It’s been over a year since LEC teams last played in the Riot Games studio in Berlin after COVID-19 forced almost every esports league to go remote for the foreseeable future in 2020. But 370 days later, the league announced today that teams will be returning to stage play for the 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs.
The playoffs give the league a safe opportunity for stage play since there are only two League of Legends teams needed on-site at one time, according to Riot. As a result, it should be easier to maintain security and cleanliness measures throughout the studio with a limited amount of people.
For the following Summer Split, however, LEC teams will return to online play since having 10 teams in the same place poses a much higher risk for staff and players. If a player tests positive for COVID-19 during the postseason, that team will still be able to play their series from their respective team facilities.
Fans shouldn’t hold their breath for any live audience access, though. The LEC doesn’t have any plans to open the studio for fans or press just yet. Things must remain safe for everyone involved, and if other people away from the teams and LEC crew are allowed in, it could pose unnecessary health risks.
With the last week of the 2021 LEC Spring Split regular season now underway, League fans should get ready for an interesting postseason run from many teams. Plenty of rookies, for example, will be getting their first taste of the pressure that comes with playing on-stage compared to competing online from home. The bright lights and atmosphere are a completely different beast.
The 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs start on March 26.
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