The COVID-19 coronavirus has been affecting one esports tournament after the other, to the extent that such news is almost expected rather than surprising now.
If you’re wondering what got cancelled, postponed, or moved online, we’ve made a list of major tournaments (or tournaments involving major games) that got affected by this pandemic.
Various EA Tournaments
EA announced that they would be suspending all of their live esports events. This meant that the EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series, FIFA Online 4 Live Events, Madden NFL 20 Championship Series, and the inaugural Apex Legends Global Series were affected.
EA didn’t mention when the events would be rescheduled to, but said that “This suspension of events and broadcasts will start today, March 13th, and will be in effect until the global coronavirus situation improves.”
League of Legends
Near the middle of March, it was announced that the Legends European Championship (LEC) Spring Splits would be broadcast from studios with no audience or press present. Then, the LEC was suspended entirely. Later, it ended up coming back but in an online-only format.
Riot Game’s Head of Esports Europe Alberto Guerrero explained that after the suspension, no staff or player have yet to test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, they decided to adopt a work from home stance as a safety measure.
Similarly, the League of Legends Championship Series and Academy Spring Split were suspended, but later returned with online matches.
The ESL One Dota 2 Major was postponed due to both the Covid-19 situation and the US travel restriction. It was originally meant to be held in Los Angeles from 20 March to 22 March. ESL said that they were working with Valve to decide on a new date and venue.
In addition, the fourth “minor and major tournaments of the DPC season” have been cancelled.
The Overwatch League was originally meant to persevere with online matches after some of its live events were cancelled, but those matches ended up being postponed due to California’s stay-at-home order.
“We will share more details on match rescheduling and look forward to returning to action soon,” the Overwatch League said.
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty League swapped live events for online-only matches for health and safety reasons. In a statement, they said:
“Call of Duty League has seen firsthand the power of our live events in our inaugural season and will return to city-based competition in front of live audiences as soon as it is safe and logistically possible.
In the interim, Call of Duty League is confident it will continue to deliver fans what they want: amazing competition between the best players, competing at the highest level, for the right to be considered the greatest team on earth.”
After shifting to an online format in early March, the Masters Tour Los Angeles found itself partially affected recently by California’s stay-at-home order.
The matches will still take place, but broadcasts have been cancelled. The tournament still hopes to showcase the Top 8 matches though.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The ESL Pro League Season 11 also went for an online format, with the venue of the finals shifting from 1STBANK Center in Denver to a studio location sans live audience in Europe. ESL originally planned to have the studio location be in Malta, but the decision was affected by the country’s “wide range of ravel restrictions and quarantine regulations”.
In late February, the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 was held sans live audience, as its mass event license was revoked less than a day before the event due to COVID-19 fears (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun).
Rainbow Six Siege
Ubisoft and ESL decided to cancel the APAC LAN finals and the Rainbow Six Pro League Season 11 Finals in São Paulo, Brazil as a result of Covid-19 and travel restrictions.
However, it was announced that “The online portion of Rainbow Six Pro League will proceed as planned”.
PUBG and PUBG Mobile
In mid-February, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds postponed its April’s PUBG Global Series (PGS) Berlin event and cancelled its Chinese qualifiers for the event (via Reuters). More recently, in mid-March, PUBG Mobile announced that they would postpone the PUBG Mobile Pro League Americas and the PUBG Mobile World League to later this year.
“The health of our players, staff and contractors is our highest priority. While we’re saddened to post-pone our tournament, we’re dedicated to ensuring the safety of everyone involved.”
“We also see this as an opportunity to mobilize esports, and we’re working closely with our teams to further improve coverage of our servers around the world & Americas.” says Director of PUBG MOBILE Global Esports James Yang.
The NBA 2K League announced that they would postpone the start of their 2020 season, which was meant to kick off on 24 March.
“The health and well-being of our players, teams and fans are of paramount importance,” they wrote.
“We will continue to evaluate the situation and do everything possible to bring the excitement of the NBA 2K League to our fans through remote preseason exhibitions and other content. We look forward to sharing additional information about these exhibitions and the start of the 2020 season as it becomes available.”
Bandai Namco announced that they had postponed the Tokyo TEKKEN Masters Tournament to a “later date in 2020” in early March.
“Due to the highly dynamic nature surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which has had global health implications, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. will take every possible consideration into account prior to rescheduling the Tokyo TEKKEN Masters Tournament,” they wrote.
“Our goal and focus are to provide safe and healthy conditions for all of our tournaments to take place.”
Various Capcom stuff
Capcom decided to cancel/postpone several fighting game tournaments due to health concerns. The cancelled ones are the Brussels Challenge (Belgium), Norcal Regionals (USA), April Annihilation (USA), and Taipei Major (Taiwan).
Meanwhile, the Fighter’s Spirit (Korea) and the MIXUP (France) were postponed to August. The former’s dates were moved from March 28-29 to August 11-12, while the latter had its dates moved from April 18-19 to August 18-19.
“CAPCOM will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments to the schedule as the need arises,” they said in a statement. “The safety of our fans and players is our top priority. We apologize for any inconvenience to the players, community, production partners and tournament organizers; and we thank you for your understanding.”
Know of any regional or local tournaments and esports events that are postponed, made into online events, or cancelled? Let us know either here or on our Facebook page.