The China League of Legends professional circuit is due to resume in March, although there’s one major difference.
Alongside a swathe of other esports tournaments, China’s League of Legends professional league (commonly referred to as LPL) was indefinitely suspended as a result of the COVID-19, or coronavirus, outbreak. The league has been on hiatus since January, when concerns over the rapidly spreading virus from Wuhan, China created a risk to both players and fans all over the country.
The LPL is due to return on March 9, but will do so in a way that may come as a disappointment – albeit an understandable one – to fans. It will be exclusively broadcast online, meaning that local League of Legends aficionados will not be able to attend matches in person.
“The LPL is back,” reads the official statement from the LPL on Twitter. You can read the rest of the post below.
— LPL (@lplenglish) February 28, 2020
Alongside the announcement that matches will be streamed on YouTube and Twitch going forward, the statement notably mentions that competing players will have to go through a 14-day quarantine period prior to returning to the league. Players who are currently in quarantined provinces are still unable to leave, so it seems they will either be temporarily benched or forced to compete from home.
At the moment, it’s uncertain when the LPL will resume standard procedure. As long as the coronavirus is still a concern, it seems likely that it will remain fixed to this pivot to streaming for the foreseeable future.
Despite the disappointment, fans are happy just to see their favourite league come back. Although I’m not quite sure how long a “mouth” is in terms of time periods.
— 叶不修 (@2uEko7i0ApJOWLR) February 28, 2020
Although the LPL is due to come back on March 9, the English broadcast won’t air until March 15. You can watch it on YouTube and Twitch at LPL English and LPL, respectively. Also, be sure to read up on other news surrounding League of Legends – the LPL may be returning, but Riot still has a hefty law suit on its hands.