League of Legends suspends Western leagues as coronavirus spreads

by gab pe
Mar 16, 2020

Barely a month after suspending its Chinese pro league, League of Legends developer Riot Games has announced that they are also postponing their North American and European competitions as COVID-19 spreads westward.

In a recent statement posted on their official social media accounts, North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) commissioner Chris Greeley said they will cease operations and development league LCS Academy to ensure the safety of teams and their staff.

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It also noted how the league will move the Spring Split and Finals from Dallas, Texas back to its Los Angeles studio, and is now working to give refunds for those who bought tickets.

The LCS earlier issued a directive suspending meet-and-greet for live audiences and prohibiting handshakes, high fives, and other forms of physical contact in trying to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

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Meanwhile, the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) wrote on social media that neither their staff nor players have tested positive for the virus. However, it did note that an LEC employee may have been exposed to it.

Riot Games had previously taken precautionary measures, shutting down its Chinese Pro league within weeks of the outbreak last February. The Korean professional scene has also been since postponed after a local host caught a fever.

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With the majority of its leagues suspended, Riot Games head of esports John Needham has confirmed the rescheduling of the game's culminating tournament, the Mid Season Invitational, when the travel restrictions will be lighter.

"After discussing with our leagues and other stakeholders, we've made the decision to move our annual mid-year global tournament event from May to July this year," Needham said via their official esports website. "Shifting the tournament to the summer offers the best chance to see travel restrictions lifted, allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely."

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