LCK changes health and safety protocols after wave of positive cases

Meg Kay
Riot Games

With the continuing global health crisis and rising cases in Korea, the LCK has announced it will allow teams to request remote play for the 2022 Spring playoffs. 

The return to in-person competition in light of the global health crisis for esports tournaments is a slow and ongoing process, with some events choosing to run limited in-person play while others remain mostly online.

With cases continuing to rise in Korea, the LCK announced on March 17 that they would allow teams to request remote play for players on their rosters who had tested positive.

The LCK has struggled heavily with the fallout of players testing positive, with Fredit Brion having to forfeit their match versus Gen.G due to players on both the main and substitute rosters testing positive and therefore unable to play from LoL Park.

The decision by the LCK to allow remote play comes after significant community backlash from the cancellation of Brion vs Gen.G.

Maintaining remote competitive integrity

According to the LCK’s announcement, the delay in allowing remote play was due to the logistical challenges of maintaining competitive integrity for remote play. Korea’s current quarantine guidelines do not allow for a referee to be present in the room with a player who has tested positive, meaning that competitive integrity could not be maintained through in-person checks.

However, the league stated that they would enforce competitive integrity to the best of their ability remotely. The measures introduced include having players check themselves on-camera with metal detectors before the start of the match, and turning out their pockets/turning off their phones and placing them outside the play room.

Player audio and video will be monitored in real-time during games by a team of referees, and only the affected player will compete remotely. The rest of the team will compete as normal from LoL Park, and emergency substitutions will still be allowed if players feel they are too unwell to compete.

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