China’s LPL to return March 9

Matches will be held online for the foreseeable future.

Photo via Riot Games

China’s League of Legends Pro League is returning after over a month of delays. The league was on a temporary hiatus due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and was feared to be on hold until the end of April

The LPL will resume on March 9, with the official English broadcast beginning a week later on March 15. All players will be required to complete a 14-day monitored quarantine period and meet all local health requirements before they can resume their participation in the league. 

The remaining matches of the 2020 Spring Split will be held online until the LPL can safely resume using its venues. Players will attend matches from their organization’s headquarters until the foreseeable future. Players who reside in quarantined provinces, though, such as Hubei, the epicenter of the epidemic, won’t take part in the league. 

This new and temporary iteration of the LPL format marks the first time a professional League of Legends league has been hosted online. There will likely be some unforeseen technical difficulties, but it’s expected to run smoothly overall.

The new development comes days after China eased its quarantine and lays on transport to get people back to work. The country has experienced over 78,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a total of 2,788 deaths. 

The epidemic has had huge implications on the LPL, with players and teams severely lagging behind its regional counterparts.

China is the reigning world champions of League, but with this year’s Mid-Season Invitational expected start in May, the LPL is on the backfoot. The precious practice time lost could have devastating repercussions on the tournament.