League of Legends teams will be kicking off the 2022 LEC Spring Split by playing remotely from their own training facilities to preserve the health and safety of the league’s players and staff, Riot Games announced today.
“Due to the ongoing restrictions as a result of COVID-19 and the rising number of cases in Berlin since the beginning of the year, teams will compete remotely for the start of the 2022 Spring Split regular season,” the LEC’s announcement reads. “Our first and foremost priority is always the health and well-being of the players, coaches, team personnel and our staff.”
These precautions are being put into place due to ongoing restrictions set in Berlin due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kicked into a new gear recently with the emergence of the Omicron variant. The city has seen a rise in cases since the start of the new year, which has prompted the league to work to protect its players as the situation continues.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many competitive esports have been forced to play out online, including North America’s LCS, Korea’s LCK, China’s LPL, and the LEC in Europe. Although the LEC’s players were able to return to the studio during the second half of 2021, this new variant makes it difficult to have multiple teams entering and leaving the studio without jeopardizing the health of everyone involved. This also means that in-person fan attendance is still far from being allowed and likely shouldn’t be expected in any regions just yet.
The 2022 LEC Spring Split is set to begin on Jan. 14.