The 2020 LEC Spring Finals, scheduled to take place in Budapest, has moved locations due to the COVID-19 situation. The games will now take place in their LEC Berlin studio. The games will run from April 25 to 26 with a much smaller audience.
In an official statement, Riot Games announced its LEC plans moving forward. They made the tough decision to move the games from Hungary back to Germany.
“The reason is the growing concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, pushing Riot to avoid large hall competitions. This was not an easy decision to make, however, the health and safety of players, fans, and staff is our number one priority.”
This change may not make much of a difference since the LEC holds its weekly matches in Berlin. What may become an issue is the growing number of cases being found in Germany, which may cause more delays in the near future.
As with any event affected across the world, whether Fnatic compete or not, we realise now more than ever that our shared passion breaks physical boundaries.
It's incredibly disappointing that LEC won't be visiting Budapest this April, but our collective passion won't burn out.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) March 6, 2020
Other canceled events
The decision to move locations is one that’s all too familiar in the esports space as of late. Riot Games went through many delays and cancellations due to the virus, including LPL and LCK delays. They recently released a statement on whether they would continue with the Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds Championship events.
UK-based team Fnatic shared a few words regarding the move on Twitter. “It’s incredibly disappointing that LEC won’t be visiting Budapest this April, but our collective passion won’t burn out.” Director of League of Legends at Fnatic, Javier “Dardo” Zafra, also showed disappointment in a tweet translated by Daily Esports.
“Although we are all saddened for not being able to enjoy some finals in Budapest, this is a responsible and necessary decision. It is essential to prioritize the safety of all parties involved: fans, players, staff, etc.”
Aunque a todos nos entristezca un poco no poder disfrutar de unas finales en Budapest, ésta es una decisión responsable y necesaria.
Es imprescindible priorizar la seguridad de todas las partes implicadas: fans, jugadores, staff, etc. https://t.co/TX1ZSwtTym
— Javier Zafra (@dardo_lol) March 6, 2020
One follower mentioned they have to cancel their planned trip, while another showed disappointment as they have to return their flight tickets. It is unclear whether the virus will continue to spread after March, but many fans are showing concern about the possibilities. At the moment, Germany has counted 109 COVID-19 cases, while Hungary only has 3.
Although the cases in Hungary are much smaller, the LEC studio in Germany will be in a more closed, comfortable environment for all players. This will also prevent teams from traveling across countries with the possibility of getting infected.
As we receive more updates regarding the situation, we will be sure to keep you updated on Daily Esports.