city tour.

Increased difficulties getting multi-entry visa to the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the decision, Riot said in a statement. Originally, teams would have had to travel from the U.S. for quarterfinals to Canada for semifinals and then back to the U.S. for the grand finals.

“We are committed to upholding our tradition of a multi-city Worlds tour despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, and look forward to hosting the 2022 semifinals at the state-of-the-art State Farm Arena in Atlanta,” Naz Aletaha, global head of LoL Esports at Riot Games, said.

The State Farm Arena is the home of the Atlanta Hawks, an NBA team. The arena is located in downtown Atlanta.

“We are honored that Atlanta now has this incredible opportunity to host the world’s biggest esports event,” Todd Harris, Atlanta Esports Alliance chair, said. “We look forward to working closely with Riot Games, our public and private partners, and our local community to create a remarkable experience for all involved.”

Worlds is the culmination of professional LoL esports. The top teams from 12 different regions face off for the title of the best team in the world. The 2021 Worlds was moved to Reykjavík, Iceland because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament reached more than 73.86 million peak concurrent viewers worldwide. Worlds 2022 is being held in North America. The original plan was to split matches between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. 

“This news is no doubt disappointing to our fans and partners in Canada, and we want to sincerely thank Toronto, Scotiabank Arena, and our community for their understanding,” Aletaha said. “We look forward to bringing a major LoL Esports event there in the future.”

The new city schedule for Worlds 2022:

  • Play-ins: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Groups & quarterfinals: New York
  • Semifinals: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Grand finals: San Francisco, California