Riot to host Worlds 2020 entirely in Shanghai, may have audience in stadium

Worlds will return to China next year.

Photo by Michal Konkol via Riot Games

Riot Games has announced it will host the 2020 League of Legends World Championship completely in Shanghai, China from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31. The publisher also said China will host the event again in 2021 before North America hosts Worlds in 2022.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were concerns the event, which has been held annually since 2011, would not take place or there would be an altered format. Other than the locations of the various stages, however, the event will mostly stay the same.

The initial plan for Worlds 2020 was to host different stages of the event in cities around China, although Riot said this year’s tournament will be played in Shanghai to “reduce travel throughout the tournament and give [it] the ability to more closely control the show environment.”

While most of the event will be played without a live audience, Riot said it remains open to the possibility of an audience for the finals, which will be played in Pudong Soccer Stadium. The Worlds finals would be the first event for the stadium.

For the early stages, Riot said it will “focus on the digital viewer experiences,” although it did not specify what this would entail.

Additionally, Riot will return to China for a multi-city tour next year. This would mark the third time the country has hosted Worlds, tying the United States, which will host its fourth Worlds in 2022. The U.S. last hosted the event in 2016, when the finals were held in STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

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