During the hiatus caused by the coronavirus outbreak, LPL will fill the empty days with an online scrim league, the league confirmed Thursday. The matches will begin February 26 and will feature Top Esports, JD Gaming, eStar, Suning, and Victory 5. Two matches will be played each day.
This is a small consolation for the fans who’ve been waiting for some LPL action during this indefinite break. In January, the LPL administration announced that the league will go on hiatus due to the rising threat of the coronavirus, which at the time had resulted in close to 2,000 affected, with the death toll approaching 60. The epidemic has since spread to infect thousands more. According to the World Health Organization, more than 75,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally. 74,000 of them are in mainland China, and the death toll has surpassed 2,000.
Nowadays, the spread of the virus has slowed down and many people are back to their work places, but situation is still serious in Hubei province, from whose capital city Wuhan the virus originally spread.
There is still no information when the true LPL will resume. The league was supposed to return Feb. 5, right after the Chinese New Year festivities, but the virus outbreak delayed it indefinitely. This poses a whole new problem on the league: the LPL runs a packed schedule, with matches every single day of the week. Massive delays would push the end date very close to MSI 2020 — a tournament which traditionally starts first week of May. In 2019, the break between the LPL Playoffs and MSI was less than two weeks and 2020 LPL Spring is already two weeks overdue.