Chinese Overwatch League Matches Cancelled by Blizzard Over Coronavirus
The latest reports set the Coronavirus' death toll at 170, leading Blizzard to cancel upcoming Overwatch League matches in the next 2 months.
China’s recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has led Blizzard to cancel all Overwatch League matches scheduled to take place over the next two months. The company made the following announcement on Twitter.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 30, 2020
This decision also comes after last year’s announcement from Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer that teams would play games in their home towns. The 2020 season of the Overwatch League would have been the first in the League’s history for this decision to have taken place, but with the global impact of the Coronavirus’ spread, it makes sense that Blizzard would try to do its part to prevent further potential exposure to the outbreak.
The matches that have been canceled were scheduled to take place across China, in Shanghai, Foshan and Hangzhou. Some teams are even making the decision to move their players out of the country to avoid the Coronavirus outbreak. The Guangzhou Charge and the Shanghai Dragons have both made such announcements, while the Chengdu Hunters have opted to remain in China. Chengdu’s decision is based on the Chinese government’s suggestions and prevention procedures to keep players and those around them safe.
This news comes as the death toll of the virus jumps to 170 people, according to the latest reports (via The New York Times). The Coronavirus spreads mostly through close contact or through the air if someone is coughing or sneezing. The World Health Organization is currently debating whether or not the virus requires an international public health emergency to be made. Currently, Russia is potentially closing its 2600 mile border with China.