One of the biggest esports events in the world will be spread across four North American cities next year. Riot Games has announced that the 2022 edition of the League of Legends World Championship will take place in New York, Toronto, Mexico City, and San Francisco. The announcement was made ahead of an NBA match between the Warriors and Raptors at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Riot says this will be the first-ever multi-country edition of its annual competition; it’s also the first to take place in North America since 2016. Things will start out with the play-ins portion of the event in Mexico City (the Liga Latinoamerica competition arena), followed by the group stage and quarterfinals in New York (the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden), semifinals in Toronto (Scotiabank Arena), and culminating with the finals in San Francisco (Chase Center).
The 2021 edition of Worlds just wrapped up earlier this month in Reykjavík, Iceland, after originally being planned for Shenzen, China. (The competition moved countries due to the pandemic.) The month-long tournament featured no fans in attendance, as underdog Edward Gaming topped defending champions DWG KIA, though it seems Riot is expecting that to change in 2022, given its plans to host matches in large NBA arenas.
“We’re thrilled to bring the full scale of our global sport back to North America, and, COVID permitting, welcome fans into the stands across three countries and four different cities,” Naz Aletaha, global head of LoL Esports, said in a statement.