As the massive spike in US COVID-19 cases continues to decline, another piece of good news is en route for NA League of Legends fans, as Riot has announced that LCS players are finally heading back to the league’s Los Angeles studio.
Taking to Twitter to share the news, head of esports for NA and OCE Chris Greeley says that teams will be returning in a “hybrid model”. As Greeley explains, squads deemed “eligible” will be brought back onsite, where they’ll be able to play their 2022 LCS Spring Split games in person.
However, should a team not meet the eligibility requirements and have to play online, their opponents will have the option to also play remotely, or proceed to compete from the studio. The 2022 LCS Lock-In tournament was played online in its entirety, so this is undoubtedly a big step towards, as Greeley says, “getting back to ‘normal’”.
The new measure is similar to the hybrid model used by Europe’s LEC for chunks of last season, though there the schedule had teams alternate between playing online and offline throughout each day of play.
We’ll be bringing back #LCS teams into the studio in a hybrid model for Week 1. Working with each team, we’ll determine if they are eligible to come on-site. If a team isn’t eligible to come on site, their opponents will be offered the opportunity to play remotely as well.
— Chris Greeley (@IAmGrza) February 4, 2022
While fans are eager to know when they too will be able to return to the LCS studio, there is currently no news on the matter. Let’s hope that 2022 will be the year crowds make a comeback – regulations and fan safety permitting.