After the coronavirus forced the organizers of China’s League of League Pro League to cancel upcoming matches earlier this week, the Overwatch League is the latest to fall foul of the rapidly spreading epidemic.
In a press release published in the early hours of today, the Overwatch League shared its decision to cancel all matches in China for February and March. Citing a need to ‘protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff,’ the events have been suspended as a precautionary measure.
For its third season, the Overwatch League adopts a new 27-week regular-season format introducing home and away games. Twenty city-based teams host ‘Homestead Weekends’ in their respective home arenas spread across the U.S., China, South Korea, France, Canada, and the U.K.
The decision sees the cancellation of bouts in weeks 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 in Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. The week 2 Feb. 15-16 Homestead Weekend hosted by the Shanghai Dragons is the first canceled event.
The cancellation affect the East Division, Pacific Conference teams Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons. Events outside of China scheduled for February and March will go ahead as planned.
According to the press release, the Overwatch League seems intent on rescheduling the canceled games, explaining;
We’ll share more information about when and where the matches take place at a later date.
The news will be disappointing for Chinese fans eager to see their favorite Overwatch stars in action. But, the call has generally been well received. A wave of support and praise for the Overwatch League’s decision to prioritize the health of players, staff, and fans accompanied the news on Twitter.
Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:05 AM UTC