League of Legends

LPL reveals League of Legends return date after Coronavirus hiatus

by Andrew Amos
Riot Games

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The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China will be getting underway again in a matter of days after matches were halted due to the Coronavirus outbreak, putting an end to the six-week hiatus.

China’s LPL will be returning from its long hiatus in the coming weeks after the league has implemented a contingency plan for the rest of the season.

The LPL organizers tweeted out on February 27 the plan for the rest of the season while most of China remains in lockdown after the coronavirus outbreak.

Riot Games
2019 World Champions FunPlux Phoenix will be returning to action in March as the LPL resumes play.

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Matches will resume on March 9, six weeks after play was delayed after only one week of action back in January. However, after a "comprehensive review of the situation," the LPL will run online play “until [the league] can safely resume using the esport venues.”

Although the matches are being played online, all players will have to complete a “14-day monitored quarantine period and meet all local health requirements” before they can start.

Players will also have to play matches from their team’s headquarters with on-site referees in attendance, unless they are currently in a quarantined province and unable to leave.

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While games will resume on March 9, English coverage of the Chinese league will not return until March 15. Until then, fans will be able to watch untranslated matches on the LPL Chinese YouTube stream.

“There will likely be some unforeseen technical difficulties, but we will try our best to deal with them in a timely fashion,” they said in a statement. “We expect to continue to bring everyone the exciting and action-packed gameplay that the LPL has been known for.”

Coronavirus has affected esports events around the globe. Overwatch League homestands in China and South Korea have been cancelled for the first half of the year, while the LCK, LJL, and PCS League of Legends tournaments have all faced disruptions.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Five Overwatch League teams, including the Shanghai Dragons, have had their homestands cancelled.

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Earlier on February 27, ESL announced the prestigious IEM Katowice will not be open to the public, leaving CS:GO and Starcraft II fans stranded in Poland hours before doors opened.

JD Gaming currently sits atop of the LPL ladder after two series with a flawless 4-0 game record, while three other teams, including 2018 World Champion Invictus Gaming, sit in second with a 4-1 record.