Riot Games considering single-city bubble format for Worlds 2020

League of Legends Worlds

Riot Games is considering making serious changes to its plans for the League of Legends World Championship this year to help make it happen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

Yesterday, the Chinese government announced it was cancelling the majority of international sporting events for the rest of the year, putting this year’s Worlds at risk. While Riot still hasn’t commented publicly on the decision, ESPN reports that the company is considering moving the event to a single-city bubble format that is designed to limit contact between players, staff, and outsiders.

If true, this means plans to bring the tournament to six cities in China to celebrate the championship’s tenth year will not go ahead. Instead all 24 teams will be asked to travel to Shanghai weeks before the tournament, where they would all be quarantined in the same hotel. From there, teams would compete from a “centralised location” for the rest of the Worlds.

It’s also been reported that as a direct result, North America will not host Worlds next year as planned and will have the chance to host in 2022. This is to allow Riot the chance to execute all its plans in China in 2021.

The global pandemic has so far forced Riot Games to cancel to the Mid-Season Invitational and alter the format of pretty much all of its franchised leagues. While things regionally are returning to normal, big international events are still problematic given the amount of travel restrictions still in place.

Riot Games is expected to make a statement soon.