Both the LCS and the LEC will be set to return on March 20 with online matches for the remainder of the Spring Split.
Image credit to LCS | Riot Games
“Due to the ongoing developments of the coronavirus pandemic we have decided to play the remainder of the 2020 LEC Spring Split 100% remotely online, with matches resuming Friday, March 20th. We have also removed our planned break week and will play each consecutive weekend until the Finals take place on April 18th and 19th,” said Alberto Guerrero, European Head of Esports at Riot Games.
Many fans were disappointed at last week’s cancellation as both the LCS and LEC just reached the crux of the Split’s competition. Cloud9 secured first seed at 13–1, despite taking their first loss of the season to TSM. G2 claimed sole control of first place at 11–3 after a close game with Fnatic. Both Fnatic and Origen sit right behind G2 with a 10–4 score.
Esports communities were confronted with the idea of no competitive League of Legends for at least several months. Sensing the disappointment, League of Legends community members, Ovilee May and Christy “Ender” Frierson worked to organize in-house show matches. LEC fans got to see players like Rasmus “Caps” Winther compete on stream. LCS fans got to witness a short reunion of the TSM roster from 2016. The roster that, before the rise of Team Liquid, used to be the best team in North American history.
This coronavirus situation worries organizations that work all year to reach a competitive level in preparation for international events. These cancellations threatened to not only put a hold to the general competition, but also the jobs of everyone involved in the ecosystem. LCS and LEC returning these competitive leagues helps guarantee a relatively healthy environment for both regions.
Although moving forward, online matches are better than none at all and it is still unclear how long the pandemic will last. If the outbreak extends into the Summer Split, the League of Legends community stands to lose much more. Sponsorships, a bulk of esports revenue, related to playoffs will be at risk of being lost. Employees that work on live events may lose their jobs. Despite the game’s rapid development over the years, it is not immune to COVID-19’s adversities. In esports, coronavirus wreaks havoc, canceling events everywhere.
As of March 17, over 197 thousand people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus. And while over 81 thousand recovered, the virus has claimed the lives of 7,955 people.
Written by Devon Huge