Today’s cartoon is about the uncertainty of whether the 2020 League of Legends World Championships will still be held.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues on, there are many concerns about the logistics of Worlds 2020. Moreover, the Chinese government has canceled all international sporting events for the rest of the year. That said, it remains possible that Worlds 2020 still happens and rumors of how and when are going around the scene and its fans.
One of the rumors with the highest possibility is having Worlds played without a live audience. If this happens, it would be disheartening for China, which likely had big plans for the 10-year anniversary of LoL. Still, this would be the best shot for Worlds, if it is to happen at all.
Holding Worlds online is another possibility. The Mid-Season Cup (MSC) held in place of the Mid-Season Invitational was an excellent example. MSC, however, only included China and Korea, and Worlds is a different beast: orchestrating matches between regions spread so far apart leads to technical issues that need to be resolved before an online Worlds can proceed.
One of the less-likely rumors would be Worlds being held in other regions such as Korea or Europe, in a region where the pandemic has quieted down, or in a city where the preventive measures against the pandemic are extremely strong. However, considering that the event is just around the corner, this would mean a very tight relocating schedule, not to mention that Tencent would still prefer to have the 10-year anniversary Worlds be held in China.
However, all these presumptions would be useless if the Chinese government does not approve the competition. It seems that Tencent is negotiating with the government to prevent the worst. It is predicted that the result of that negotiation would be announced in Tencent’s conference (date still unknown), but it’s difficult to keep hopes up with the Chinese government’s measures towards the pandemic.
While the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was just a small fright, it has grown to have devastating effects on esports. Fans, media, and — more than anything — the players who've been preparing all year for the biggest tournament in LoL are struggling. Now the hope is that with a positive outcome from the Chinese government, or with Tencent and Riot Games coming out with a good alternative, Worlds 2020 gets held in the safest possible way.
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