League of Legends’ Worlds 2020 competition will take place in Shanghai this year and will start in September, Riot Games announced this week. The announcement follows a period of uncertainty from earlier in the year when the Mid-Season Invitational was canceled because of complications stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The new plans for the Worlds 2020 competition have adapted to the ongoing situation and will see every stage of this year’s Worlds Championship held within Shanghai. An audience will be welcomed for the Finals while other parts of the tournament will cater to a “virtual fan experience” for viewers at home.
Riot Games’ plans for the Worlds 2020 competition were outlined in a post on the LoL Esports site alongside an update from Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent and Global Head of Esports John Needham. The event will take place starting on September 25th and continuing until October 31st.
Compared to past events, this one will be different in that it will only be held in one location. Past Worlds events have jumped around to different cities within a region during the different stages of the competition, but the single location for Worlds 2020 will better ensure the safety of everyone involved, Riot said.
“Hosting the event in a single city will reduce travel throughout the tournament and give us the ability to more closely control the show environment,” Riot said. “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.”
We're excited to celebrate the 2020 World Championship this September in China! #Worlds2020
See this video message from Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent and Global Head of Esports John Needham about our current plans: pic.twitter.com/c8trp4x8LD— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 1, 2020
Plans for the virtual viewer experience we’ll see through most of the event haven’t been outlined yet, but Riot said it’s going to continue to innovate on the viewer experience and are “incredibly excited for this year’s show.”
Beyond Worlds 2020, Riot has also set the stage for the next two years of competitions. In 2021, Worlds will return to China once again and is being planned for a multi-city format like we typically see. After that, it’ll come to North America for Worlds 2022.
More updates on Riot’s plans for Worlds 2020 are expected to be shared soon as we get closer to the event.