Riot Details MSI, Valorant Masters Iceland COVID Preventative Measures
We’re now only days away from the beginning of the League of Legends Midseason Invitational and the first international LAN that Valorant has seen in Valorant Masters Reykjavik. However, as we are still in the midst of a pandemic (despite the effectiveness of vaccines), Riot has had to take preventative measures similar to that of professional sports, and perhaps most closely mirroring the measures they took for last year’s League of Legends World Championship.
The success of the event depends on people following the protocols that Riot has put in place, so as to ensure the safety of players and staff. As such, foreign press and fans both won’t be allowed on premises, with the former being relegated to Zoom calls as we have been throughout the pandemic.
Riot was also quick to boast about the success of their Worlds 2020 event, despite being held during just about the peak of the pandemic back home.
“We had an extremely successful experience at Worlds 2020, putting on our premiere live event of the year during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. It ultimately was the most-watched esports event in history, accommodated a live in-venue audience of 6,300 and resulted in zero COVID-19 cases amongst players. While accomplishing Worlds 2020 with those results was not without its challenges, our efforts to keep the health and safety of our players and personnel as priority No. 1 drove our decision to collaborate with a risk assessment agency and work closely with local government authorities. We’ve applied these same practices in our approach to MSI planning in Iceland, which has been one of the leading nations in COVID management.“
Through this process, they arrived at Iceland as a choice to host MSI and the first international Valorant LAN.
“As of March 23, 2021, Iceland is one of the least affected countries in Europe, and COVID-19 is effectively controlled,” Riot said. “Iceland’s success in containing the epidemic is due in part to an intensive testing program, which allowed the population to get tested for free. Iceland’s low population density – which allowed close monitoring of all known people infected with COVID-19 – and limited entry points have been an advantage in managing COVID-19.”
What Are the Guidelines for COVID Prevention at MSI?
- All staff and players must have a negative COVID-19 test before departing for Iceland
- Upon arrival in Iceland, all staff and players will take a COVID test before entering a 6-day quarantine
- Individuals will take a COVID test on their 5th day of quarantine as results could take up to 24 hrs
- Once they receive their negative test, they may end quarantine
Post-quarantine In-Arena Protocols
- Event exception is up to 50-person maximum per large room, multiple rooms per location
- Always try to maintain 2 meter (6ft) social distancing
- Use of face masks when you are not able to maintain 2m, or in public areas.
- 50-person maximum for on-stage performance
- 100 seated guests may be accommodated, with social distancing and use of face masks
- No spectators allowed during sport events, but some local media may be allowed
- Shared equipment must be disinfected at least twice daily
- Additional Iceland COVID information can be found here
- In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contraction, only 400 people will travel to Iceland for both MSI and VCT Masters 2, including Pros, team personnel and Riot Games staff.
- Both events will not have a live audience, but all stages of MSI will be streamed live worldwide.
- After review with CONTROL RISKS, Riot’s COVID-19 mitigation agency, in conjunction with Riot’s event logistics team, foreign press will not be allowed to attend both MSI and VCT Masters 2 events in Iceland.
Being one of the few organizers able to handle the logistics of such an undertaking as hosting live esports events (especially at this scale right now), Riot is doing what many thought to be impossible: put on a hell of a show during a global pandemic.