The final stop on the road to Worlds 2021 for the LCS teams has already kicked off, as the top six squads from North America have begun their journey into the LCS Championship 2021, with Evil Geniuses dominating Dignitas in the opening series of the Playoffs.
However, this impressive start has come with bad news for all followers from the North American competitive scene, as fans will have to wait until 2022 to see the action live on stage. Riot Games announced prior to today’s match the cancellation of the Championship’s live finals at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
While we previously covered the original announcement on 9th July, with Riot Games proudly revealing the format and ticket sales for the event, the situation around the COVID pandemic and its Delta variant in the United States has gotten worse in the last few weeks, which pretty much explains this sudden and difficult decision.
“We scheduled the LCS Championship as a road show with fans and made the decision to move forward based on the very promising roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Spring. However, over the past month, we’ve been closely monitoring the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases across the United States.”, explained the LoL Esports Staff in their press release.
“Given the current state of affairs, we cannot in good conscience conduct a massive fan event at this time. After much consideration, it is with extreme disappointment that we’ve elected to relocate the LCS Championship event from the Prudential Center to the LCS Arena.”
Prior to this announcement, the plans for the LCS Championship 2021 finals included the addition of the LCS Fan Fest, created in partnership with Grubhub, and which would serve as the meeting point for both fans and press, giving the chance to be part of many activities hosted by LCS teams and sponsors, as well as enjoy local food, and even buy exclusive merch from both Riot Games and the LCS teams.
“Our fans deserve nothing less than a high-quality LCS event experience full of excitement, connectivity and joy. After assessing the risks, no set of protocols or plans allowed us to deliver that event without jeopardizing the health of our teams, staff and fans.”, added Riot.
As of now the entirety of the LCS Playoffs and its Championship, which will ultimately define the teams that will represent NA at Worlds, will be held at the LCS Arena in Los Angeles without a live audience, with refunds for all those who acquired tickets for the finals in New Jersey available later this week.
At the very least, Riot has also confirmed the Prudential Center will remain on the site to host an LCS event in the future, so it will be a matter of time to see the LCS action back on stage at a top-tier sporting venue.
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