This Tuesday (24) Riot confirmed that the Worlds 2021 it will not happen in China, as planned, but in Europe. The information had already been given a day before by the North American website Upcomer.
Worlds 2021 will be in Europe
John Needham, Riot’s global sports leader, commented that Worlds 2020 was the hardest they’ve ever done due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that they anticipated that by 2021 the situation would be much better due to vaccines, to the point the event could be held in China the way they wanted.
Continue after advertising
Unfortunately this was not the case. With the Delta variant, travel and safety protocols are even more complicated than in 2020. We’ve reached the point where it’s extremely difficult to ensure that Worlds 2021 qualified teams and players could travel this year. That’s why we decided to move the headquarters of the 2021 World Cup from China to Europe.
John also stressed that Riot will always value the competitive integrity of its events, and that a World Cup that could be without some teams or with incomplete line-ups would be greatly harmed.
The teams and players have invested a lot of time and effort to be able to compete for the 2021 Worlds Cup, and we have a big responsibility to spare no effort to give them that opportunity. […] After considering all the opportunities, we saw that moving the World Cup venue to Europe will give the best opportunities for the best teams and players to compete.
The Riot esports leader highlighted that Riot cannot yet say where the championship will be, but that the accessibility of the greatest number of teams and players to the location in question is a decisive factor for the choice.
He also apologized to the Chinese fans, but asked for understanding for the situation and stressed that the decision will make “the LPL teams can play against the best teams in the world”.
More details about the Worlds 2021 will be revealed in the coming weeks. The championship has no date to start yet, but the final was scheduled for November 6th. See the list of teams classified for the League of Legends World Cup so far.