Events cancelled worldwide of gaming due to coronavirus
Covid-19 is the formal name for a flu-like disease that originated in Wuhan, China, and has now infected more than 90,000 people and killed about 3,000 people globally and continues to spread around the world.
While World Health Organization officials insist that Covid-19 isn’t yet an epidemic , concerns that it’s going to become one have led organizers to cancel major global events across every industry, from fashion to technology, design, and hospitality. That’s not just an expensive and logistical nightmare but it’s also a major loss for the industries they represent, the organizers, and the participants. And it could add to the burden coronavirus has already placed on the world economy.
GDC 2020 is officially canceled due to coronavirus
After one superstar participant after another (Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon) announced it might not send people to the show over concerns about the spread of coronavirus, GDC 2020 organizers have announced the event is off. It was scheduled to take place between March 16th and 20th, and in a statement, they said “we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer.”
This announcement comes just hours after officials announced a second case of the virus in California with an unknown origin. After Mobile World Congress, in the week we’ve already seen Facebook’s F8 developer event and therefore the Geneva Motor Show drop off of the schedule, and it seems unlikely that they will be the last ones.
Those who were planning on attending should have received an email with answers to some of their questions about refunds for passes and hotels booked within the convention’s block. Right now the plan is for “many” of the presentations that would have been given to be submitted via video and made available for free viewing online. The Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, as well as some of those talks, will stream on Twitch during the week the event would have taken place.
The worldwide coronavirus outbreak has caused cancellations of events across dozens of sports worldwide as well as raised questions about whether this year’s Tokyo Olympics will be affected. Gaming and esports have also felt the impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Here’s a list of the events postponed, canceled or otherwise affected by the coronavirus, with the most recent announcements listed first.
March | February | January
Friday, March 6
OWL announces precautions for Washington Justice homestand
The Overwatch League announced that the homestand taking place in Washington D.C. will go ahead as planned, albeit with additional health precautions due to concerns around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The precautions will include comprehensive cleaning of the venue every day, well-stocked handwashing supplies in all restrooms, increased access to hand sanitizer, signage around the venue instructing people to wash their hands and adjustments from meet and greets to Q&As instead after the final match of the day.
First Apex Legends Global Series Major postponed
Electronic Arts announced the postponement and cancellation of several Apex Legends Global Series and FIFA Global Series events on Friday due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
NeatherRealm Studios cuts off public access day before Chicago tournament
NetherRealm Studios decided against a live audience at Final Kombat, one of their premier Mortal Kombat 11 events in Chicago, and cancelled a last-chance qualifier, citing concerns around the potential spread of the coronavirus.
European International Championships shut down on recommendation of public health officials
The Pokémon Company announced that it would postpone the Pokémon European International Championships, citing health officials’ recommendations due to rising concerns about the growth in coronavirus cases. The championships were set for Berlin on April 17-19.
Hearthstone Masters moves to online-only format
A $250,000 Hearthstone Masters Tour event, scheduled to be played offline in Los Angeles on March 20-22, now will be an online competition because of worries over the coronavirus.
The event, which was expected to draw 40 pro players to L.A., already had been relocated from Indonesia over concerns of the coronavirus.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
FLASHPOINT adjusts opening weekend, cancels April tourney
FLASHPOINT, a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league set to kick off March 13, announced that it would hold its debut event entirely in a Los Angeles studio and canceled an April playoff event in Stockholm because of the coronavirus outbreak.
League of Legends
League European Championship moves spring final; LCS “carefully monitoring” outbreak
The League of Legends European Championship will move its spring split final scheduled for April 25-26 from Budapest, Hungary, to Berlin, citing concerns of the spread of the coronavirus, Riot Games announced.
The League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split Finals are still scheduled to take place in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, on April 18-19, the league announced Friday, but the game developer is “carefully monitoring” the situation.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty League takes extra precautions for Los Angeles homestand
The home series for the Los Angeles Guerrillas and OpTic Gaming LA scheduled for this weekend will go on as planned, as organizers say preparations have been made to protect players and fans amid rising concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
Mutineers’ Prestinni cites coronavirus as part of decision to skip L.A. tourney
Florida Mutineers SMG support Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson will not play for the team during the Call of Duty League Los Angeles homestand, because of “team approved personal reasons,” the Mutineers announced.
