The tournaments could return to live formats, but in the same way as the NBA bubble
Even though eSports have the great advantage that tournaments can be run online-only and without major inconveniences, there is nothing like a live event to engage the audience. Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that one eSports league is planning on returning to a live format. Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is looking into holding the 2020 League of Legends World Championship in a format similar to what major sports leagues like NBA are doing: playing in a bubble. According to the reports, Riot might be holding the championship in a single-city bubble format designed to limit contact with outsiders.
This bubble system might prevent the contraction and spread of the virus. The 24 qualified teams would head to Shanghai, China for the 2020 World Championship, and the idea is for the teams to arrive at the Asian city several weeks before the beginning of the tournament so they can follow health and safety protocols like be quarantined in the same hotel. Once there, teams would be able to compete from a centralized location until the end of the championship series.
One thing that would be left out of this year’s agenda is the planned celebration of the tenth year of the world championship, which Riot was hoping to hold in six different Chinese cities.
Now, while the developer decides on whether to run this bubble system or change plans, the reports said that China will most likely be the location of the 2021 World Championship, which would allow Riot to follow through with its plans for this year’s celebration. This also means that the North America region – selected to host the 2021 world championship – will have to make plans for 2022, as everything will be pushed back one year.