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Confirmed: Riot Games moves Worlds 2021 from China to Europe

An earlier report that Riot Games was moving Worlds 2021 from China to Europe has now been confirmed by the developer.

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The news that Riot Games was moving Worlds 2021 to Europe was announced by the head of global esports at Riot Games, John Needham. In a video he went on to explain the reasoning behind the move and went on to announce that Worlds will be played in Europe. Riot Games hasn’t disclosed any information about where the matches will take place, so there’s already been a lot of speculation about possible locations, countries and cities.

The biggest reason for the move obviously remains the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Delta variant, which has posed problems when it comes to travel restrictions in regards to China. “We’ve reached the point where it’s extremely difficult to guarantee that qualifying teams and their best players will be able to attend Worlds this year. As a result, we’ve made the tough decision to pivot Worlds from China to Europe.”

The last time Europe was the host for Worlds was in 2019, with the international tournament now once again returning for the 2021 edition. Riot Games went on to apologize to Chinese fans for the sudden change and promised them to set up multiple ways for them to still enjoy the Worlds experience in their own country.

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Image Credit: Riot Games (LCS Twitter)

Previous article: (23/08/21)
Though unconfirmed by Riot Games, Worlds 2021 may be moving to Europe

One of the biggest annual esports events, Worlds, was announced earlier in the year to take place in China. This multi-city tour of China was planned to take place across Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu, and Shenzhen. This would have been the first time Worlds repeated countries twice in a row, as Worlds 2020 was held in Shanghai as well. Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, esports scenes have struggled to return to LAN events as regulations have only tightened. China made sense as a destination considering their relatively low COVID numbers and loosen regulations.

Worlds 2021 could be making a last minute change however, and is allegedy being hosted in Europe once again. Sources from Upcomer claim to have obtained this information form sources within Riot Games. Supposedly, this decision came after production crews struggled with obtaining entry into the country. Alongside this, teams still competing in the LCS shared problems with getting Visas to get into China.

The last time Europe hosted Worlds was back in 2019, when G2 ultimately lost to FunPlus Phoenix in the grand finals. This was the last international event to be hosted in front of a live audience, as since both MSI and Worlds have been hosted with no, or only a partial audience. This rumor has yet to be confirmed by Riot Games and no statement has been released.