On Sep 9, many were disappointed to find out that Worlds 2021 would have no crowd, and no press. Content creators, endemic press, fans, etc. would not be allowed on site in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In an official announcement, Riot Games outlined it’s desire to “focus on ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved in hosting, producing, and competing at the event.” However, in a new statement by Korizon’s Ashley Kang, and Dot Esports’s Jacob Wolf, it’s been revealed that several third-party new outlets from China, as well as LPL-affiliated content creators have been on site.
In the days leading up to Worlds 2021, all press and media were restricted from travelling to the event, despite repeated requests from news outlets. When pushed about the seeming attendance of Chinese media, Riot confirmed it had allowed them on site, in direct violation of their own previous safety measures.
When outlets pushed to request attendance for the upcoming finals for Worlds 2021, they were rebuffed. Riot Games seems content with it’s stance of allowing Chinese outlets and not the rest of the world to Worlds 2021.
Ultimately, this statement has sparked debate about Riot Games and their dubious media tactics once again. In 2018 and 2019, Journalist Richard Lewis found himself the subject of ire after pointing out the hypocrisy of Riot Games and it’s background control of the r/lol subreddit.
Beyond this, the increase in screened questions, open hostility to news outlets, and favouritism has soured many to the company. Riot Games is eager to present itself as a global company with international values. However, it’s actions seem incredibly far from those standards.