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League of Legends’ 2020 World Championship is still happening in Shanghai

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Rather than touring all of China, the entire tournament will take place in Shanghai

The League of Legends World Championship logo floats over the Pudong Soccer Stadium in Shanghai Image: Riot Games

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is still going to take place — all within Shanghai, to ensure player safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The month-long event will start on Sept. 25 and Finals will close it out on Oct. 31 at Shanghai’s Pudong Soccer Stadium. Riot Games hasn’t said where the earlier stages will be held.

The League of Legends World Championship normally involves touring around a host country, visiting many different cities as different stages take place. The esports team at Riot Games is looking to reduce travel this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The early stages of the tournament will also not be played in front of a live audience, focusing instead on a digital viewing experience.

“Riot’s still assessing plans for after the early stages. Depending on how things progress, if local guidelines for events allow Riot to move forward with an audience, then they’ll share more info about tickets and safety protocols later this summer,” a PR representative for Riot Games told Polygon in an email.

To make up for the lack of tour this year, Riot Games is promising to return to China for the 2021 World Championship, with intention to tour. The 2022 World Championship will take place in North America.

Update (Aug. 4): The story has been updated with a statement from Riot Games about having a live audience at the World Championship.