Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, Vietnam Will not be Represented at Worlds 2020

The League of Legends World Championship will start in Shanghai on Sept. 25 with 22 teams instead of the  24 teams initially set for the competition. The qualified teams from Vietnam have withdrawn from the competition, citing a re-entry barrier back into Vietnam due to COVID-19 precautions, according to Vietnamese news site Gamek. The report came down as teams were competing to qualify for Worlds 2020 during the summer Vietnamese Championship.

Vietnam has had 1,040 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 32 deaths (from Jan. 24 – Aug. 31), according to data collected by the World Health Organization. The Vietnamese government has done this by implementing social distancing and quarantine measures, and heavy restrictions on travel into the country.  Currently, its borders are closed to outside visitors, with a few exceptions. 


Tom Martell, director of operation for Riot Esports, today clarified the League’s stance on the matter by issuing a statement that outlines format changes to the world championship.

“Earlier this month we shared with you our plans for Worlds, but due to national travel restrictions related to COVID-19, our two qualifying teams from Vietnam will, unfortunately, be unable to travel to Shanghai to compete this season,” the statement read. “As a result of these changes, we will have 22 rather than 24 teams challenging for the championship title this year. We are incredibly disappointed on behalf of these teams who worked so hard all year for the chance to compete on the global stage. While it certainly will not replace the experience for them, we will be awarding them their full share of the prize pool as though they had participated in the event.”

Significant changes include one team receiving automatic advancement to the Group Stage that was originally expected to compete in the Play-In, and group play switching from a double round-robin to a single round-robin. These changes were made “to ensure that each team gets an equal number of red and blue side games, and this format actually allows more teams than usual to experience the thrill of playing an elimination best-of-five series at Worlds.”

The Esports Observer has reached out to Team Flash, one of the teams from Vietnam that decided not to attend Worlds 2020.

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