Despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) has found a solution to resume its Spring Split matches starting Friday, March 20. Previously, the games came to an unfortunate halt as live audiences were suspended while the coronavirus continued to spread. Not long after, the LEC suspended the games altogether in order to take precautions and keep staff and teams safe. As of today, they announced their return — only this time, its completely online.
The official statement begins by addressing the previous actions they had taken in response to the pandemic. Luckily, no one on any team has tested positive for the virus. Although they continue to practice safety measures, they still plan to move forward with the games. The teams will play from their respective training centers to finish out the next five weekends of the LEC.
The #LEC returns friday!!!! 💜
— Eefje Depoortere (@sjokz) March 17, 2020
Solutions for future difficulties
Playing online remotely seems like a viable solution, though it can bring plenty of difficulties. They addressed the issues that may come up during games, stating, “One of the main challenges of online play is how to preserve competitive integrity.” In order to combat this issue, they have some rules and instructions in place for teams and staff to follow.
The organization has instructed all teams to play from Berlin, except Origen, who will be playing in Copenhagen. This will allow latency between servers to become equal among all teams, encouraging equal play for the LEC.
The #LEC Returns this Friday!
Due to the ongoing developments of the coronavirus pandemic we have decided to play the remainder of the 2020 LEC Spring Split 100% remotely online, with matches resuming Friday, March 20th.
— LEC (@LEC) March 17, 2020
Additionally, they will not send referees out to separate locations; instead, they will include cameras to monitor voice and player communications, screen recording, and more. They will also continue to seek out solutions on League of Legends game pauses due to external factors, such as ISP issues. Furthermore, a planned break week initially scheduled will not happen. Instead, they plan to play each consecutive weekend until the finals on April 18 and 19.
This is great news for all LEC players, staff, and viewers. Many sports organizations are moving to online play during this rough time as a compromise. The unfortunate circumstance has left much uncertainty within sports, but there are many passionate professionals in the industry who plan to keep the games going no matter what.