League of Legends Worlds Championship Heads to Shanghai for 2020


by in General | Feb, 28th 2020

Yeah, we know the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a pretty serious scare right now. Despite that, Shanghai stays committed to hosting League of Legends Worlds for 2020.

We don’t have a specific date. However, this is the plan going forward. Wang Yayuan, deputy minister of the public department of the Party’s Shanghai committee, made a statement on this at a press conference on Wednesday.

Hundres of Competitions Canceled

“Shanghai will stick to its plan and do its best to host the final of the League of Legends World Championship S10,” Yayuan said. “We are also planning to introduce another batch of high-level esports international competitions in Shanghai.”

Yayuan said the city’s promise showed determination to become the national and international esports capital, and that’s no small feat. There is a tremendous amount of esports skill coming out of China right now. Shanghai boasts more than 80 percent of China’s esports enterprises and clubs, which says a lot.

On top of that, more than 40 percent of esports competitions in China are held there. After this COVID-19 virus gets under control, I wouldn’t be shocked to have an unofficial esports capital in China. I have always wanted to visit, after all.

Yayuan pointed out that more than 400 esports competitions have canceled so far, but they still want to be the global capital of esports. Every day, I see another game that has halted competitions in China. Public events take place online or not at all.

It’s Not All Roses

But given the circumstances, esports isn’t stopping. Yayuan stated that online competitions are encouraged instead of offline events, given the current COVID-19 climate. So, it sounds like League of Legends Worlds will still be in Shanghai for 2020, even if online only.

Some of the city’s major competition organizers and esports enterprises will also receive government subsidies. The authority will also speed up the application and censorship procedures of esports-related publications and productions to support the growth of the industry.

“Censorship procedures of esports-related publications”? That’s one of the major fears I have about having a “global esports capital” in China. It’s not exactly a friendly nation when it comes to censorship. But, the nation is known for its excellence at the sport. So, we’ll have to see if they can lighten up just a bit.

When the announcement of the S10 of Worlds held in Shanghai came, Chinese social media platform Weibo received almost 78 million clicks. One of China’s top esports clubs, IG, spoke about it as well. They’re very excited about the 2020 world finals. Liu Ming, vice president of the club, said the team trains hard and followed all virus-preventing measures for safety.

Chinese teams won the previous two finals of the League of Legends World Championship, held in South Korea and France, respectively. Chinese esports fans hold high expectations towards the 2020 version staged on the homeland.

Now, Shanghai has made serious steps towards being an esports capital, thanks to increasing the number of venues and facilities offered. They also introduced preferential policies for esports developers and companies for years now. They even have universities with esports-related majors.

If China could be more liberal in its censorship policies, this could be a serious force in the global esports field. The times are changing. We hope China changes with them. But it sounds like Shanghai is making some serious moves. If nothing else, we’re looking forward to League of Legends Worlds 2020 in Shanghai for S10.

Will it be another mighty Chinese team taking the trophy? I still believe in an NA Dream Team coming. It’s good to have hope.

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