Blizzard have cancelled a series of Overwatch League matches that were set to take place in South Korea over the next few weeks, “in order to protect the health and safety of players, fans and staff”. This comes just a few weeks after they announced they were cancelling the games scheduled for China amid coronavirus fears. Blizzard have said they’ll be trying to reschedule the matches, so for now it’s a bit of a waiting game to see what happens with the coronavirus outbreak.
Some of the Overwatch League games affected in South Korea include the Seoul Dynasty Homestand matches, as well as the matches that were rescheduled to take place in Korea following their cancellations in China. Dynasty have released a statement to explain the situation to fans, and assure that anyone who’s bought a ticket for the Homestand will be able to get a refund.
“We are working with the league on rescheduling these matches and will share more information through the league when it is available,” they tweeted.
“We are making every effort to ensure our players’ well-being and safety. Please stay safe during this difficult time.”
The new coronavirus started out in the Wuhan region of China back in December 2019, and has since spread to 29 other countries through travel. With over 1700 confirmed cases of the virus outside of China, countries like Russia and Korea are setting up quarantines at their borders to stop it from spreading further.
The Overwatch League is having a rough go of it in its third season. The matches planned for China and South Korea were part of the league’s Homestand series, in which teams were to host games in their home cities. With these two countries knocked out for the time being, it looks like we could be waiting for a while to see the Asian teams playing on their home turf.
These aren’t the only events impacted by coronavirus, though. Not only have Sony and Facebook have pulled out of GDC because of it, but a Chinese League Of Legends tournament has been put on hold as well.
It’s a shame to see so much grinding to a halt because of this, but ultimately the right decisions are being made to keep players, staff and fans safe.
Do also read Alexis Ong’s look at the Chinese indie developers working under the quarantine.