On Friday, Riot Games announced that the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, one of the world’s biggest esports tournaments, would be hosted in the city of Shenzhen in China. The venue for the tournament being the Universiade Sports Centre, home of Shenzhen FC, the cities Chinese Super League football team.
The stadium holds up to 60,000 people and Shenzhen is not just the fifth-largest city in China, but a hub for technology, logistics, finance, and culture.
It will be the third time that the tournament has been played in China after the 2020 event was played in Shanghai and interest in the event is set to be huge with plenty of movement in the League of Legends betting markets likely after the announcement.
Previous LoL World Championship Venues
The very first League of Legends World Championship took place in 2011 and was held in Jonkoping in Sweden. A year later, the finals moved to Los Angeles, and in 2013, LA also held the finals jointly with Culver City.
In 2014, the tournament headed out east where the event was shared between Singapore, Taipei, and two venues in South Korea, Busan, and Seoul. A similar approach was taken in 2015 when it was held in Europe across four capitals, Paris, London, Brussels, and Berlin.
2016 saw the tournament played in four cities in the United States, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles before it headed over to China for a second time in 2017, to be played in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. A year later, and South Korea were the hosts with Seoul and Busan this time joined by Gwanju and Incheon as host cities.
2019 saw a slight change as the tournament headed back to Europe, with Berlin, Madrid, and Paris hosting the event, but in 2020, Shanghai was chosen as the sole host venue in China and this year, the tournament returns to China for a third time to Shenzhen.
No team outside South Korea or China has won the event since the Taipei Assassins victory in 2012. Since then Korean teams have won the tournament six times, with Chinese teams winning twice.
Damwon Gaming from South Korea are the current World Champions after they beat Suning Gaming 3-1 in last year’s final in Shanghai.
Speaking about the announcement, the Global Head of Esports at Riot, John Needham, commented:
“We’re extremely excited to push the boundaries of entertainment and sport this year with Worlds 2021 and define the next 10 years of LoL Esports.”
“Shenzhen is China’s most competitive and innovative city with thousands of high-tech startups and entrepreneurial pursuits, so we felt that it was the perfect landscape to host our Finals.”
With last year’s event being closed to fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, interest in whether fans will be allowed to attend this year’s event is likely to be huge, but as yet there have been no announcements on whether an audience will be allowed to attend.
Regardless of whether fans attend, the 2021 LoL Finals should be a huge event for the esports community with millions tuning in via live streams to check on the action or to indulge in a little LoL Worlds betting.
And with Royal Never Give Up of China defeating DAMWON Gaming in the Mid Season Invitational in Iceland at the weekend, it promises to be an exciting battle between the two dominant LoL Nations once again later this year!