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Riot moves LoL Worlds semifinals to Atlanta’s State Farm Arena

Riot Games recently announced that the 2022 League of Legends World Championship semifinals would be moving to State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, away from its initial location in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, much to the disappointment of the tournament’s fans in Canada.

The decision, announced on June 30, was mainly due to COVID-19 and restrictions that have affected multi-entry visas. Despite this, Riot asserted that Worlds is expected to run as initially scheduled.

“We are honored that Atlanta now has this incredible opportunity to host the world’s biggest esports event,” Atlanta Esports Alliance Chair Todd Harris said.

“We look forward to working closely with Riot Games, our public and private partners, and our local community to create a remarkable experience for all involved.”

Riot moves Worlds to Atlanta

Located in Downtown Atlanta, State Farm Arena is the home to the NBA team Atlanta Hawks. Tourist attractions are pretty much out of the question since the arena is often used for hosting NBA games and is capable of holding 21,000 audiences.

Although fans in Canada might be disappointed with the decision, Riot’s global head of LoL esports Naz Aletaha confirmed that the organizer holds firmly to Worlds’ annual tradition of a multi-city tour, which was seen as unlikely to take place this year in Toronto, considering the issues cited above.

“We are committed to upholding our tradition of a multi-city Worlds tour despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, and look forward to hosting the 2022 Semifinals at the state-of-the-art State Farm Arena in Atlanta,” Aletaha said.

Aletaha also acknowledged that the decision was disappointing to both fans and Riot’s partners in the country and the organizer is looking forward to delivering a major LoL esports event in Toronto in the near future.

“This news is no doubt disappointing to our fans and partners in Canada, and we want to sincerely thank Toronto, Scotiabank Arena, and our community for their understanding. We look forward to bringing a major LoL esports event there in the future,” she added.

Worlds’ hosting cities, excitement

Moving away from Toronto means that Worlds will tour a total of four cities in two different countries. Aside from the semifinals in Atlanta, Mexico’s capital Mexico City will also host Worlds’ play-ins. New York will be hosting both the group stage and quarterfinals, while San Francisco, California will host the finals.

Riot also confirmed that ticket sales, seeding and more will be released in the summer.

Responding to the announcement, State Farm Arena VP of marketing Alyson Griffin shared the excitement about hosting the grand international esports tournament and is extremely happy with Riot’s decision to choose Atlanta.

“As a sponsor of League of Legends Esports Global Events, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and State Farm Arena itself, we’re extremely happy with the serendipity of Worlds 2022 being held in Atlanta,” Griffin said.

“Our relationship with Riot and the gaming community has continued to evolve and LoL was even featured in our recent State Farm Gamerhood Challenge. We’re looking forward to seeing the top teams and fans come together this fall.”