The League of Legends World Championship, the concluding tournament that brings together the best teams from across the world, will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena. Riot Games revealed the news today, following the August announcement that the event would be moved from China to Europe. The event kicks off on October 5th and will conclude on November 6th. No fans will be in attendance.
Reykjavík was also this year’s location for League’s other big international tournament, the Mid-Season Invitational, which took place in May. “Riot successfully hosted the Mid-Season Invitational this past May in Hall B at the Laugardalshöll without a live audience, which resulted in zero COVID-19 cases among players, staff, and partners,” the company noted in today’s announcement. “While maintaining our focus on ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved in hosting, producing, and competing at the event, Worlds 2021 will not host a live audience. We will continue to use guidance from various health organizations and local and national authorities to prioritize everyone’s safety.”
Alongside the reveal of the host city, Riot also detailed a schedule for the tournament. The early play-in stage will take place from October 5-9th, followed by the group stage from October 11-18th. This will lead into the quarterfinals starting on the 22nd, semifinals on the 30th, and finally the championship match on November 6th.
Riot usually puts on dazzling technological showcases for Worlds; previous events have featured an AR concert and concerts with holograms. For the early stages of last year’s event, which had no fans, Riot still created spectacle by using massive LED screens to create an impressive mixed reality stage. Even if you’ve never watched League before, it might be worth tuning in to this year’s Worlds to see what technological wizardry Riot Games has up its sleeve.
Worlds isn’t the only esports event that’s been affected by the pandemic in 2021. The International, Dota 2’s big event, was moved to Bucharest, Romania from Stockholm, Sweden, while the Overwatch League canceled its in-person playoffs in favor of an online competition in Hawaii.