Coronavirus postpones LoL, Street Fighter and CS: GO esport tournaments
The coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide and has 90,000 confirmed cases, has already crossed the border of China, where the virus was first discovered. Several countries in Europe along with the US and Brazil have patients with the dangerous virus, officially called Covid-19. Events had to be postponed because of the outbreak, such as the Game Developers Conference, GDC, which would take place in March, and threatens even the biggest gaming event, E3, which takes place in June in the US. Coronavirus also postponed or cancelled esport tournaments in 2020.
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive playoffs, did not have a local audience. By order of Governor Jarosław Wieczorek, visitors were banned from the site as safety measure against the coronavirus. The intention was to avoid public gathering to prevent the virus from spreading. The matches took place normally and were broadcast. ESL, which organizes the tournament, returned the money to everyone who bought a ticket.
Another game affected by the coronavirus outbreak was PUBG. The popular free battle royale had its first tournament of the year postponed. The PGS Berlin 2020 would take place in late March and has been postponed to a date yet to be defined. “With the health and safety of our players, employees and fans at the top of our priorities, we made the difficult decision to postpone PGS,” said PUBG Corportation in an official statement.
League of Legends was also affected. LoL Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2020 date and location announcement was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus. Riot Games has not yet revealed the tournament date.
Street Fighter V would have Capcom Pro Tour matches, but three tournaments were canceled: the Brussels Challenge, which would take place between March 20th and 22th in Belgium, the Norcal Regionals, to be held between April 10th and 12th, in the USA and April Annihilation, also in the USA. The scores that would be given to the winners of these tournaments will be canceled, but the competition’s ranking will not be changed.
Devs also affected
It wasn’t just the gaming tournaments that suffered from the coronavirus outbreak. Free Fire, the most played battle royale at the moment, did not receive its big February update on the scheduled day. Instead, it was only on the 28th that the Khalahari map finally arrived in addition to a new game mode called Training Island.
The Training Island mode is aimed at players who want to improve their combat skills outside an active war zone. Users will be able to experience weapons and character skills. According to Garena, the mode offers two options: a shooting range with all the weapons available in the game and a kind of arena in which players can fight each other.