LEC Bans Live Audience and Press Due to Coronavirus
The coronavirus craze still rages on. After affecting almost every region of the world, it was only a matter of time before the LEC had to adapt as well. As expected, Riot released an important LEC coronavirus update. Going forward, all upcoming shows held in Berlin at the LEC Studio will happen without a live audience. That goes for all on-side press attendance, playoffs, and even the finals (held in Berlin, rather than Budapest).
Matches will, fortunately, continue as planned.
While disheartening, we expected this decision. The Call of Duty League will move over to online matches, as well. Overwatch League homestands for March and April are canceled, the LCK has been postponed, along with the ESL Los Angeles Dota 2 Major and the 2020 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, now planned for July. These are just some of the instances of coronavirus-related postponements and cancellations.
All in all, we see absolute chaos on all fronts. Fortunately, teams and organizers have found an acceptable band-aid fix. The leagues will continue to develop, players will not be exposed and in danger, and all regulations and government decrees will be met. While this does make things a lot less engaging and hype, player health, and safety should always come first.
Hopefully, all of this will blow over in a couple of months, and everything will go back to normal.
The Origen Conundrum
Out of all 10 LEC permanent partners, one team will arguably have faced the biggest challenge when it comes to adapting: Origen. The Copenhagen-based organization can’t travel to Berlin over the coming weeks and will instead compete from Denmark. This raises many fascinating questions: will anyone be at a disadvantage ping and server-wise? Will all teams compete on an even footing?
It’s still too early to know for sure, but it’ll be interesting to see how Riot handles this complication. Berlin, for example, is notorious for having abysmal internet (many fans and casters attested to the fact over the years). The situation is probably somewhat better in Denmark, but the distance between the two countries could pose many unique challenges that Riot never had to face in the past.
Because of the “rapidly changing nature” of coronavirus and its effect on the world, we can expect many additional updates for the LEC and more over the coming weeks. If you’ve bought tickets for the LEC, you’ll receive a refund in a short amount of time. For all other updates, keep an eye on the LEC’s Twitter account.