The 2020 League of Legends World Championship will take place entirely in Shanghai beginning in September, Riot Games announced Friday. Play will start Sept. 25 and conclude Oct. 31.
By holding Worlds exclusively in a single city, rather than as a tour through six Chinese cities as originally planned, Riot Games hopes to reduce the risk of a novel coronavirus-related snafu during the high point of its League of Legends season.
"We continue to use the guidance from various health organizations and local and national authorities to prioritize safety for our players, fans, and everyone involved with bringing Worlds 2020 to life," said Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent in a public statement.
The finals for the tournament will be the first event held at Pudong Soccer Stadium. Ticket sales and safety protocols will be made public provided Shanghai's local guidelines allow for an in-person audience come September.
Fans can attend the event digitally, and Riot Games plans to focus entirely on the virtual viewing experience in the stages leading up to the finals.
Riot Games plans to return to China in 2021 to complete the traditional, multi-city Worlds format. The tournament will then move to North America in 2022.