First it hit Overwatch League. Then League of Legends’ LCK. Now, the coronavirus has claimed Apex Legends.
The newly announced Apex Legends Global Series will see its first event postponed by EA Games in an effort to keep the gaming community safe from the spreading disease. The first major was supposed to take place on March 13-15 in Arlington, Texas, but will now be postponed, with a new date to be announced in the “near future.”
Fans who purchased tickets to the major, as well as other live EA events, will receive refunds within four to six weeks. EA stated it is currently focused on addressing the reimbursement of air travel and hotel expenses for canceled and postponed tournaments, but no further details have been given.
“These decisions haven’t come easy, but given the large, global nature of these events, we believe that making these changes are in the best interest of protecting the health of the community, including competitors, attendees and staff,” EA said in a press release.
The game developer said it will “continue to monitor the situation,” using advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization to determine what to do with other upcoming events.
The Apex Legends Global Series Online Tournament #2, which takes place the following weekend, will continue as planned, as will all other online competitions.
100 teams were slated to compete in the first Apex Legends major next weekend for their share of the $500,000 prize pool. Top esports brands such as Team SoloMid, Natus Vincere, Rogue, and Fnatic were scheduled to take part.
March has been a rocky month for other esports tournaments and events. The LEC announced on March 6 that the 2020 LEC Spring Finals would no longer take place in Bucharest. Instead, it will be in the LEC Studio in Berlin.
The same day, LCS, TwitchCon Amsterdam, and the SXSW convention all announced further alterations to their schedule including cancellations due to the outbreak.