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Pandemic Woes continue: Riot Moves Worlds 2021 from China to Europe

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In a bid to circumvent the issue of several teams being unable to make it into the country of China, the Riot Lolesports teams pivoted the prestigious annual event to Europe. Just earlier this year, a similar situation happened to TI10 where it was shifted from Stockholm, Sweden to Bucharest, Romania.

While the cities involved in this new endeavor are yet to be announced, we ponder the reasons and the repercussions of this sudden shift in location.

China’s latest crackdown on Gaming

After a major news agency published a critique on Gaming and its “Spiritual Opium” effects on underaged children, Tencent introduced a host of restrictions on players, including the amount of time and money they can spend on the games they play. 

With the latest governmental pressures on Tencent, it seems highly unlikely that even if Riot’s Lolesports team manages to get past the pandemic-imposed blockade that they can freely function for their Worlds 2021 event.

Tencent is most certainly not happy with this as their share price has plummeted since the pressure began.

No more Dragons

G2’s Worlds Jersey for 2020

Just last year, many teams had custom-made jerseys for Worlds. Most of which had mandarin phrases and dragons decorated on them to signify their participation in the World Championship.

With a number of teams already qualified for Worlds, it would be easy to assume that some of these designs have been sent for printing already. One can already imagine the awkward calls to the suppliers for cancellations.

RIP VCS’ Chances

In a previous article, we expressed concerns on VCS’ availability to join Worlds considering their pandemic situation. With this change, even if Garena manages to somehow select two of Vietnam’s best to qualify for Worlds, there is a small chance – let’s put it at 5 per cent – they will even make it to Europe.

Vietnamese teams have always had issues applying visas to Europe. It will be even more challenging with the last-minute change and several other layers of pandemic-related restrictions. In fact we would call it a small miracle if they could even step into the airport.

While this might spell good news to other participating teams, it can only spell further trouble for the VCS and the League of Legends scene in Vietnam.

Worlds 2021 is slated to start late October. One can only hope it won’t be delayed any further.

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