We already knew that the 2021 League of Legends World Championship would return to China for the third time, the question was which cities would the event be hosted in? Well, Riot Games have announced the five cities that will be the hosts for the event which will be held in the autumn.
After last year’s tournament was played exclusively in Shanghai, it is perhaps unsurprising that the 2021 League of Legends World Championship will be coming back to the city. In addition, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Shenzhen will also host events, with the grand finals taking place at the Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen, which can seat 60,000 spectators.
Following on from last year’s World Championship in Shanghai, the original intention was for the tournament to head back to North America. However, Riot Games wanted to ensure that the tournament was as close to a genuine “live sporting experience’ as they could get and as such, they chose to switch the venue back to China.
While the dates of the Grand Finals has been confirmed, the exact start date of the tournament, which will likely start with a play-in event, has not yet been finalised. However, the news is likely to send a ripple effect through the League of Legends betting odds for the tournament winners, with Chinese teams likely to be well-backed once again.
Mixed Response on Twitter
After the announcement of the venues for this year’s event, there has been a somewhat mixed response on social media sites such as Twitter. Many people have tweeted their annoyance that China has hosted three World Championship events in the past five years.
However, there has also been a shock that Wuhan, believed to be the originating point of the Coronavirus pandemic, has been selected as a host.
A number of Twitter users have expressed their concern tweeting messages along the lines of “Uh oh. Not Wuhan”, and “Wuhan. Are you kidding me, Riot?”
However, there are also those that have defended the decision, pointing out that cases are now very low in Wuhan and that the City has a good record at dealing with the virus since April 2020.
So far, Riot has not disclosed which cities will host the play in, group stages, or semi-finals of the tournament.
Necessity in the time of Covid?
While the decision to host this year’s event in China once again has drawn a mixed response from fans, could it simply be a necessity in the time of Covid-19 that the event is held in the country once again?
Last year, the tournament was held in just one city, Shanghai, from start to finish and a limited number of spectators attended the finals. The hope this year is that not only will the format include multiple cities, but a far greater number of spectators will be able to attend.
With restrictions still in place across the United States and Canada for large gatherings of people, it is believed Riot’s aim of having as large a crowd as possible in attendance was best served this year by holding the event in China for a second consecutive year.
Certainly, fans tuning in via live-streaming won’t be too greatly affected, and nor will the odds on teams on the best esports betting sites offering odds for the tournament.
Any advantage for Chinese Teams?
In the two previous World Championship events held in China, while two Chinese teams have reached at least the semifinals, and Suning reached the final last year, no Chinese team has won the event on home soil.
Samsung Galaxy were the winners in 2017, while last year another South Korean team Damwon Gaming landed the victory.
Both victories by Chinese teams at the LOL Worlds have come away from China, the first in 2018 by Invictus Gaming who won in South Korea, and the second in 2019 by FunPlus Phoenix who were winners in Europe.
Could this year be the first time a Chinese team lands the win? One thing is sure, Chinese teams will feature strongly in the overall winner LoL Worlds betting.