On Thursday the League of Legends European Championship decided to start its season online. So did the League of Legends Championship Series on Friday. The LCS did one official announcement On Friday afternoon, the group phase part of the pre-season lock-in tournament will take place entirely online. This is due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County.
– LCS (@LCSOfficial) January 8, 2022
The Omicron variant began to spread in the United States in mid-December. The New York Times reported that Los Angeles County’s cases had dropped to 1,000 cases a day in November. On Thursday January 6th that New York Times reported that there were an alarming 37,094 new cases in the region every day. That’s almost 37 times what it was two months ago.
California has reintroduced its mandate for inner masks due to the severity of the situation. The mandate is valid until mid-February according to the Los Angeles times. The mandate states that every person, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
The LCS announcement repeated the LEC announcement.
“Our top priority is always the health and safety of players, coaches, team stages and riot staff,” said the LCS in its official statement.
It also said that the situation will be reassessed when the lock-in tournament reaches the knockout stage.
The positive side is that the lock-in tournament has no impact on the regular season. Some teams don’t even set up their starting grid for the lock-in tournament. For example, TSM is unable to set up its starting grid due to “multiple issues related to COVID” with imports of Zhu “Keaduo” Xiong and Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie.
The LCS Lock In tournament begins with the group stage on Friday January 14th. The knockout phase will take place on the following Saturday, January 22nd.