Neslyn A. March 4, 2020
The show will go on for Dota 2 fans at the ESL One LA Major.
Despite coronavirus concerns swirling, ESL assured fans that the tournament is currently slated to continue on as planned. With less than two weeks to prepare and esports events around the world being impacted, North American Dota 2 fans had serious cause for concern.
"The ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major will happen as planned on March 20-22 at Shrine Auditorium. We are in close contact with the local authorities, and if there is any reason to suggest that the event is not perfectly safe we will re-evaluate and react to the new situation. As of now, the venue, the authorities, and ESL evaluate the event to be safe to attend," ESL said in a statement.
Countless public gatherings of all sorts have been changed, delayed, or cancelled as preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus. Lunar New Year celebrations in China were cancelled en masse, which was followed by a number of other conventions and festivals.
Chinese esports leagues were hit particularly hard. Blizzard Entertainment has canceled several months' worth of homestands for its Chinese franchises, and League of Legends' LPL was postponed for several weeks and is now set to be played as an online league. These issues have since extended into South Korea for both Overwatch and LoL, as the LCK has been postponed indefinitely and events organized by the Seoul Dynasty have been scrapped.
Coronavirus has hit esports events like ESL One LA Major
ESL took a hard hit just last week when it suddenly cancelled all tickets sold for its IEM Katowice 2020 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event. IEM Katowice is one of the largest annual events on the CSGO calendar. The organizers were forced to restrict entry at the behest of local officials.
ESL told fans that it does not anticipate any external authorities that will require the event to be closed to the public.
“The venue is a private space not subject to public large gathering permits like in Katowice, but we will work closely with AEG and the venue operator and local health authorities to monitor the situation and adjust our plans if necessary,” ESL posted on its blog.
ESL is monitoring the situation and it will inform ticket holders if there are any changes in the plan. As of now, tickets are not refundable. There will also be additional health and safety measures on-site for the welfare of the attendees.