Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there have been very few offline LAN esports tournaments. More LANs started to take place in the second half of 2021, often without fans in attendance and often in Europe. In 2022, there are quite a few LANs planned to take place in North America.
It’s probably best to look at some of these planned events with some skepticism given how conditions have changed rapidly throughout the pandemic and with case numbers currently very high at the start of 2022. COVID could lead to the cancellation of many of the planned LANs in 2022 (Dreamhack Anaheim has already been canceled), but as of this writing these are the major esports LANs that are planned to take place in North America this year.
CDL Kickoff Classic
Arlington, Jan. 21-23
The first major LAN set to take place in North America in 2022 is the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic. The 2022 CDL season will begin in Arlington, Texas, and tickets are available for fans to attend. The CDL held a couple of LANs last year with fans in attendance – Major IV, Major V and the Call of Duty League Championship. Both majors were held at Esports Stadium Arlington, and that is the plan for the Kickoff Classic too. All 12 teams will be in attendance for the debut of pro Vanguard play in the CDL.
Montreal, Feb. 8-20
Photo credit: Siege.GG
The most prestigious Rainbow Six Siege tournament of the year is set to return to Montreal this year after taking place in Paris last year. No crowd will be allowed as 20 of the best teams in the world compete. So far, 16 of the 20 teams have been confirmed, with four qualifiers set to join them. The reigning Six Invitational champions Ninjas in Pyjamas will be there, and so will FaZe Clan, Spacestation Gaming and Natus Vincere.
CDL Major I
Arlington, last week of February
The first major of the CDL season is set to take place about a month after the Kickoff Classic in Arlington too. There will be four majors this season and the league plans to hold all of them on LAN. The top eight teams after three weeks of qualifying will qualify for each major. The dates for the next three majors haven’t been revealed yet. According to CDL Intel, the next three are supposed to be hosted by Minnesota, Toronto and New York, but the league has not confirmed this.
LCS Spring Split final
Houston, April 23-24
The League Championship Series spring split grand final (as well as the lower bracket final) is set to take place on LAN at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Last year’s spring final was also held on LAN though at a much smaller venue – the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. No word on whether fans will be allowed into NRG Stadium, but Riot has been very cautious when it comes to allowing fans. No fans were allowed at any of Riot’s major League of Legends or VALORANT LANs in 2021.
HCS Kansas City Major
Kansas City, April 29-May 1
Photo credit: Halo Championship Series
The next major tournament in the Halo Championship Series is set to take place in Kansas City late in late spring. It’ll be the second major Halo Infinite LAN after the Kickoff Major Raleigh that took place in December. Fans were in the stands in Raleigh, but no word yet on whether that will be the case in Kansas City.
IEM XVII - Dallas
Dallas, May 31-June 5
A pair of major CS:GO LANs took place in both Stockholm and Copenhagen late last year, and now there is one scheduled for Dallas this year. One of the IEM Season XVII tournaments is set to take place in Dallas the week following Memorial Day. The 16-team tournament will feature a $350,000 prize pool and will likely be one of the few if not only chances to see the best CS:GO teams in the world competing in North America. If the tournament goes on as planned it’ll be the first IEM event held in North America since IEM XIV Chicago in the summer of 2019.
RLCS 2021-22 World Championship
NA TBD, July 22-31
The next RLCS World Championship is planned for North America this summer. The past two RLCS seasons have passed without a world championship event to close things out. If things go according to plan, this will be the biggest Rocket League LAN since the Season 8 World Championship that took place in late 2019.
Halo Orlando Major
Orlando, Sept. 23-25
Just a few months after the Kansas City Major, the HCS is supposed to have another major in Orlando. Like the other major, the field will consist of 16 qualified teams plus eight that make it out of an open bracket.
Mexico City, New York, Toronto, San Francisco; October TBD
Photo credit: Riot Games
The 2022 League of Legends World Championship is not only the biggest esports event that could take place in North America this year, but the biggest event anywhere in the world. The monthlong tournament, which usually takes place in October, is set to take place across four cities in three different countries. It’ll start with the play-in stage in Mexico City, followed by the group stage and quarterfinals in New York City, then the semifinals in Toronto and the final in San Francisco. It’s hard not to get excited about this happening, but Riot had also planned a multi-city Worlds in China for 2021 before COVID caused the company to pivot to a LAN in Iceland.
Halo World Championship
Seattle, Oct. 20-23
The first season of Halo Infinite pro play is set to conclude with a world championship event in Seattle in October. It’s hard to say whether an event planned for 10 months from now will actually take place in light of the evolving nature of the COVID pandemic, but if it does, it’s sure to be one of the premier esports events of the year.
Other potential major LANs
If COVID doesn’t scuttle plans for the Call of Duty league majors this season, Champs also could take place on LAN somewhere in North America. Champs 2021 took place in Los Angeles with a crowd. The Rocket League Championship Series intends to hold its winter and spring majors on LAN like they did with the Fall Major in Stockholm, so there’s a chance at least one of these could be held in North America. The big wild card among the major esports is VALORANT. Riot has not indicated where any of the Masters tournaments or Champions might take place. Last year, two Masters and Champions were held in Europe, so perhaps one or two of these might take place in North America pending the situation with COVID.
Lead photo credit: Riot Games