On Friday afternoon, only 30 minutes before the projected start of week 8 of the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Academy League Spring split with 'Academy Rush', Riot Games announced that both the 2020 LCS Academy League Spring Split, as well as the main circuit of the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split, would be suspended indefinitely. In addition, the 2020 LCS Spring Finals have been moved from Frisco, TX to Los Angeles, CA.
The reason behind the suspension of both leagues, as one might expect, is the growing outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) into a full-blown pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization earlier this week. The LCS is one of many esports events around the world affected by the outbreak.
Earlier this morning, Riot Games EU suspended the 2020 League of Legends European Championship indefinitely in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Riot Games Korea canceled the premiere South Korean tournament, the 2020 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split, last week. China's 2020 League of Legends Pro League Spring Split finally resumed gameplay in week 2 after being suspended for over six weeks due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
A full statement was given by LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley on the official LCS twitter account. The statement reads as follows:
"As the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to grow, we're committed to keeping the health and safety of players, fans, and everyone who makes the LCS possible at the forefront of every decision we make. And so, it was an incredibly difficult call to make, but this afternoon we decided, after discussion with LCS teams, to suspend operations (including all LCS and Academy games) for the immediate future. The same factors that weighed into this decision, coupled with expanding restrictions of large-scale public events in North Texas, have also led us to move the 2020 LCS Spring Finals from Dallas to the home studio in Los Angeles.
We will continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding the virus and coordinate with public health officials to determine safe protocols for resuming games and events.
For those who have already purchased tickets to LCS matches or the Spring Finals, you will be fully refunded. SQUADUP is already issuing refunds LCS studio tickets and SEATGEEK will begin processing Finals refunds as quickly as possible. Due to the high level of requests, if you don't receive a Finals refund in 10 business days, please contact SEATGEEK customer support.
We want to thank all the LCS fans (in Texas and beyond), the Ford Center, city of Frisco, SEATGEEK, and all our LCS organizations for being supportive during this tumultuous time. We're aiming to bring the live action of the LCS and professional League of Legends esports to Texas in the future.
We appreciate your understanding and support during this time."
LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley responded to the tweet of his announcement with a tweet of his own, stating that LCS play would be shifted to remote games, and that the flexibility added to the schedule by moving the Spring Finals to the LCS studio would make resuming and finishing the 2020 LCS Spring Split easier.