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600 people at one of world’s biggest gaming events

07.05.2021 - 12:58
Mynd: Riot Games / Aðsent
Laugardalur is not only host to Iceland’s biggest mass vaccination centre, but also to one of the world’s biggest computer gaming tournaments, which started yesterday. Very strict contagion prevention measures are in place for the 600 people who have travelled to Iceland for the tournament.

The tournament is a competition for two very popular games: League of Legends and Valorant. The competition will continue for 24 days and is being held by Riot Games—one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.

“We’ve got 11 teams from all over the world. We have an additional 400 crew and staff that we’ve travelled in. And we’ll reach tens of millions of people all over the world on 40 different broadcast platforms,” says Nick Troop, Riot Games’ tournament chief. 

How many will be here in total? 

“There’s probably going to be about 500 or 600 people in the building today, between pro-players, crew, and staff.” 

Troop says it is one of the biggest online gaming events in the world, and that a large amount of equipment was shipped into Iceland for it. 

Strong COVID-19 prevention rules are in place, including that nobody is allowed into the building without a negative PCR test certificate. 

“In part of our cooperation with Business Iceland and the Ministry of Health, we committed that every international traveller, regardless of their vaccination status or anything else, would quarantine for five days. And after a second PCR test would be released and be able to enter the venue and enjoy the city,” Troop says. “And in addition, we do temperature screenings every morning and we do internal contact tracing with the crew, to make sure that if we have any kind of scare or concern, we know who’s been in contact with whom and we can manage it immediately.” 

The video above, which is largely in English, clearly shows how sizeable and expensive the competition is to hold; though Troop would not go into specific details about finance. “The budgets can vary substantially, but for this particular event, about 40 percent of our budget is being spent directly here in the country with local partners, local crew, the hotels, restaurants, caterers, and a variety of technical suppliers. So, the overal totals fluctuate, but this is a very substantial part of our budget.” 

Why did you choose Iceland? 

“We conducted a global assessment of any place that was deemed viable from a COVID perspective, from an operational perspective, stable in all senses of the word, and Iceland was the top of the list across all the different categories. So we reached out to the team at Business Iceland and fortunately we found a very exciting collaboration opportunity. This is a lovely country, you’ve done a fantastic job of managing COVID, and we’re very grateful for the opportunity.” 

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