In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) has been suspended as a precautionary measure.
In a press release published on Chinese social media platform Weibo today, the LPL announced the decision to postpone the second week of the 2020 Spring Season indefinitely . Matches were to resume on Feb. 5 after the end of Chinese New Year celebrations but have now been delayed for the foreseeable future.
The second division League of Legends Development League won’t start as planned later this month, the League of Legends Pro League also confirmed in the same statement.
The LPL cited a need to align with requirements for the prevention and control of the coronavirus epidemic from Chinese authorities. By curtailing the league, the LPL aims to minimize the risk of transmission to players, staff, and spectators.
The LPL also explained that it is suspending the Spring Season in its entirety for the time being. The LPL will share follow-up arrangements in due course based on how the coronavirus epidemic develops and subject to the go-ahead from China’s General Administration of Sport.
As the coronavirus death toll surpasses 50 people in China and the virus continues to spread worldwide, it stands to reason that we shouldn’t expect the league to resume anytime soon.
An LPL reporter took to Twitter to share the news while also revealing that China’s General Administration of Sport had advised all sporting event organizers to pause operations until April . While this seems like a conservative precautionary measure, the evolution of the situation will dictate if such a prolonged break is necessary or not.
It’s unclear if and how the suspension of the League of Legends Pro League will impact international League of Legends events.
The Mid-Season Invitational traditionally takes place in May and regroups the Spring Season champions from all major regions. If the LPL is unable to crown a winner due to the suspension, it may impact the format and even scheduling of the event.
In other news, the coronavirus has also spawned a rather morbid gaming trend within China and further afield as players flock to human annihilation sim Plague Inc.