Fun Plus Phoenix celebrate their win at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals at AccorHotels Arena on November 10, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)
The COVID-19 virus continues to affect esports events across the world as Riot Games announced today that it is cancelling multiple League of Legends competitions due to the outbreak. Asian countries have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 and the LPL (China) and LCK (Korea) regions of pro League have either halted matches or haven’t started their seasons at all.
In a statement, Riot’s Global Head of Esports, John Needham, stated that travel restrictions would have made putting on MSI difficult. In response, MSI is moving from May to July 3rd in hopes the global health crisis calms down by then. The mid-point of the pro League of Legends season is usually rounded out with the Mid-Season Invitational, where some of the top teams in the world come together and duke it out. MSI is regarded as the second most coveted prize in League, where the winner is often looked at as the heir apparent to win the World Championship. Riot says that due to the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 Summer Splits across the world will begin before MSI.
Riot also revealed that another major tournament is getting the axe completely.
“…after reviewing the calendar and listening to feedback from our teams and players, we have decided to sunset Rift Rivals in the remaining regions where the tournament was scheduled to take place.”John Needham – Riot Games, Global Head of Esports
Rift Rivals wasn’t the most loved competition in the League community. Many fans and players often lamented its long matches, “meaningless” wins and lack of player interest as to why they disliked the event. It is unknown if the COVID-19 virus played a role in the decision to end Rift Rivals or if this was something months in the works. Either way the usual schedule for League of Legends will look every different in 2020.
Here are the start dates for the 2020 Summer Split in all regions:
- OPL (Oceania) – May 15th
- VCS (Vietnam) – May 15th
- LCS (North America) – May 16th
- TCL (Turkey) – May 16th
- LCK (South Korea) – May 20th
- LEC (Europe) – May 22nd
- CBLOL (Brazil) – May 23rd
- LPL (China) – May 23rd
- PCS (Southeast Asia) – May 30th
- LJL (Japan) – May 31st
- LCL (Russia/Kazakhstan/Belarus) – June 6th
- LLA (Latin America) – May 30th