The Overwatch League’s plans for a truly worldwide e-sports league have actually taken a significant hit. Today, Blizzard announced that the China-based video games occurring in February and March prepared for the 2020 season have been canceled following the break out of the coronavirus. In a statement posted this evening to Twitter, the league explained that the choice was made to “secure the health and wellness of our players, fans, and personnel.”
” We hope fans have a safe and happy Lunar New Year, and we remain incredibly delighted to play Overwatch League matches in China later on this season,” the statement checks out. “We’ll share more info about when and where the matches will occur at a later date.”
The 2020 season of OWL was set to be the first in league history where each of the 20 groups hosted matches out of their house cities. The league includes teams based in Asia, Europe, and North America, and there are presently 4 Chinese clubs– Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou– each of which was expected to host a minimum of 2 occasions. The very first was slated for the 2nd week of the season, starting February 15 th in Shanghai.
Prior to today’s news, most of the groups launched their own declarations detailing their plans for dealing with the break out. The Overwatch League routine season is slated to kick off February 8th with games in both Dallas and New York.
OWL isn’t the only e-sports league dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus. The League of Legends Pro League– probably the greatest expert video gaming circuit in the world– recently announced that it would postpone the competitors “up until we can guarantee the safety and health of our gamers and fans.”