Riot turns fans away from LCK Spring Split amid coronavirus fears

Melany M. January 31, 2020

The 2020 LCK Spring season will proceed as scheduled, but with a major change sure to displease Korean fans.

Earlier this week, Riot Games Korea issued a statement saying that it was considering delaying the start of the LCK due to the coronavirus outbreak. The statement was made just days after the LPL confirmed that the tournament was postponed indefinitely.

While there are only a handful of cases confirmed in South Korea, the local government is looking to preempt any issues with the disease. A number of public gatherings in China, most notably Lunar New Year celebrations, have been cancelled to prevent spreading of the coronavirus.

Because of that, Riot Korea has decided that the LCK will begin on schedule, but without a live audience in attendance. This will force Koreans to enjoy the show from their homes.

LPL 2020 Spring Split likely cancelled, PCS opening delayed

The LCK has been saved but the same cannot be said for the LPL. The General Administration of Sport of China advised that all events are canceled until April, at least. Unless there is a change in policy, this means that the LPL 2020 Spring Split is effectively cancelled.

The LPL could move to an online format to keep the action going, but most of the players have left their teams' training facilities and are back in their hometowns. Given the travel restrictions across China and the quarantines of several cities, it is likely that some players wouldn't even be able to return to their teams' headquarters at this point.

Alongside this, the new Pacific Championship Series has delayed its opening. Though the season was already set to be played online, travel restrictions have forced the season to be postponed. The PCS is yet to announce the new schedule.

In Japan, the LJL will proceed as intended and start on February 8. The league didn’t deem it necessary to make any changes and will have a live audience during the weekend. The VCS in Vietnam will also proceed as scheduled.