The Overwatch League has cancelled Week 5, 6 and 7 which were set to take place in South Korea due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, league officials confirmed via a statement on Twitter.
The league had already cancelled all homestand events in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou moving them to South Korean but had, until now, held off making a decision on the Seoul Dynasty home stand event.
But the situation has worsened in South Korean over the weekend, with a reported 786 cases of coronavirus including 7 deaths - prompting South Korean authorities to raise its coronavirus alert to the "highest level" and for the Overwatch League to cancel events planned in the country.
“In order to protect the health and safety of our planers, fans, and staff, we are cancelling plans to host Overwatch League 2020 matches in South Korean in Weeks 5, 6, and 7 including the Seoul Dynasty home event,” said the OWL in a statement on Twitter.
In order to protect the health & safety of our players, fans, & staff, we are canceling plans to host #OWL2020 matches in South Korea in Weeks 5, 6, and 7, including the @SeoulDynasty home event.— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) February 24, 2020
We’ll share more info about when and where matches will take place at a later.
Dynasty who were expected to host six matches over 7-8 March (Week 5) issued a statement regarding the cancellation.
“In order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff, we will no longer be holding the March Seoul Dynasty Homestand event in Seoul on March 7th and 8th. We are working with the league on rescheduling these matches, and will share more information through the league when available. We are making every effort to ensure our players’ well-being and safety. Please stay safe during this difficult time.”
(Credit: Seoul Dynasty)
This sets the Overwatch League schedule back considerably - the previously delayed Chinese homestands had been rescheduled for Weeks 6 and 7 and were expected to take place in South Korea, these are now cancelled, along with the Seoul Dynasty Homestand scheduled for Week 5.
The Overwatch League is just one of a number of esports that have been affected by the deadly coronavirus outbreak, China's premier League of Legends competition, the LPL, is still on hiatus after the decision to put the tournament on hold, with its replacement being played online.
Blizzard has yet to announce where and when the delayed South Korean and Chinese matches will take place.