UPDATED (3/13/2020 - 5:08PM PT): The North American League of Legends competitive organization, LCS has issued an update on their earlier response to the coronavirus. Though originally, the LCS announced it was going to restrict audience and press attendance, the organization has just announced a new statement suspending all operations, including LCS and Academy games until further notice. The LCS's postponing of the Spring season follows the European League of Legends competitive LEC's similar decision earlier today. You can read the updated statement just below, as well as the original story beneath it. No details on rescheduling or plans for online competition have been announced at this time.
An update on the 2020 LCS & Academy Spring Split and Finals from Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner pic.twitter.com/cfbwb6Vrpe— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 13, 2020
Original Story: As the issues and concerns regarding coronavirus have continued through this season, some esports leagues have pivoted to limiting audience contact with players and staff in order to contain the risk. North American League of Legends competitive league, the LCS, is the latest to enact policies of this nature. They just announced that tailgating and audience and press attendance will be suspended until further notice to help keep fans, players, and staff safe through the coronavirus pandemic.
The LCS announced its decision on the official LCS Twitter on March 12, 2020. Though matches will still go on as regularly scheduled through Spring Split 2020, direct audience attendance, including press presence and tailgating will be prohibited until further notice.
“As a League, we need to stand by the policy of putting the safety of our pros, fans, and employees first,” wrote LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley. “The LCS and Academy games will continue as scheduled and be broadcasted from the LCS Studios. We know this may be disappointing to our fans, but we ask for your understanding with this very difficult decision.”
Greeley added that refunds will be offered and LCS-Tickets@RiotGames.com should be contacted with any issues.
An update from Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner pic.twitter.com/ob7GhlROFU— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 12, 2020
The LCS is not the first to enact no-audience policies against concerns and risks of the coronavirus. Mortal Kombat’s Final Kombat event, PUBG Mobile competitive events and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major IEM Katowice enacted similar policies very close to their event dates in the wake of highly increased concern over COVID-19. This doesn’t even include the massive and growing list of gaming and esports events that have been outright canceled or postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus.
At the very least, we’ll still be able to watch the LCS games and root our teams on online as the schedule continues via broadcasts like the LCS Twitch. Stay tuned for any further changes as details and updates become available.