Matches will still be played and broadcast online.
In the recent string of cancellations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, it’s now the Overwatch League which has cancelled its live events. Homestands in China and South Korea were already cancelled beforehand. However, it’s now confirmed that all live events for March and April have been cancelled.
In a recent statement, Activision Blizzard said, “The health and safety of employees, fans, players, teams, and partners is paramount to Activision Blizzard Esports. We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus), city-level recommendations and mandates, and all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Activision Blizzard esports CEO Pete Vlastelica noted on Twitter that matches will still be played and broadcast throughout both months.
Vlastelica also said that the exact schedule for matches will be shared “soon” so expect certain matches to be shuffled around. Events that were recently postponed due to COVID-19 include GDC 2020 and BitSummit 2020. Even the vaunted E3 2020 has been cancelled with the ESA looking to hold an online event of sorts.
Publishers like Microsoft are working around the cancellations, planning livestreams for GDC 2020 content next week and an Xbox digital event to compensate for E3. Ubisoft is also exploring options for a “digital experience” of sorts. In the meantime, Nintendo is reported to be hosting a Nindies Showcase next week followed by a Nintendo Direct by March end to outline the company’s 2020 line-up.
To be clear, we WILL be playing matches in March and April. We cancelled the events, not the matches (though we will have to move a few things around in the schedule to make this work). https://t.co/guxoTWLhMk— Pete Vlastelica (@PeteVlastelica) March 11, 2020
And yes, the matches will be broadcast. https://t.co/ovM50K1TLN— Pete Vlastelica (@PeteVlastelica) March 11, 2020
YouTube, yes. Not quite ready to share the exact schedule but will soon.— Pete Vlastelica (@PeteVlastelica) March 11, 2020