The LEC will still be produced from the studio in Berlin while teams will compete remotely from their training facilities. While Riot hoped to bring teams back to the studio for playoffs, the company feels there isn’t a “safe solution to accommodate everyone.”
“We know this will be a disappointment for many of you, as it was for us,” director of esports Alberto “Tiroless” Guerrero said. “However our first and foremost priority is always the health and safety of our players and staff.”
The LEC was moved to remote play in March as teams finished off the 2020 Spring Split online. Cameras were installed in all of their training facilities in an attempt to replicate the competitive feel without putting anyone at risk. And it appears it’ll remain that way for the time being.
The LCK announced earlier that it will also host its playoffs online because the coronavirus’ spread “has recently worsened around Seoul.” Korea’s domestic league operated from LoL Park without a live audience under strict safety guidelines. But going forward all matches will be held online.
LoL Park, the home of the LCK, had been operating under strict safety guidelines since the spring season in February. All spaces used by players, their headsets, and microphones were disinfected before and after use. But despite this, Riot Korea has decided to take extra precautions.
Up until the finals of the LCK regional qualifier on Sept. 9, all matches will be held online. The league originally planned to hold the LCK Summer Final in a safe environment but with the social distancing guidelines at the venue raised to level two, this is no longer an option.
Riot Korea will dispatch referees and operating personnel to carry out smooth matches going into September. They’ll be dispatched with a safety checklist, including temperature measurement, masks, and hand sanitizer, before entering each of the team’s player houses.
The “protection of players and league members” is Riot’s top priority. It’s great to see Riot sticking to the health guidelines and protecting everyone in the scene involved. Hopefully more organizations put health as a top priority and we can finally get rid of COVID-19 like this going forward, and if not COVID-19 perhaps future pandemics when they’ll happen. Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks about the status of the leagues.