Europe and North America's premier League of Legends leagues, the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), will return this weekend as fully online competitions, Riot Games announced today.
All LEC teams will be playing from their training facilities in Berlin, with the exception of Origen, who will be competing from their Copenhagen training center. Origen had already been scheduled to play online for the week of the LEC's postponement on March 13 due to a Danish government shutdown related to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to health risks, the LEC will not be sending a referee to every match, but will be implementing additional precautions to ensure competitive integrity.
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The #LEC Returns this Friday!
Due to the ongoing developments of the coronavirus pandemic we have decided to play the remainder of the 2020 LEC Spring Split 100% remotely online, with matches resuming Friday, March 20th.
— LEC (@LEC) March 17, 2020
"Additional cameras to monitor the rooms the players will compete in, fully monitoring voice communications, screen recording, and remote control ability, on top of other measures currently being considered," the statement read. "Lastly, we are investigating the ability to pause and resume the game at a later time in the event a game cannot be continued due to a verified external cause (i.e. ISP issues, events beyond their control, etc)."
The LCS will also return as an online league with an updated schedule and an April 18-19 finals date. When the LCS was postponed on March 13, they also announced that the finals would be moved from Frisco, Texas to Los Angeles. The Friday broadcast of Academy Rush has been cancelled and NA Academy teams will play in back-to-back games during Weeks 8-9.
"Competitive integrity is a top priority for the LCS," LCS commissioner Chris Greeley said in a follow-up tweet to the LCS announcement, "And we'll be implementing similar precautionary measures to LEC to protect competitive integrity while games are played online."
An update on the 2020 LCS & Academy Spring Split from Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner pic.twitter.com/0G7SsoSTOt
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 17, 2020
These announcements come after both leagues shut down last Friday due to the rapid spread of coronavirus across both Europe and North America.
According to sources, South Korea's LoL Champions Korea is scheduled to return by the end of the month as a fully-online competition after shutting down on March 2 due to coronavirus concerns. China's LoL Pro League was postponed indefinitely on January 25, shortly after the initial virus outbreak in Wuhan, China, and returned as a fully online league on March 9.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused cancellations of sports and esports events globally. It has infected over 185,000 worldwide and caused over 7,300 deaths according to The Associated Press.