China cancels international sporting events, putting Worlds 2020 at risk

League of Legends Worlds Summoner's Cup

China will not host international sporting events for the rest of the year in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country. The Chinese government made the decision to halt events earlier today and it’s likely that the upcoming League of Legends World Championship will be affected.

Yesterday, Tencent told Forbes China it still planned to hold the finals in Shanghai later this year (thanks Daniel Ahmad), but based on today’s news, it’s likely the company’s stance will have changed. The General Administration of Sport, which made the decision, says in a statement that with the exception of Beijing 2020 Winter Olympic test events “no other sports events will be held this year.”

We’re still waiting to hear what this means for Worlds 2020, but given that it’s a huge global event that brings the world’s best League of Legends team to compete on a single stage, there are potentially quite severe health implications for staff, players, and fans.

If affected, Riot Games may choose to postpone the event, similar to what Valve did with the tenth edition of The International, move the event to another country, or move the tournament online altogether.

Whatever happens, it’s a big undertaking. It’s important to remember that safety is paramount and changes to big events like these aren’t made lightly.

We’ve contacted Riot Games for a comment and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear.