LEC Finals Moved to Berlin Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The LEC spring finals will take place in Berlin, Riot Games announced Friday
The LEC spring finals will take place in Berlin, Riot Games announced Friday / Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Riot Games will host the League of Legends European Championship spring finals in the LEC studio in Berlin, Germany, rather than in Budapest, Hungary, as originally scheduled. The decision comes amid growing concerns for safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

"This was not an easy decision to make, however, the health and safety of players, fans, and staff is our number one priority," wrote Riot Games' head of European esports Alberto "Tiroless" Guerrero in a blog post published Friday to the League of Legends esports website.

The coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS and MERS viruses, originated in Wuhan, China. It has since spread across the globe, infecting over 100,000 individuals and killing more than 3,000 to date.

Guerrero wrote the finals in Berlin still planned to feature a live audience, but that Riot Games would continue to monitor the situation and revisit the decision if necessary.

"We understand that this is a disappointment for fans, particularly those in Hungary, but we will look into options to bring the LEC to Budapest in the future," Guerrero wrote.

The coronavirus most recently spurred the indefinite hiatus of League of Legends Champions Korea. It previously spurred the League of Legends Pro League to move to an online-only format set to begin Monday following the Chinese government forcing it to postpone competition. Riot Games has delayed the announcement of the Mid-Season Invitational's location in light of the coronavirus.