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During a speech at the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Cloud Summit, Tencent Chief Operating Officer Ren Yuxin confirmed that the company was still planning to host the League of Legends World Championships for Season 10 in Shanghai. This news corroborates previous reports that Riot Games was still hosting the annual tournament in a bubble format, rather than switching to online play or canceling the event outright.
League of Legends World Championships
Earlier this week, the Chinese government announced that all international sporting events in 2020 would be canceled due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19. Nevertheless, there were reports that esports events did not fall under the category mentioned, similar to how the trials for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games were also not affected.
If the matches are played using a bubble format, the tournament will not totally be the same. This is because the bubble format will force players to be isolated from the rest of the community. Teams would reportedly travel to Shanghai weeks before the event for quarantine purposes, rather than the initial plan of visiting multiple cities along the way.
Riot Games strives forward
Many have been looking forward to attending this year’s event at the Shanghai Stadium. This, after all, happens to be the 10-year anniversary of the multiplayer online battle arena title. In addition, the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) has taken first place at the last two events.
As such, many expected that Chinese fans would break attendance records to see the action first hand. However, they may still have a chance, as sources told ESPN that Riot Games had granted China the opportunity to also host the 2021 World Championships. This would mean pushing North America back to the 2022 iteration.
With Tencent’s pledge to build Shanghai into a global esports capital through the massive popularity of League of Legends and Honor of Kings, the cancellation of such a large event seems unlikely.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.