Through a press release on the LoL Esports website, Riot's global esports division disclosed some of the reasons that led to this decision, with the main being concerns about the rise in infections of COVID-19 and its Delta variant.
“After close collaboration with European authorities and Riot Games’ trusted risk assessment and safety partners, Worlds 2021 is headed to Reykjavik, Iceland, [where we] successfully hosted the Mid-Season Invitational this past May at the Laugardalshöll without a live audience, which resulted in zero COVID-19 cases among players, staff, and partners,” the announcement reads.
Unlike MSI 2021, the stage for Worlds 2021 will be set in the newly refurbished Hall A at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena, the same one that hosted the Valorant Masters Reykjavík where Sentinels was crowned champion.
Riot has also confirmed that to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in hosting, producing, and competing at the event, Worlds 2021 will not host a live audience while continuing to use guidance from various health organizations and local and national authorities to prioritize everyone's safety.
The confirmed dates for all phases of the event are as follows:
- Play-Ins: 5-9th October
- Groups: 11-13th and 15-18th October
- Quarterfinals: 22nd-25th October
- Semifinals: 30th-31st October
- Finals: 6th November
Despite the situation, Worlds 2021 is expected to be a success for the League of Legends competitive scene, as Riot confirmed the MSI 2021 was the most successful to date, with the final match between DWG KIA and Royal Never Give Up hitting a record-breaking MSI peak viewership of 23 million, and an average minute audience (AMA) of 10 million.
You can learn more about all qualified teams, format, prize pool, and everything around the 2021 World Championship in the viewers’ guide below.
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