Esports and Gaming Events Affected by Coronavirus
As fears continue to grow in relationship to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many esports tournament organizers have made the decision to cancel, postpone, clear audiences, or make an adjustment to their events. With that in mind, The Esports Observer has created a comprehensive list of leagues, tournaments, and events that have been affected by COVID-19 concerns. While this list is updated regularly, readers should still check the individual organizer web sites as circumstances may change.
League of Legends
- League of Legends Champions Korea League (LCK): Riot announced the indefinite suspension of league play starting on March 9 with no time table announced as to when play will be resumed.
- League of Legends Professional League (LPL): The LPL has canceled offline play since Jan. 19 and transitioned to playing league matches online.
- League of Legends European Championship (LEC): The LEC’s spring split final which was scheduled for April 25-26 in Budapest, Hungary, has been moved to Berlin.
- League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): The LCS spring split finals have not been affected as of yet as Riot continues to monitor the situation. Frisco, Texas, is still set to host the event on April 18-19.
- The Mid-Season Invitational has been moved from May to July. Each region’s Summer Split start date has also been adjusted.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Intel Extreme Masters Katowice: IEM’s Katowice event saw a permit granted to ESL that allowed audiences into Spodek Arena revoked after government officials decided the risk of infection was too great. This occurred 12 hours before the main event was to take place.
- FLASHPOINT: The new FLASHPOINT League made the decision on March 6 to consolidate all of its events and play all league and championship matches in its Los Angeles studios.
The Overwatch League made a series of decisions in an attempt to play matches originally scheduled in China in other locations and countries. However, at this time, all matches in weeks 5-7 that were scheduled to take place in Seoul have been postponed.
As it stands, no significant changes, cancellations, or postponements have been announced. ESL One Los Angeles, which takes place on March 20-22, has not been affected at this time. However, recent updates suggest that teams participating in the event traveling from mainland China may have visa issues associated with entering the United States due to travel restrictions implemented by the government.
Call of Duty
No significant changes, cancellations, or postponements have been announced. However, the league did announce some guidelines and what measures it would be taking to help alleviate concerns for the Los Angeles Guerillas-OpTic Gaming home series which took place March 7-8.
- Comprehensive cleaning of the venue and player areas and equipment each day, before and after use.
- Onsite medical professionals, including a physician and nurse.
- Well-stocked hand-washing supplies in all restrooms.
- Increased access to hand sanitizer.
- Cancellation of meet-and-greets, team walkouts, and autograph signings with players.
- The Rocket League World Championship for Season 9 has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Dallas was set to host the event from April 24-26.
- Teams have been told the remaining league matches will be played online, instead of in the Psyonix studio. Psyonix has added $250K USD to the Regional Championships prize pool as these will now be the highest level of competition.
The Hearthstone Masters Tour Indonesia has been moved to Los Angeles and will be played entirely online. Players that had already booked their travel to play in the event will be reimbursed.
Electronic Arts has postponed Major 1 of the Apex Legends Global Series that was set to play from March 13-15, 2020.
The FIFA Global Series, FUT Champions Cup Stage V Bucharest that was set to take place from May 2-3, 2020 has been postponed.
- The Capcom Pro Tour has removed Brussels Challenge 2020, Norcal Regionals 2020, and April Annihilation 2020 for this year’s pro tour.
- Tokyo TEKKEN Masters has been canceled by BANDAI NAMCO.
- The TEKKEN Pro Championship has been moved to a stream only event.
- Qualifiers for the TEKKEN World Tour 2020 and SOULCALIBUR World Tour 2020 will be rescheduled for a later date.
- NetherRealm Studios announced that Final Kombat (a Mortal Kombat Tournament) will not have a live audience.
The Free Fire Champions Cup 2020, originally set for April 19 in Jakarta, Indonesia, has been postponed.
The 2020 Pokémon Europe International Championships 2020 that was to take place in Berlin, Germany, from April 17-19 have been canceled.
- TwitchCon Amsterdam has been canceled. The event was originally set to take place on May 2-3, 2020.
- The Game Developers Conference (GDC) which takes place every year in San Francisco has been postponed. The event was set to take place from March 16-20.
- The NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference slated for March 22-26 in San Jose, California, has shifted to an online-only conference.
- Minecraft Festival 2020 has been postponed from its original dates of Sept. 25-27, 2020. No announcement of news dates has occurred.
- SXSW 2020 has been canceled.