‘League of Legends’ lands on Incheon, South Korea for 2018 finals
eSports giant “League of Legends” will conduct its 2018 World Championships from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3 in South Korea, with Gwangju and Incheon named as two of its host cities, but full location details yet to be announced.
Scheduling issues mean that the 2018 “League of Legends” World Championship is holding off on an announcement of cities and venues for its month-long event.
As the game’s events team lead explained in a July 31 announcement, “we bet on a Finals venue,” but due to circumstances outside the venue’s control, “it didn’t work out.”
Then, when negotiations fell through with a backup venue, the team found themselves four months away from the event without a location tied down.
“We would have liked to have informed all of you earlier, if just to let you know this was a priority for us and to maintain transparency as to where we were in the process,” wrote global events lead Derrick Asiedu.
“Unfortunately, revealing this kind of information also gives leverage to the venues we negotiate with, especially if they know we’re on a tight timeline. We opted to stay silent, and are once again sorry for all of the confusion,” he continued, acknowledging the knock-on effect for fans, teams, content creators and media.
Though the “League of Legends” developer isn’t quite ready to reveal city and venue details, a calendar for the 16-team tournament has been published.
Twelve teams looking to book a last-chance place in the competition take part in an Oct. 1 to 7 play-in, before an Oct. 10 to 17 group stage.
Quarterfinals run Oct. 20 to 21 before semifinalists head to Gwangju in the southwest for the Oct. 27 to 28 knockout.
Finals take place on Nov. 3 in the northwest city of Incheon.
Changes to the traditional tournament calendar mean that the group stage is now eight days rather than two weeks long, with the quarterfinals likewise halved in length.
The World Championships return to South Korea after having been co-hosted with Singapore and Taiwan in 2014.
South Korean team Samsung Galaxy beat fellow South Koreans SK Telecom T1 in the 2017 World Championship finals, the culmination of an event held in four Chinese cities with an online viewership of over 60 million.
Released in 2009, the famously intense free-to-play “League of Legends” pits two five-player teams against each other, the rivals selecting characters, abilities and strategies in a bid to outwit their opponents and destroy their base.
The game attracted an estimated 81 million active monthly players in 2017. Revenue is generated through the sale of characters, costumes, in-game emotes and progression boosters. JB