In a social media post, Prestinni suggested the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has begun to hit multiple cities on the West Coast, was part of the the reason he’s skipping the event.
Twitch cancels TwitchCon Amsterdam
Twitch removed the TwitchCon Amsterdam leg of its biannual conference scheduled for May 2-3, citing concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. On March 6, The Associated Press reported that there are more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide, with the majority in China. In Europe, several countries have confirmed cases, with Italy confirming more than 79 deaths, the most on the continent.
Monday, March 2
League of Legends
As coronavirus cases soar, South Korea postpones LCK play
South Korea’s domestic League of Legends league are going to be suspended for its last half , from March 9 onward, due to the spread of coronavirus within the country, Riot Games announced.
Previously, the LCK had closed its media room until further notice after host Mina Kim was taken to the hospital with a fever. She tested negative for the virus, but staff and journalists were put under an 11-hour quarantine during the test, and the media room was closed shortly afterward.
Friday, Feb. 28
Street Fighter V
Three Capcom Pro Tour dates scrapped due to spread of coronavirus
The Capcom Pro Tour announced the removal of Brussels Challenge 2020, Norcal Regionals 2020 and April Annihilation 2020 from its calendar due to concerns over the outbreak of the coronavirus.
League of Legends
China’s LPL to resume play in online format
China’s League of Legends Pro League announced that it would be resuming official League of Legends pro play March 9. Matches are going to be played online until the league can safely clear esports venues.
All LPL players will be required to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period and pass all local health requirements to ensure their physical health and that they are free of the virus. Players will participate in matches via their club headquarters unless they are in quarantined provinces like Hubei, where the virus originated, and are unable to travel. On-site referees are going to be used whenever available to make sure the fairness and competitive integrity of the league.
Thursday, Feb. 27
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
IEM Katowice cuts out crowd as coronavirus precaution
The Intel Extreme Masters Katowice event in Katowice, Poland, did not have an on-site audience because of area politicians’ worries about potential coronavirus contamination.
There weren’t any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Poland at the time, but Jaroslaw Wieczorek, the governor of Silesia, made the decision to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the region, according to tournament organizer ESL.
Monday, Feb. 24
Overwatch League matches from Weeks 5-7 in South Korea cut
The Overwatch League officially postponed the homestand at Seoul, South Korea, scheduled for March 7-8 — in addition to Week 6 and 7 homestands — because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Gen.G, Seoul Dynasty announce plan to donate to coronavirus charities
The Seoul Dynasty and sister organization Gen.G Esports announced they would donate all proceeds from an upcoming March homestand, in-game skins and merchandise sales through the end of March to charities helping those affected by the coronavirus.
League of Legends
China’s LPL plans scrimmage broadcast amid coronavirus hiatus
While China’s League of Legends Pro League officially remained on hiatus thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, competition resumed within the sort of broadcasted online scrimmages between LPL teams beginning on Feb. 26.
Friday, Feb. 14
OWL announces China homestands will move to South Korea
The Overwatch League released an update regarding the cancelled Chinese homestands in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou due to the coronavirus.
Makeup matches for these homestands were to be held in Seoul. Some were to be played in a studio in Seoul during Weeks 6-7, while others were supposed be added to the Seoul Dynasty’s homestand in Dongdaemun, Seoul during Week 5, March 7-8.
Wednesday, Jan. 29
OWL cancels February and March homestands in China
The Overwatch League announced that February and March homestands scheduled to require place in China were cancelled to guard the health and safety of fans in light of the coronavirus that has been affecting the country.
Saturday, Jan. 25
League of Legends
China’s LPL and LDL postpone season as outbreak worsens
China’s League of Legends Pro League and League of Legends Development League announced that they had postponed their seasons amid the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
The LPL and LDL were set to resume Feb. 3 after a break for the Lunar New Year.