The League of Legends World Championships are reportedly heading to Europe this year, a last second change based on travel difficulties.

Update: Riot Games' Global Head of esports, John Needham officially confirmed the LoL World Championships is moving to Europe.

Original article follows:

According to a new report from Upcomer's Tyler Erzberger, Parkes Oakley, and Nick Ray, the League of Legends World Championships will be heading to Europe for the 2021 iteration. The report states that this is because of issues acquiring travel authorization for Riot Games staff and production crews to enter China.

The decision was reportedly made abruptly and with little notice to teams before it was finalized. The official announcement is reportedly set for August 24 from Riot itself.

Worlds 2021 was going to be a touring competition with the group stages, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals all set to be in different cities around the country.

The event was set to travel to Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Shenzhen.

The following teams have qualified for Worlds as of press time:

  • DWG KIA (South Korea)
  • Gen.G (South Korea)
  • T1 (South Korea)
  • 100 Thieves (North America)
  • Team Liquid (North America)
  • Cloud9 (North America)
  • Rogue (Europe)
  • MAD Lions (Europe)
  • Fnatic (Europe)

It's unclear what cities, dates, and other changes are on the table for Worlds 2021 with this change. Riot has indicated further details forthcoming later this week.

The COVID-19 pandemic will also likely play a role in deciding venues based on local restrictions. Worth noting: Berlin is playing host to Valorant's Berlin Masters event next month, which could be a nice test for Worlds.

It's also possible this plays a role in future Worlds location awards. If Europe is to be the host, China could see a new Worlds for 2022. This means NA's Worlds hosting slot would be pushed back another year.

Is Europe a risky COVID-19 location for Worlds 2021?

Europe has been relatively effective at managing the outbreak of COVID-19, as seen from this infographic from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Although their number of cases has risen from the lows earlier this year, case levels have remained relatively flat and have stopped dramatically increasing in the past five weeks.

The League of Legends World Championship features a $2,225,000 USD prize pool. Worlds is one of the only international competitions on the League of Legends calendar.

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