Korea’s LCK moves back online ahead of playoffs

Riot Korea is taking “preemptive measures” following the recent spread of COVID-19 in Seoul.

Photo via Riot Games

The LCK, Korea’s domestic League of Legends league, is switching to online matches on Friday, Aug. 21, Riot Korea announced today.

The league, which has been held without an audience to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to secure the safety of its players, is taking “preemptive measures” following the recent acceleration of the virus in Seoul. 

LoL Park, the home of the LCK, had been operating under strict safety guidelines since the spring season in February. All spaces used by players, their headsets, and microphones were disinfected before and after use. But despite this, Riot Korea has decided to take extra precautions. 

Starting on Aug. 21 and up until the finals of the LCK regional qualifier on Sept. 9, all matches will be held online. The league originally planned to hold the LCK Summer Final in a safe environment but with the social distancing guidelines at the venue raised to level two, this is no longer an option.

Riot Korea will dispatch referees and operating personnel to carry out smooth matches going into September. They’ll be dispatched with a safety checklist, including temperature measurement, masks, and hand sanitizer, before entering each of the team’s player houses.

The “protection of players and league members” is Riot’s top priority.

Broadcast staff working in LoL Park for the remainder of the season will also be subject to the same safety checklist, including the analysis deck, commentators, and anyone else involved in the production of the league.

The first online match will be between bottom-of-the-table teams SANDBOX Gaming and Hanwha Life Esports on Aug. 21 at 3am CT.

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