With the 2022 World Championship set to take place in multiple cities across North America, Riot Games have announced today that the semifinals, originally scheduled to take place in Toronto, Canada, will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia.
In December 2021, Riot Games announced that the 2022 World Championship would be going on tour, for a multi-stage event that would take place across multiple cities in North America.
Beginning with the play-in stage in Mexico City, at the LLA arena, the tournament would go from New York City, to Toronto, to a triumphant finals in San Francisco at the 19,500-seat Chase Center.
Riot Games announced today that its premier esports event, the @lolesports World Championship, is bringing the Worlds 2022 Finals to Chase Center.
This is the first time since 2016 that the event will return to North America with a continental tour. pic.twitter.com/H8xTFHSlZO
— Chase Center (@ChaseCenter) November 21, 2021
But now, Riot have announced that their plans are changing. The semifinals, originally set to take place in Toronto, will now be moving to Atlanta, Georgia. This means that Canada will no longer host any part of the North American 2022 World Championship.
Riot’s reasoning and what comes next
The Worlds 2022 semifinals will now take place in the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, it hosts a seating capacity of 21,000 — a higher total capacity than Riot’s current finals venue.
The decision to move the semifinals was made, according to Riot, to counteract the current difficulty in securing player visas for entry into Canada as a result of the ongoing global health crisis.
Moving the event to Atlanta allows Riot to “provide a clear path for teams to complete in all stages of Worlds”, hopefully circumventing issues Riot has faced in recent years that have left teams unable to attend international events due to Visa issues.
Global Head of LoL Esports, Naz Aletaha, extended her thanks to the Canadian League community for their “understanding” in this difficult situation. She also explained that Riot would “look forward to bringing a major LoL Esports event there in the near future.”