LoL Worlds 2022

LoL Worlds 2022 Semifinals Relocates To Atlanta

The 2022 League of Legends World Championship semifinals stage will be in Atlanta, the tournament organizers announced on Thursday, June 30.

The 2022 League of Legends World Championship semifinals stage will be in Atlanta, the tournament organizers announced on Thursday, June 30. As a result, the season-culminating tournament will not be coming to Canada.

A Change Of Plans

The League of Legends World Championship is confirmed to happen in North America this year, and while the majority of the tournament will happen in America, the initial plans were to expand the event into Canada and Mexico. However, as revealed by Riot on Thursday, the plan did not come through.

As announced, the LoL Worlds semifinals stage, which was initially planned to take place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, will move to the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, effectively removing Canada from the host countries of this year’s event.

The Scotiabank Arena was initially selected as one of the four venues for the 2022 LoL Worlds. The tournament was supposed to kick off with the play-in in Mexico City before moving to New York for the group stage and quarter-finals, landing in Toronto for the semifinals, and concluding in San Francisco with the grand finals.

The change of plans now sees LoL Worlds skip Toronto in favor of Atlanta as the new host city of the semifinal stage.

The decision to change venues comes due to COVID-19 concerns. As stated by Riot, the pandemic has been “impacting the viability of securing multi-entry visas to the U.S. within necessary timelines,” forcing the organizers to cut Canada from the schedule.

The initial response from the LoL fans was somewhat mixed, with many making up their own speculations as to why Riot Games decided not to host the tournament in Toronto. Some speculated that it has to do with Canada’s COVID regulations regarding vaccination, although that likely isn’t the case as the U.S. does not accept unvaccinated travelers either.

No Other Choice

As stated by Riot Games, the change of venues was necessary to move forward with the tournament, and while it will leave many fans disappointed with the decision, Riot promised to look for ways to bring a major LoL event to Canada in the future.

“We are committed to upholding our tradition of a multi-city Worlds tour despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, and look forward to hosting the 2022 Semifinals at the state-of-the-art State Farm Arena in Atlanta,” said Global Head of LoL Esports, Naz Aletaha.

“This news is no doubt disappointing to our fans and partners in Canada, and we want to sincerely thank Toronto, Scotiabank Arena, and our community for their understanding. We look forward to bringing a major LoL Esports event there in the future.”

The 2022 LoL Worlds semifinals will not take place at the world­-renowned State Farm Arena, the home of NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. The venue has a seating capacity of 21,000, which is a higher total capacity than the Riot’s finals venue.

Moving to Atlanta also offers a clearer path for teams to compete in all stages of the LoL World Championship. Moreover, it prevents any possible visa issues the teams, players, and the staff might experience trying to cross the border into Canada and back to the USA.

Still Months Away

The LoL World Championship panning started years back, and yet we’re still months away from the event kickoff. As it stands now, Riot Games has yet to announce when the season-culminating event will begin, but based on the previous iterations, we can assume that it will begin sometime in early October and conclude in November.

Likewise, since the LoL Summer Split has only just begun, there is no information on which teams will attend the event, nor has there been any announcement about the potential prize pool. Still, that’s hardly unusual, as Riot usually takes its time before it announces the full schedule, format, and other details about the LoL World Championship.