The coronavirus is quickly becoming a global issue, so much in fact that it is affecting the Overwatch League’s plans to go global.
Yesterday (Jan.29), Blizzard announced that the games taking place in China for the 2020 season of the Overwatch League have been canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The news came ahead of the World Health Organization, declaring the epidemic that was initially affecting the country a global health crisis.
In a statement shared on Twitter, popular E-sports league explained the decision was made to ensure the safety of its workers, players, and fans.
We have decided to cancel our February and March matches in China in order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff. We hope fans have a safe and happy Lunar New Year, and we remain incredibly excited to play Overwatch League matches in China later this season.
“We’ll share more information about when and where the matches will take place at a later date.
Thank you for your support and understanding!
If the games did take place, it would have been a historic moment with the Overwatch League being the first to have each of its 20 teams hosting matches out of their home cities.
Even before the OWL’s announcement yesterday, teams began releasing their own statements detailing how they would deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The Shanghai Dragons and the Guangzhou Charge have moved their preseason operations to South Korea for precautionary reasons. The Overwatch League officially kicks off the 2020 season February 8, in Dallas and New York.
OWL isn’t alone in canceling games abroad fearing the coronavirus, the League of Legends Pro League announced it will also be canceling competitions until it can ensure the health and safety of its players and fans.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz