Activision Blizzard has cancelled all scheduled Overwatch League homestand events for March and April due to the growing scare over coronavirus (COVID-19).
The news comes following the cancellation of the Paris Eternal’s April homestand following France’s nationwide ban of events with more than 1,000 attendees.
“Concurrently, we are working hand-in-hand with our teams to see that all matches are played when it’s safe and logistically feasible, staying as close to our originally planned schedule as possible,” reads a statement from Activision Blizzard. “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.”
The league had previously cancelled homestand weekend events in China and South Korea, but today’s move cancels all global events on the calendar through April.
In a series of follow-up tweets, Overwatch League commissioner Pete Vlastelica clarified that the scheduled matches will still be played in March and April, and that they will also be broadcast. However, they will no longer be live, fan-attended events spread across multiple cities.
Esports Insider says: The effects of coronavirus are rippling throughout the esports industry, affecting more and more leagues and tournaments with each passing day. This is the right move for the safety of everyone involved in the league, from players to fans, and it sounds like Activision Blizzard will keep play going in the meantime.