Riot has confirmed this year’s League of Legends World Championship won’t include the qualifying Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) teams due to travel restrictions.
In a blog post, the company explained the two qualifying teams from the region won’t be included at the event in Shanghai on 25th September due to safety restrictions - with Vietnamese players unable to reenter the country if they travel to China.
“Over the past several weeks, we explored every possible option to include VCS teams while ensuring the safety of VCS players and the delivery of a world class event,” the statement reads.
“VCS teams and VCS fans have been an irreplaceable fixture at Worlds, but in consideration of current circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to proceed without them this year.”
The two qualifying teams, which include Team Flash, will be awarded with “their full share of the prize pool as though they had participated in the event”.
Worlds 2020 will now include 22 teams instead of 24, with the format adjusted so the Play-In stage will now only feature 10 teams instead of 12.
The Play-In stage will now be split into two groups of five teams, where all teams will play a single round-robin cycle. The first place teams will qualify for the Groups stage, while the fifth team is eliminated.
The third and fourth place teams in each group will play in a best-of-five series, with the winner playing the second place team in the opposing group. The winner of those matches will then advance to the Group stage.
How Play-Ins will work in the adjusted format (Picture: lolesports)
To make the teams even in the Play-Ins, they have also advanced the third seed team from the LCK to the Groups stage automatically, based on “evaluation of past regional performances at international events”.
The League of Legends World Championship 2020 takes place on 25th September in Shanghai.