Jessica S. March 20, 2020
Blizzard has announced today that this weekend’s scheduled Overwatch League online matches are cancelled due to a “Safer at Home” emergency order entered by the City of Los Angeles.
This is the latest in a series of upsets which has been caused by the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. The vast majority of live esports events have already been cancelled due to the virus, but this is one of the few online events that have seen such a cancellation.
The Overwatch Contenders games are still set to happen next week, which are always streamed online only.
Fans, players, and staff are all understanding of the cancellations, but many are concerned that it could cause a serious upheaval to the rest of the season’s games. With March and April homestands already cancelled, this new cancellation of an online-only series of matches has fans wondering if they will even see Season 3 come to a close, or if the games will be cancelled altogether for the remainder of the year.
Blizzard cancels OWL games due to coronavirus concerns
The official statement released by Blizzard says that fans will hear more details on the rescheduling of matches soon, but with the spread of the virus potentially in its infancy in the United States, there’s no telling what the Blizzard team will ultimately decide to do.
This weekend was supposed to see the reemergence of many teams that weren’t able to play at all this season due to the spread of the virus in Asia and Europe. Because half of the League still hasn’t played yet, the leaderboards are only able to reflect the performance of teams that had been unaffected by the virus at the start of the season.
Overwatch League, along with many other esports tournaments, is in for a rough time as organizers scramble to come up with solutions. Many accepted an online-only version of the tournaments, but with this cancellation of that planned online event, it is uncertain when players will be able to return to any sort of action this season.