Today, Riot Games announced the regions that will host the League of Legends World Championship for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Following the grand final at the Incheon Munhak Stadium this weekend, the tournament will travel to Europe in 2019. The exact locations of the play-in, group, quarterfinal and semifinal stages are unclear, but Riot has confirmed that the finals will be held at the AccorHotel Arena in Paris. The competition will then move to China in 2020 and North America in 2021. No cities or venues have been confirmed for these two regions, unsurprisingly.
For Riot, this is an unusually early announcement.
The company struggled to secure a venue for the grand finals in South Korea this year. On August 1st, two months before the start of the tournament, the video game developer published a blog post confirming the dates and cities that each stage would be played in. It apologized for the delay and admitted that its first-and second-choice venues for the finals had fallen through. “Everything that could have gone wrong ended up going wrong,” said Derrick Asiedu, head of global events at Riot.
The company was obviously embarrassed. The logistical nightmare reflected poorly on the esport and made it harder for teams, journalists and fans — both international and domestic — to book flights and accommodation for the event. Those who did no doubt spent more than if they had known about the host cities and venues earlier. Of course, if a team doesn’t qualify until the last minute, it’s hard to be this organized. Some teams, however, take the risk and book their flights before securing a first-, second- or third-seed spot. Either way, the knowledge is helpful.