Games publisher Riot Games has announced that five Chinese cities will host the 2021 League of Legends World Championship.
The announcement named Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, and Chengdu as stops in the multi-city tour before ending at the Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen for the World Championship Finals, scheduled for November 6th.
The developer announced Shenzhen as host city of the Worlds Final in January.
John Needham, Global Head of Esports at Riot Games, commented: “We’ve locked in the five Chinese cities after an extremely competitive bidding process. We’re now ready to deliver on our promise to players with a multi-city tour for the biggest esports event on the planet.”
Of the announced host cities, Wuhan serves as the centre of the circuit — with Qingdao as the most northern city, Shanghai to the east, Chengdu to the west, and Shenzhen to the south bordering Hong Kong.
According to the release, each of the announced cities will host one of the tournament’s stages, with details to be announced at a later date.
Europe was announced as the 2019 host region with the finals held in Paris. China then hosted the 2020 Worlds circuit, with North America originally slated for 2021, per a 2019 LoL Esports official release.
The most recent announcement from Riot Games confirmed that North America will host Worlds in 2022.
Despite Worlds 2020 being hosted by China, due to COVID-19’s impact, a multi-city tour could not continue as planned. Instead, the entirety of the tournament took place in a closed environment at the SAIC Motor Pudong Arena in Shanghai.
Only the final stage of the tournament took place in front of a live audience.
It was not confirmed whether live spectators will be welcomed for Worlds 2021, however, the Universiade Sports Centre is reported to have a 60,344 person capacity.
Esports Insider says: The decision to give the 2020 Worlds host region a reprisal at hosting the tournament circuit seems completely fair, given the effective pause the pandemic imposed on much of the world. China is heavily invested in esports as a whole, but especially in Riot Games, due to the publisher being owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.