Riot To Consider Hosting Worlds 2020 With A Limited Audience
Riot Games gears up for the League of Legends 2020 World Championship. The event takes place in Shanghai on September 25. And as it’s the biggest esports tournament of the year for LoL fans around the world, Riot is finally considering holding the 2020 Worlds with a limited, live audience.
John Needham, Riot’s global head of esports, recently released a statement representing Riot’s initial plans for the event. Needham confirmed that he and his team are considering opening the last series of the tournament to a limited number of fans. However, they still want to ensure that the conditions and situations are safe for all players, staff, and attendees.
“We’ll see where we are when we get there—we have a few weeks yet to monitor health and safety at the event,” Needham said today during the 2020 Worlds media preview. “I think we’re going to be fine, and we’ll have a small audience in the stadium, but we’ll see. It’s gotta be safe,” Needham said.
The plan still requires careful planning and analysis, so Riot Games explains that the earlier stages of the event will be geared towards “digital viewer experiences”. All participants will be concentrated in Pudong Soccer Stadium during the main event, limiting audience interaction and frequent travels.
About The Venue
Pudong Soccer Stadium is located in Shanghai’s outlying green belt. Location-wise, it’s approximately 13 kilometers away from the city centre. The stadium is still under construction, but it can host the final match of the Worlds 2020 on October 31. When officially completed in 2021, it will be the home of the Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
The stadium was built with football in mind. However, its urban location can equally host fitness, leisure, and entertainment activities for the general public. Under normal circumstances, the Pudong Soccer Stadium can cater to 33,765 attendees and offer 33,000 seats.
Riot didn’t reveal the audience’s capacity they’re willing to cater at the later stages of Worlds 2020 as constant concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may still affect their final decisions. If local guidelines in Shanghai will allow Riot to proceed with an audience, expect more information about tickets and safety protocols later this summer.