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LoL World Championship could be cancelled after China sporting event ban

With the recent announcement that China will be cancelling all international sporting events for the remainder of 2020, doubt surrounds the future of the 2020 League of Legends World Championships.

Earlier today, the Chinese government announced they would be cancelling all international sporting events for the rest of the year in the country, with few exceptions. Rumours are now circulating in the League scene about how this will affect the Season 10 World Championship, and whether they will occur at all.

 

 

The announcement stands at odds with a statement from Tencent, Riot’s parent company, also made today. The statement said that Tencent was hopeful that they would be able to work with the Chinese government to allow the World Championship to still occur in Shanghai, and that the company was still actively preparing to host the event.

 

Is the 2020 LoL World Championship cancelled?, LoL world championship 2020 cancelled
(Picture: Riot Games)

 

The two opposing statements leave LoL fans with many questions and few definitive answers: will the Chinese government’s edict apply to LoL at all? And if it does, will Tencent be able to leverage their considerable influence to find a way for the event to go ahead regardless?

 

 

A number of other options are available to Riot and Tencent beyond the nuclear of postponing or flat-out cancelling Worlds, if an arrangement can’t be reached. Fans and analysts alike have speculated on a few potential solutions.

One of the more plausible options would be to move the location of the event to South Korea and hold the event online, as the Korean server has famously low ping. Similarly, Europe and the LEC have decent ping and the LEC studios have an on-site team that has been used to broadcast on-location during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

League of Legends world championship 2020 delayed cancelled
The Elder Dragon roars its way to life in the Bird’s Nest Arena in Beijing at 2017 Worlds (Picture: Riot Games)

 

The news comes as the latest blow to Riot’s plans for 2020, which mark the 10th anniversary of League of Legends. Having the World Championships cancelled this late into planning would be a massive disappointment to all involved, considering the major events Riot surely have planned to celebrate - such as the upcoming Spirit Blossom Festival in patch 10.15.

Riot has yet to make a statement regarding the status of Worlds, or any planned change to the event.

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