Riot Games Move the US' League of Legends Championship to the LA LCS Arena
After the long wait, Riot Games recently announced the change of venue for the final League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Officials announced that the two matches scheduled for the New Jersey Prudential Center would be held at a different location.
They stated that the recent uptick in pandemic infection cases countrywide influenced the venue relocation for the eagerly awaited games. Riot Games stakeholders planned to host the late August LCS matches in the west coast LCS Arena in Los Angeles. They plan to issue full financial refunds to all current ticket holders thanks to their no fan attendance policy.
The Reason Behind the LCS Match Relocation
Due to the pandemic outbreak, the sports industry has been forced to make some changes. For instance, gaming betting organizations have introduced many foreign online casino games for their fans.
Riot Games admitted during the announcement that they had scheduled the championship targeting the spring pandemic vaccine roll-out. Once modeled to be a memorable roadshow that fans would enjoy, officials had to make a tough decision. They stated that they would not conduct the planned event with the recent spike in delta variant cases.
Their efforts to track the current United States pandemic status led to their decision to switch the LCS Championship venue from NJ to LA. Riot Games are yet to comment on the request. New Jersey was especially on its high, averaging a high pandemic death rate of 301 per 100,000 people.
How Riot Games Got Through Previous Coronavirus Cases
During the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, the League of Legends US Championship Series moved their scouting and matches online through an all-virtual event. Riot Games devised the tournament to host the players that competed online with the League of Legends 2020 World Championship.
It ranked third among the most-watched e-sport tournaments and racked up a viewership average of 3.88 million people at its peak. However, during the spring championship, they planned an in-person event, hosting the last two games in the April LCS Midseason tournament. Riot Games held these matches without the usual live audience in the Los Angeles Greek Theater.
Players competed in person throughout the summer season, but no fans attended these events. By July, the players were requested to return to their initial remote play schedule. It was after some pandemic tests turned out positive for people affiliated with an unnamed team and Immortals.
Why Fans Cannot Attend Late August LCS Final Matches
The league had no specified backup plan in the event of another pandemic cases spike. However, the organization would make any necessary change that they saw fit if an unprecedented circumstance occurred.
The rapid and persistent spread of the new delta variant has now forced the organization to shelf its plans, prioritizing public safety. They still believe that their fans deserve nothing short of an exciting, high-quality LCS tournament experience filled with joy and connectivity.
Despite their beliefs, they still have no plans or protocols that could allow them to host a fan-attending event without compromising the wellbeing of fans, staff, and teams.