COVID restrictions play havoc with esports again as Riot moves the Worlds semifinals out of Toronto.
Riot Games announced today that the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia will host the 2022 League of Legends World Championship semifinals. The venue is home to NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and can accommodate over 20,000 fans.
The Worlds semifinals were earlier scheduled to take place in Scotiabank Arena, Toronto. However, in a press release, Riot stated that it decided to move it to the U.S due to COVID-19 affecting the possibility of securing multi-entry visas within the required time.
“We are committed to upholding our tradition of a multi-city Worlds tour despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and look forward to hosting the 2022 Semifinals at the state-of-the-art State Farm Arena in Atlanta”, said Naz Aletaha, Global Head of LoL Esports, Riot Games.
“This news is no doubt disappointing to our fans and partners in Canada. And we want to sincerely thank Toronto, Scotiabank Arena, and our community for their understanding. We look forward to bringing a major LoL Esports event there in the future.”
Moreover, Worlds 2022 will see the return of a live audience to the tournament after playing last year without fans.
New city schedule for Worlds 2022
With this change, the cities that will feature in the League of Legends World Championship for 2022 include:
- Mexico City: Play-Ins
- New York: Groups and Quarterfinals
- Atlanta, Georgia: Semifinals
- San Francisco, California: Finals
Worlds 2022 is the ultimate tournament of the League season with 24 of the best teams competing for the title and a large prize pool. Although there is no date yet for when the tournament will begin, it regularly kicks off around the end of September or the beginning of October. There is also no information on the allotments of slots for each region. With the return of the VCS, it is unlikely that the LEC and LCK retain four slots.