Speaking on Twitter and their official website, the Overwatch League issued the following statement.
“The health and safety of employees, fans, players, teams, and partners is paramount to Activison Blizzard Esports.
We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus), city-level recommendations and mandates, and all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After careful review and working in cloe collaboration with our trams, we are cancelling all Overwatch League events scheduled for March and April.
For more details on these specific events, please visit host team websites and follow their social channels.
Concurrently, we are working hand-in-hand with our teams to see that all matches are player when it’s safe and logistically feasible, staying as close to our originally planned schedule as possible. We are considering the various options available to esports in this effort, so that all teams – including those previously impacted by scheduling changes in China – can get back to doing what they do best.
No adjustments have been made for any other scheduled Overwatch League events. We will share additional updates, as needed.”
In subsequent tweets, the Overwatch League emphasized that they would not be cancelling the Overwatch League 2020 tournament. With only the Homestand events being canceled, the matches will still be played, and broadcasted.
The coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) has affected many worldwide, from businesses with offices in China, Japan, and public gatherings and events. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. This includes the postponement and cancellation of GDC and E3 2020 respectively.
One of our first articles regarding the coronavirus was on January 30th, regarding the Overwatch League and League of Legends Pro League (LPL) announcing they would be cancelling all games set to take place in China.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 127,700 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 4,700 deaths. Over 68,300 people have made a “total recovery.” On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak “can be categorized as a pandemic.”