The League of Legends World Championship, more commonly known as Worlds, is set to kick off on 25th September and will take the form of an actual event in Shanghai, China.

Yes, you read that correctly, the tournament will still be taking place and as a LAN event but there are a few differences give the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much like other sporting events, there will be no crowds in attendance, at least, not during the first weeks of the competition.

“The earlier stages of the tournament will focus on the digital viewer experiences and will not be played in front of a live audience. While we want to keep our plans for the show a surprise, rest assured that we’re committed to bringing our unique visceral live sporting experience throughout the event to you digitally — in true League of Legends Esports style. From the Elder Dragon in 2017 to last year’s Holonet technology with True Damage, we’ve always tried to innovate on the viewer experience and we are incredibly excited for this year’s show,” Riot Games explained in a press release.

As regular viewers of Worlds may be aware, the tournament runs for months and usually from various locations around the globe. For 2020 this will change.

All stages of the competition will take place in Shanghai which will give Riot Games the ability to more closely manage the event’s environment, something that would be much harder had games taken place in various locations.

We suspect that having all the players in one country would also make it easier come the grand finals in October should the pandemic worsen.

“If local guidelines for events allow us to proceed with an audience, information about tickets and safety protocols for those wanting to attend will be shared later this summer,” added Riot.

The final of Worlds will take place on 31st October at Pudong Soccer Stadium, COVID-19 permitting.