Last week, Riot Games confirmed that this year’s League of Legends Worlds final will be played in front of a live audience inside Shanghai’s Pudong Football Stadium. This has sent both LoL lovers and live event-starved esports fans into raptures, as around two million people have already applied for the extremely limited amount of complimentary tickets.
Riot’s global head of esports communications, Dave Higdon, tweets that a million people had applied for tickets within just four hours and the figure is now likely to have sailed way past the two million mark. This will be the first major esports event to have a live crowd since the beginning of 2020, when the global spread of coronavirus saw LAN events come grinding to a halt.
However, there are going to be plenty of disappointed fans who will miss out on a free ticket to watch Worlds in Shanghai, as out of the two million plus applicants, only 6,312 of them will be able to attend. While the Pudong Stadium can hold over 30,000, social distancing measures mean only a limited capacity can be allowed inside for what will be the new stadium’s first ever event.
Higdon also confirms that the live audience will only be present for the final, and while the semis will also be played in the stadium, they will be without a crowd.
Within the first 12 hours, we hit close to 2,000,000 registrants.
Seats available: 6,312 https://t.co/OYX2dGnqKa
— David Higdon (@davidhigdon) October 12, 2020
The huge amount of applications for tickets is a testament to Worlds’ stature in the esports scene. Last year’s event saw 15,000 watch live in Paris and the semi-final match between T1 and G2 Esports became the most viewed esports match of all time with 3.9 million tuning in on streaming platforms.
The prospect of a live audience after around nine months of online play or crowd-less offline matches is tantalising not just for League of Legends fans but general esports fans too.