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Published: January 8, 2022

Written by: David Kent

  • Riot Games has decided the start of the 2022 LEC Spring will be held online
  • The company comes to this decision due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Berlin
  • This is not the first time Riot relegates tournaments to online only

Riot Games recently announced that the 2022 LEC Spring Split will be played remotely by teams from their own training facilities, because of health concerns.

The LECs Are Again Relegated to Online Play

League of Legends fans will unfortunately not be able to attend the 2022 LEC Spring Split in person. Due to concerns over the new Covid-19 variant, the event will be held online. Teams will have to use their own training facilities to compete.

“Our first and foremost priority is always the health and well-being of the players, coaches, team personnel, and our staff,” reads the announcement posted on Twitter. Riot mentioned they came to this decision because of ongoing Covid restrictions, as well as the rising number of new Omicron variant cases in Berlin, where the event was supposed to be held live.

Fans were naturally not happy with the announcement, expressing their frustration in the comments. Some raised questions about how young and healthy participants in their 20s are in danger, while other commenters praised Riot for taking precautions.

Why Riot Came to This Decision?

Riot’s new decision comes as the newest wave of Covid-19 hits Germany. Berlin, being a large densely populated city, has seen a large spike in cases of the new Omicron variant. The event was supposed to start there on January 14, but it’s now relegated to online play and viewing.

Berlin was already successfully a host of an LoL event in 2021, being home to the LEC splits. Another European city, Reykjavik, Iceland, also hosted the mostly offline international competitions MSI and Worlds.

Riot Games’ decision is not something new. At the beginning of 2021, they again relegated the LECs to just online play, returning just in Week 5 of the event. The previous 2020 was even worse when it comes to events, as almost non were held in person. These new restrictions come soon after Riot Games decided that all players and staff involved with its Brazilian tournaments must be vaccinated.

As the number of new Covid cases continues to rise, it looks like the next few months of esports will again be plagued by continual changes in schedules and online/offline hosting. There are hopes that the LECs can return to in-house live hosting, but only time and the will of Riot will show that.

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