Riot Games announced Saturday that the ultimate two matches of the League of Legends US Championship Series (LCS), that are slated for later this month, will now not be held with followers on the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, “due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States.” The matches will as an alternative be held on the LCS Arena in Los Angeles. Current ticket holders will likely be issued full refunds.
“We scheduled the LCS Championship as a road show with fans and made the decision to move forward based on the very promising roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Spring,” Riot Games mentioned in its announcement, including that it had been monitoring the current uptick in instances. “Given the current state of affairs, we cannot in good conscience conduct a massive fan event at this time. After much consideration, it is with extreme disappointment that we’ve elected to relocate the LCS Championship event from the Prudential Center to the LCS Arena.” The firm didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Saturday.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the league moved to an all-virtual format the place gamers competed on-line. It moved the spring championship occasion to in-person, holding the ultimate two matches of the April Midseason Showdown match on the Greek Theater in LA, however with no dwell viewers. For a lot of the summer season, gamers competed in-person on the LCS Arena with no followers in attendance, however returned to distant play late in July due to constructive COVID exams related to individuals related to Immortals and an unnamed team.
Chris Greeley, Riot Games’ head of esports for North America and Oceania and the LCS commissioner, told The Verge in July that whereas the league didn’t have a selected backup plan in case COVID instances spiked, it was able to make modifications if essential. “There’s no pandemic playbook, so it’s hard to start to put those contingency plans in place because there’s no known set of variables,” he mentioned on the time.
Riot mentioned in its announcement that it had hoped to reunite followers in a celebration of the sport. “Unfortunately, the persistence and rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant has forced us to table that reunion for now. Our fans deserve nothing less than a high-quality LCS event experience full of excitement, connectivity and joy. After assessing the risks, no set of protocols or plans allowed us to deliver that event without jeopardizing the health of our teams, staff and fans.”