The day after the culmination of the League of Legends World Championship finals, Riot Games has announced that the 2020 League of Legends World Championship finals will be held in Shanghai at the Shanghai Stadium. The stadium seats more than 55,000 people and was the home of the 2008 Summer Olympics soccer preliminaries.
The 2020 championship will be only the second time since League championships began in 2011 that the event will take place in China, but Riot is more than ready to re-enter the sport’s biggest market. "To be clear, next year we’re really planning to go bananas," said Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent. "It’s going to be the 10th season for us, and we’re going big."
The city of Shanghai is no stranger to hosting major esports events, as this year’s Dota 2’s The International 9 was held in the Mercedes-Benz Arena and in August it was announced that NetEase was planning to build an eSports park in the city. In 2017, Shanghai also hosted the 2017 World Championship semifinals where more than 80 million viewers watched Samsung Galaxy beat Team WE and SK Telecom T1 overcome RNG in five epic games.
Head of Riot China Leo Lin said of the announcement, "[It] means a lot of complexity, a lot of complications, a lot of effort. But we are committed to that vision."
A message from John Needham, Global Head of League of Legends Esports pic.twitter.com/5Au9rE7T86— lolesports (@lolesports) October 11, 2019
The World Championship is the biggest esports event of the year and has been hosted at numerous iconic sports and entertainment venues around the world. More cities are expected to be involved in hosting the tournament, though Shanghai was the only location to be unveiled at the time of the announcement.