LCS and LEC to change Spring Finals experience due to Coronavirus concerns
Both the NA League Championship Series and the League European Championships are making changes to how fans will experience the remainder of the 2020 Spring Split and the corresponding Spring Finals in response to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus concerns.
Both leagues made March 6 announcements regarding how they will be updating the ongoing LEC and LCS splits in response to the global health concern.
LEC Head of Esports Alberto ‘Tiroless’ Guerrero announced that they would be moving the Spring 2020 Finals from Budapest to the LEC Studio in Berlin, Germany.
Important update regarding the Spring Split Finals: due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak we're moving the show from Budapest ?? to Berlin ??
Find out more details: https://t.co/xGENA4XyL9 pic.twitter.com/1jYKQ39bXw
— LEC (@LEC) March 6, 2020
Citing the COVID-19 situation and the priority of keeping player, fans, and staff safe, the LEC team decided that holding the event “in a smaller setting and a more controlled environment was the right call.” Their current plan is to host a live audience in the LEC Studio in Berlin, but will “revisit the decision” if the Coronavirus situation changes.
The LCS also made an announcement regarding the ongoing health crisis, but as of the time of writing this, their Spring Finals is currently scheduled to continue as planned, but with a slight restriction for fans.
LCS commissioner Chris Greeley said they are “carefully monitoring” the situation in Frisco, Texas, where the Finals are scheduled to take place, but are limiting fan interactions at all LCS games until further notice.
A message from Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner pic.twitter.com/Xm12zA1qQm
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 6, 2020
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In the announcement, Greeley said that LCS are suspending fan meets, the iconic victory high-fives, and post-game handshakes until further notice. LCS are willing to offer refunds to ticket holders who may be “disappointed” by the changes and would prefer not to attend.
The changes by both leagues were revealed just roughly an hour after TwitchCon Amsterdam was canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
This is the latest incident of professional League of Legends being affected by worries regarding the virus, as LCK and LPL matches were suspended because of it. LPL officials announced at the end of February that matches would resume in March, but only online and after all players go through a 14-day quarantine. LCK matches are still suspended.
The changes to the LCS and LEC Spring Splits are the latest in an ever-growing list of esports and gaming events affected by Coronavirus concerns.
In addition to the ones mentioned above, Overwatch League homestands and major CS:GO tournaments have also been affected, as has the Rocket League World Championships and a Riot-sponsored Valorant gameplay reveal event.
We will provide more updates on the LEC and LCS Spring Finals, and any other events affected by the Coronavirus, as that information becomes available.