The 2020 League of Legends World Championship was always going to necessitate a few concessions and unfortunately, one of them is that it’ll have fewer teams than usual.
According to ESPN’s Tyler Erzberger, LoL Worlds 2020 is going to feature 22 teams instead of 24. That’s because the VCS will be unable to send any players due the Vietnamese government restricting players’ ability to travel to and from China for the event.
Worlds will now be a 22-team tournament with the bowing out of the Vietnamese teams.
Really sucks for the Vietnam fans
I loved going to Vietnam for Worlds last year
The fans there are so damn passionate and they’re one of the fastest growing scenes
Breaks my heart
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) September 1, 2020
Neither Riot Games nor the VCS has released a statement on the matter.
Instead of filling the two empty slots with teams from other regions, Worlds will instead be contested with two fewer teams. How this will impact the event is currently unclear.
The winner of the VCS Summer Split was meant to immediately qualify for the group stage, with the runner-up getting a spot in the play-in stage. It is uncertain if a team set to compete in the play-in stage will instead be automatically qualified for the group stage. It is also unclear how this will impact the play-in stage, which will now have an odd number of teams competing.
Vietnam was set to send the two top performers of the VCS Summer Split to Worlds 2020. Team Flash had already qualified for a spot in Worlds. The team is currently awaiting the winner of the lower bracket finals series between EVOS Esports and GAM Esports.
Other Worlds 2020 news:
The largest esports event of the year is going to take place under unique circumstances, but it will strongly resemble the event from years past. But the removal of the two VCS teams isn’t the only major change to Worlds 2020.
Instead of having each portion of Worlds 2020 taking place in different locations, the entire event will be hosted in Shanghai, China. Instead of taking place in an arena, the tournament will be played in a live setting but without the teams actually coming into contact with one another. There were previous reports that the grand finals will be played in front of an audience, but it is unclear if those plans will come to fruition.
There is cause for concern with LoL fans that other regions might face similar hurdles in making the trip to Shanghai. Time will tell if these are the only speed bumps along the way.