The coronavirus is affecting more and more esports schedules, and the last one is that of the Overwatch League. OWL confirmed Monday that “in order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans and staff”, it has cancelled all OWL matches in South Korea for weeks 5 to 7.
The schedule change also affects two Seoul Dynasty homestand events, originally planned for March 7-8. The Dynasty confirmed that “a full refund will be issued” for those who purchased tickets for the March homestand event, and that management is working with the league to reschedule the games.
This is the second cancellation of OWL matches due to coronavirus concerns. The first one happened when OWL cancelled all homestand matches of the China-based Shanghai Dragons, Guangzhou Charge, and Chengu Hunters franchises and then moving them to Seoul, South Korea for healthy concerns.
This has seriously impacted the progress of the Pacific Conference, where all the Asian teams reside. None of the three Chinese franchises, nor the Seoul Dynasty, have played a single match. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Conference is in full progress, with some teams like the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior having finished their fourth match already.
The rescheduling also raises an issue with Seoul Dynasty’s recent decision to donate all March homestand proceedings to charity funds helping coronavirus victims. With the homestand event now being cancelled due to very same epidemic it wanted to help, it remains to be seen whether Gen.G and the Dynasty will extend or change the donation period to accommodate for the homestand rescheduling.
In the esports scene next door, League of Legends matches in China and Korea has also been affected. China’s LPL is still on indefinite hiatus, with the league recently announcing that it will host an online scrim league to give fans at least some content. Meanwhile, in Korea, LCK matches have been played with no crowd in attendance.