After over a year of expecting that Worlds 2021 in China, League of Legends fans must now look to Europe as the host venue of the World Championships.
Worlds 2021 was initially set to be held in five cities across China in 2021. This was due to last year’s Worlds 2020 occurring with no audience for most of the event due to Covid restrictions. To make up for this, Riot Games announced previously that Worlds 2021 would be held in China again in 2021.
However, just a few months out from the expected start of the event, the regional host has now changed. The event will now take place in Europe. Many expect the event to be held in Germany, where the LEC studios are based.
News of the venue change was leaked on August 23, when news outlet Upcomer revealed the alteration. The publication broke the news, citing numerous sources within Riot Games.
On the morning of August 24, Global Head of Communications and Esports for Riot Games, David Higdon, said a statement from Riot Games would be released later that day.
In the eventual official announcement, John Needham, Global Head of Esports for Riot Games, broke the news. In the statement, broadcast on Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube, Needham apologised to fans, especially those in China. Explaining the situation around the decision, he emphasised the desire for teams to compete with their entire rosters. This sentiment alluded to the visa issues that plagued teams as they attempt to head to Worlds 2021.
Instead, with the venue moving to Europe, more teams are likely to play with their full rosters, free of visa issues. In addition, most European countries have strict two-week isolation periods for those travelling from outside. However, these restrictions will likely be a small price to pay for most teams.
Ultimately, we are still unsure of the exact venue, timing, and circumstances of Worlds 2021. However, with only an ending date set, we must still assume that Worlds will look slightly different from usual, even with Riot Games trying everything they can to return to normality.