The North American VCT Last Chance Qualifier was moved to an online server on Tuesday, following the start of matches. So while the event will continue to happen in person, it will not benefit from LAN connection, which is the primary net benefit to having an event in person from a competitive perspective.
The official announcement came at the last possible moment for teams who were looking forward to playing on LAN for a spot in the VCT Champions Major set to take place later this year.
In their statement on the matter, VCT organizers explained: "Since we started palnning NA LCQ earlier this year, our goal was to have a LAN event. Given strict COVID protocols for in-person events, we felt it was in the best interest of all to shift to a remote server, should any player need to be quarantined. This would allow for teams to continue to compete and not bring in a sub or be forced to Forfeit."
Riot acknowledged that a remote server is not the same as playing on LAN, but attempted to reassure players and fans that they will make the experience the best possible.
The move online follows a rough first day for the LCQ, which saw numerous tech issues during the broadcast related primarily to weird audio issues that happened throughout the match between XSET and and Luminosity Gaming. It is unclear what the cause of the tech issues, but with the tech problems combined with the sudden move away from LAN and Riot fumbling the ball on bringing the AU teams to compete in LA, it is safe to say the NA LCQ isn't going as planned.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.