Riot Games announced on Monday which cities will be hosting the highly anticipated 2022 League of Legends World Cup.
The tournament was infamous for being held all across the world, with the last four cups being held in Iceland, China, Europe, and South Korea, respectively. 2022 marks the first time since 2016 that the championship has returned to North America, and already the lineup is looking massive.
A MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game, League of Legends (LoL) sees five-man teams go against each other in a fantasy battle, each team trying to destroy the other teams ‘Nexus’ (their base).
The tournament looks to be held all across the continent. The PlayIns will start at Liga Latinoamerica in Mexico City, followed by the Group stages and quarter-finals to be played in the Hulu Theatre in the legendary Madison Square Garden. Following the quarters, the semi-finals will take place in Toronto, in the Novia Scotia Arena. The massive world championship will then culminate in a huge finals match in the Chase Center, San Francisco.
The pandemic forced this year's event to move from Shenzen to Reykjavik, with the tournament wrapping up earlier this month. Edward Gaming scored a huge upset there, defeating dominant champions DWG KIA. There were no fans in attendance due to the COVID regulations, but Riot Games seems to have plans to bring fans back for the 2022 edition of the world championship.
Still, the event did phenomenally well last year. The latest figures, reported by the Riot Games press release, saw that 45 million viewers were watching the 2021 finals. That not only surpassed the 2020 figures but has set a new known record for eSports viewership in history. The League of Legends world championship is arguably the most important tournament in eSports today.
“The momentum behind League of Legends Esports has only continued to grow since the last time we hosted Worlds in the U.S. in 2016.” Naz Aletha, the Global Head of League of Legends eSports, commented.
“We’re thrilled to bring the full scale of our global sport back to North America, and, COVID permitting, welcome fans into the stands across three countries and four different cities.”
“Worlds is the showcase of the greatest of our sport, and we look forward to celebrating that with our fans in North America and across the world.”
The return to North America will certainly be a triumphant one. While it’s too early to start making predictions or announcing participants, there’s a certain big fight feel that comes with this announcement.
“Last time at the Worlds in North America, back in 2016, EDG (Edward Gaming) was not able to make out of quarterfinals,” Edward Gaming president David Ng said in an EDG press release. “Now, we are looking forward to coming back as the defending champion and going to multi-cities across North America that we've never been to before. EDG will work hard with LPL and prepare for the 2022 World Championship.”
There’s still roughly a year to go until the start of the 2022 season, so here’s to hoping that the pandemic has eased up enough for fans to pack the rafters for this thrilling edition of the tournament.