March 16, 2020 / 11:59 PM / 21 days ago

LCS reportedly could resume online 'next weekend'

In an esports world largely shuttered due to the coronavirus, one major competition reportedly could return soon.

Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau tweeted Monday that Riot Games could bring back League of Legends’ North American League Championship Series (LCS) for online play “as early as next weekend.”

Slasher wrote, “Riot Games LCS officials and esports team owners are working together towards a plan that brings back LCS by as early as next weekend with games played online from LCS team facilities, sources tell me”

Slasher added: “one concern amongst Riot officials and LCS owners is the current viability of safely sending referees in-person to LCS team houses for games, which LPL has been running similarly these last few weeks, and how this impacts competitive integrity, sources tell me”

The LCS and the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) initially announced last week that their competitions would continue amid the pandemic, albeit without live audiences in attendance. The LCS Studio in Los Angeles and the LEC Studio in Berlin were due to be the sites for the matches.

However, on Friday, both leagues shut down indefinitely in the wake of the virus’ growth.

LCS commissioner Chris Greeley said Friday in a statement, “As the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to grow, we’re committed to keeping the health and safety of players, fans, and everyone who makes the LCS possible at the forefront of every decision we make. And so, it was an incredibly difficult call to make, but this afternoon we decided, after discussion with LCS teams, to suspend operations (including all LCS and Academy games) for the immediate future.

“The same factors that weighed into this decision, coupled with expanding restrictions of large-scale public events in North Texas, have also led us to move the 2020 LCS Spring Finals from Dallas to the home studio in Los Angeles.

“We will continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding the virus and coordinate with public health officials to determine safe protocols for resuming games and events.”

Through seven of nine weeks in the LCS spring season, Cloud9 sit atop the 10-team league with a 13-1 record. FlyQuest and Team SoloMid are tied for second at 8-6, with 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses and Immortals sharing fourth place at 7-7.

Meanwhile Monday, Riot Korea issued a statement regarding the possibility of restarting the League of Legends’ League Champions Korea (LCK) spring season with online matches. The LCK has been shut down since March 6.

According to Invenglobal.com, Riot Korea’s statement read, “Although resuming LCK was not decided, we are checking out every possibility including online matches with considering how many matches left and how many days we might have.”

The China-based League of Legends Pro League (LPL) spring season resumed play March 8 after a seven-week, coronavirus-induced shutdown.

—Field Level Media

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