Coronavirus hits Dota 2 with delays to ESL One Major qualifiers

Steven Rondina • February 5, 12:30

Dota 2 isn’t immune to the effects of the coronavirus.

Just a few days out from the ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifiers, Valve has rescheduled the proceedings for the Chinese region. While the open qualifiers will kick off on February 7 for the other five regions, China’s schedule was pushed back five days to February 12.

The announcement was made through Huomao TV in a notice on social media platform WeChat, which was obtained by VP Esports.

“Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Valve has decided to postpone the CN open qualifier and the ensuing closed qualifier for the Los Angeles Major. The new date for the open qualifier will be February 12th, while the time for the closed qualifier is yet to be decided. Please continue your team’s registration on Perfect World’s PVP platform for the open qualifier,” the statement reads.

It is unclear what prompted Valve to take action, but travel in China has been severely limited due to travel restrictions implemented by local authorities. This undoubtedly impacted teams’ abilities to prepare for the qualifiers, which likely led to this decision. It if unclear why Valve waited until just a few days before the previously scheduled start time to make this announcement.

Though this delay is a significant inconvenience, this likely won’t have any impact on Chinese teams’ ability to compete in the ESL One Los Angeles Major, with the event kicking off on March 15.

ESL One Los Angeles not the only esports event hit by coronavirus

China is a major player across a number of major esports titles. Because of that, esports fans have gotten to witness how much of an impact the pandemic has had on the country with a number of different events being scrapped.

The most high-profile example of this is China’s LPL League of Legends league having its spring season indefinitely delayed and potentially cancelled. Other Asian LoL leagues have also been impacted with Korea’s LCK not hosting live crowds for their games and the PCS being postponed.

Things are no better in Overwatch. The Overwatch League’s third season will see franchises host games in their home cities, with the Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Shanghai Dragons all planning live events. All of those events have since been cancelled.

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