Vaccination proof when this article was drafted was noted as voluntary. It is not. It will be required to receive an event badge and be added to the tournament roster. The article has been updated.
At long last we have made a decision on the 2022 World Championship. As you’re probably aware, we announced back in February that we would be waiting on any developments in the global COVID-19 situation to make our final decision in May or June. We’ve come to the decision and there’s no real reason to to get long winded here, so here goes:
We’re holding the 2022 World Championship the 7th through 9th of October in-person in Toronto, Canada at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel!
We expect to start offering tickets within the next week or two, along with group-rate hotel booking. We know we said that we would be offering those immediately upon the announcement, but we have more logistical things to figure out and we missed the target. Rest assured, we’re still working on it and expect to have you some links for hotels and tickets within the month of June.
As the event nears, we will be releasing an article to preview the prizing. Even cooler, we’re expecting to announce how attendees of the event might get to experience something special related to Parhelion, the set following Midnight Sun. There’s a lot of work to do to make it all happen, but we’re ready to make a triumphant return to physical game space with some beautiful swag!
We want to first state clearly and unequivocally: We understand that COVID is still a major worry for many within the community, and that the pandemic has not fully passed us. We are not presenting this event as one that is risk-free, and we are not claiming that the disease is as mild as a common cold. You will be taking a risk coming, and we understand attendance may be low because of this.
We also are beginning to realize that COVID is likely with us for the long haul. Continued mitigation has largely been abandoned by most nations and because of that we believe there is no reasonable way that the pandemic will be officially ‘over’ within a timeframe that will be conducive to the continued existence of in-person events. It’s not ideal to run them in these times, but the alternative is flagging online attendance and interest.
Make no mistake. The disease is still serious. There is a mountain of evidence of long-term or permanent issues in people who have contracted the disease, known as ‘long COVID.’ This introduces new and understandable worry for some, while others remain unconcerned. Regardless of where you fall on risk assessment, we urge the same precautions: Get vaccinated, travel to the event with a high filtration mask, and test yourself.
With that said, we are now transitioning to a policy that will implement measures designed to minimize some of the risk. These are are proposed measures for our World Championship tournament:
- We will be asking attendees to present their country’s form of vaccination proof to our staff upon picking up their event badge. Vaccination will be required to receive your badge.
- We will be providing all attendees three (3) KF94 masks, which we expect them to wear at all times within the event hall and encourage in other areas of the hotel.
- We will have COVID test kits on-site so that people may test themselves over the course of the weekend and isolate if necessary.
- We will provide refunds for the ticket price up to 1 month before the event. We unfortunately can’t help you on hotel or airfare.
- We will provide refunds for the ticket price to anyone who must isolate on-site. Again, we can’t help on hotel or airfare.
The masking requirement in particular will be highly monitored within our event space. Later this year we will be updating our Organized Play Policies with an addendum making clear what we expect and how we will be dealing with infractions. These are the highlights:
- Attendees will be expected to wear KF94 (or better) masks over their nose and mouth to enter and exit the event space.
- Attendees will be expected to keep their masks over their nose and mouth for the entire time they are within the event space.
- Any attendee who removes their mask, or does not wear it correctly, will first be issued a warning and coached on proper mask wearing.
- Any attendee who commits a further violation of the masking policy will be warned again and then suffer a match loss their next round.
- Any attendee violating the masking policy a third time will suffer consequences at the judges’ discretion, up to and including being dropped from the tournament and removed from the venue. We will not issue a refund upon removal.
With these measures and this policy, we believe we can reduce the chances of spread while still being safe enough to hold the tournament.
This is a strange and difficult time that is challenging all of us. We appreciate everyone who shared their opinion with us and helped us make this decision. With your help, we can make Worlds 2022 a safer, exciting in-person event.