Following a strong showing from Chinese teams at the recent League of Legends World Championship in 2019, Riot Games have announced that Shanghai will be the host city for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship Final.
In what will be the 10th year of operation for the World Championship, and following a successful 2019 event across Europe which saw Berlin, Madrid and Paris host the event at different stages, Riot have confirmed that the number of cities that will host matches at the 2020 Championship will be doubled to six.
At the moment, only Shanghai has been confirmed as one of these cities and the final will be held at the 56,000 capacity Shanghai Stadium, with Riot hoping that the final will prove to be a sellout.
Return to China
2020 will mark a return to China for the League of Legends World Championship after it was previously held in the country in 2017. Then, the finals were held at the Beijing National Stadium and over 44,000 people attended the final.
Given that there are a number of top League of Legends teams that have their own home venues across the country, it is possible that Riot could seek to utilise these bespoke facilities to host some of the earlier rounds and group games in the competition.
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The selection of Shanghai for the final of the 2020 tournament is unsurprising given that the city was the host of this year’s Dota 2 The International 2019 at its Mercedes-Benz Arena. In addition, back in August this year it was announced that a brand new esports park was being planned to be built in the city.
Other top events across other esports have also been hosted in Shanghai including the Intel Extreme Masters Season V Global Challenge Shanghai event in CS:GO, while the Dota 2 Shanghai Major was one of the first events in the inaugural Dota Pro Circuit back in 2016, although recent Majors have been played in different cities around China in recent times.
Chinese Resurgence in LoL Worlds
The news comes on the back of Chinese teams winning the last two League of Legends World Championship after a period of dominance by Korean teams.
Back in 2013, Royal Club became the first Chinese team to reach the final, where they were beaten by SK Telecom T1 in Los Angeles. A year later Star Horn Royal Club were also defeated in the final 3-1, this time by Samsung Galaxy White.
Chinese teams growing influence in the esports tournament was shown with OMG reaching the semifinals, but in the following two years, no Chinese team got past the quarterfinal stage of the tournament as Korean teams such as Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom T1 dominated the event.
However, the last time the LoL World’s was held in China, both Royal Never Give Up and Team WE reached the semifinals, although both lost on home soil. However, China’s resurgence was confirmed in Incheon in 2018, when Invictus Gaming became the first Chinese team to win the League of Legends World Championship with a 3-0 win over Fnatic.
That success was then repeated this year when FunPlus Phoenix earned a 3-0 win over G2 Esports, with Invictus Gaming finishing as a beaten semi-finalist.
Image courtesy of Riot Games