Riot Games is reportedly looking into holding this year’s League of Legends World Championship in a “single-city, bubble hub format” like the NBA, according to a report from ESPN.
The report comes after China canceled all international sports events through the end of 2020 earlier today. Given the international nature of Worlds, the event could be postponed, although Riot has yet to announce any changes to the tournament. The League of Legends World Championship and other esports events reportedly do not fall under the “sporting” classification, however.
A bubble system could serve as an alternative to cancellation. The system would see all 24 qualified teams arrive in Shanghai weeks prior to the start of the tournament to quarantine in the same hotel. Contact with outsiders would be limited, and all players would compete from a centralized location throughout the event.
The 2020 World Championship, which was reportedly set to take place across six Chinese cities, was scheduled for the fall and would mark the 10th anniversary of the international event.
According to the ESPN report, China will host Worlds 2021, which was originally scheduled to take place in North America, regardless of whether this year’s international event is held in a bubble system or if “plans change.” North America will instead receive the hosting duties for Worlds 2022.
Earlier in the year, the global COVID-19 pandemic hit League events, causing Riot to pull the plug on the annual Mid-Season Invitational. Similarly, major regions saw games move to an online format, with Spring Split finalists competing for their regions’ respective titles from the safety of their own homes.