Riot Cancels Budapest LEC Spring Finals Event, Moves to Berlin Studio

  • Riot Games has announced that its Spring finals events for the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) has been canceled.
  • The finals will still be broadcast from the league’s studio in Berlin. For now a live audience will still be hosted, but this could change.
  • This follows repeated delays and public closures of League of Legends esports events in Asia, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) finals roadshow event in Budapest has been canceled in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The competition will go ahead at the league’s studio in Berlin, however public attendees will not be permitted for the remainder of the season.

The LEC Spring finals, scheduled for April 25-26, would have marked the LEC’s first roadshow event in a Visegrád Group (or V4) country. It is the next major European esports event to be affected by the outbreak; the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice multi-game event was closed to public attendees last weekend, after organizer ESL’s mass event license was revoked at the last-minute by the governor of the Silesia Province in Poland.

“While we currently plan to host a live audience in the Berlin studio, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with local health officials to ensure the safety of players and fans, and will revisit this decision if necessary,” said Alberto Guerrero, head of esports for Europe, Riot Games, in a statement.

The decision follows months of delays and closures for the League of Legends professional circuits in Asia. The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China will only begin its Spring season on March 9, while the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) initially barred audience attendance to its studio in Seoul, before deciding to delay games indefinitely, starting March 9. 

Riot Games had also delayed its announcement of the timing and location of the Mid-Season Invitational 2020, on account of the virus outbreak. The World Championships is set to take place in Shanghai near the end of the year, with local authorities announcing they would fully support the event during a recent press conference regarding the coronavirus.

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