The world of esports has come close to the new threat of COVID-19. As Facets Notes (edit), Riot Games moved last two matches League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) from Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center, to the LCS Arena in Los Angeles. Riot said the spread of the new Delta variant coronavirus in the United States made it impractical to hold a large personal event “with a clear conscience” even with the use of vaccines.
According to Riot, LCS Arena is a “safer” place to protect the health of Worlds representatives before they travel to China. While he was not surprised that other developments would continue, Series did not need to put people at risk just to offer its “core competitive product.” Funny the teams played against each other in person at LCS Arena over the summer, but even they were thwarted in favor of a virtual competition after people associated with the two teams tested positive for COVID-19.
The developer has pledged future events at the Prudential Center and said it will offer a full refund. More details are coming soon, Riot added.
Other esports leagues, such as the Call of Duty League, continued to host personal events despite the viral surge. However, Riot’s decision suggests that at least some organizers have changed their minds. We won’t be surprised if others follow our lead, at least until the number of vaccine use (hopefully) decreases again.
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