China’s League of Legends esports operator TJ Sports announced Saturday that the 2020 League of Legends World Championship grand final will allow live audiences at the Pudong Soccer Stadium on Oct. 31. TJ Sports will allow 6,312 people to attend the event, with a strict distance between each seat due to Shanghai’s mandated COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
Tickets will be free and randomly distributed to those who register online. In order to maintain fairness in the distribution and to prevent scalping issues, all audience members will need to register from Oct. 12-14 online using their Chinese ID cards with their full name, as well as additional personal information, such as a QQ account and phone number. Non-Chinese citizens will be required to use their passports.
The distribution process for these tickets will be operated by Riot Games on Oct. 15, and supervised by the Shanghai Jingan Notary Office. TJ Sports will announce the distribution results on Oct.16 via the League of Legends official website. Selected audience members will have one week to confirm the qualification and pay a deposit.
There are three types of deposits based on the location in the stadium: ￥500 RMB ($75 USD), ￥1K ($150), and ￥1.5K ($225), respectively. All deposits will be returned to audience members awarded tickets after the Worlds 2020 Final, and If the ticket holder fails to attend the event, deposits will be donated to local charity organizations.
Physical tickets will not be distributed; ticket holders will be identified by their Chinese ID cards, passports and a facial recognition check on Oct.31 at the gate. There will also be a temperature check at the gate to prevent anyone who might be sick from attending the in-person event.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the League of Legends World Championship has become one of the few large-scale international events to take place in 2020. This is the first time that the World Championship has allowed live audience members to attend the live event for free. Scalping has been a serious issue in esports ticket sales in the past. Last year, both the League of Legends and Dota 2 communities expressed frustration concerning scalping situation at Worlds 2019 and Dota 2’s The International.