The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only thing Riot plan for in their attempts to bring LAN events back to their esports, with a potential volcanic eruption in Reykjavík threatning to derail the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational and the Valorant Champions Tour: Europe Stage 2 Masters scheduled for May.
Both events were recently announced as the first major LAN events for both LoL and Valorant in 2021, however, recent seismic activity near Mount Keilir, located 20 miles outside the Icelandic capital, is bound to cause a volcanic eruption "more likely than not," according to experts.
Laugardalshöll indoor sports arena (Image: Riot Games)
“We are not saying we have signs an eruption has begun, but this looks like the type of activity we expect in the run-up to an eruption,” Kristín Jónsdóttir, member of the Icelandic meteorological office stated to local news outlets according to The Guardian.
Víðir Reynisson, member of Iceland's civil defence force, reassured local citizens there was no immediate danger, however, travellers should avoid the area for the foreseeable future. “There is no disaster going on and everyone can get on with their daily lives.”
(Image: Riot Games)
Geophysicist Freysteinn Sigmundsson stated that if an eruption is to occur, it wouldn't be like those typically associated with volcanic activity, with ashes and lava flying through the sky, but rather a more tame event, called a "fissure eruption," which is simply lava crawling slowly until it reaches the surface.
In any case, nature is a fickle mistress and all the predictions can go sideways at any given notice. With League's MSI scheduled to begin this upcoming 6th May, it remains to be seen how Riot will react to the developing situation in Iceland.
In 2010, Iceland was the sight of a volanic eruption with the resulting ash could causing large-scale disruption to air travel across Europe for several weeks, the biggest such disruption since the Second World War.
The fear for Riot is now that travelling teams and staff could find themselves stranded in Iceland for weeks if such an event was to occur again.