Blizzard Entertainment has announced that it has canceled this year’s BlizzCon due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve had many discussions about what holding a convention could look like in light of all the health and safety considerations we’d want to make. We’ve also talked about different paths we could take, and how each one could be complicated by fluctuations in national and local health guidelines in the months ahead. Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year,” said Blizzcon Executive Producer Saralyn Smith in a statement.

Despite canceling this year’s BlizzCon, Blizzard is still looking to hold a virtual event in its place sometime early next year.

“We’re talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online, far less impacted by the state of health and safety protocols for mass in-person gatherings,” said Smith.

In addition to switching to a virtual setting for BlizzCon, Blizzard also said that they are looking into alternative methods for holding the esports competitions that take place alongside the annual convention.

BlizzCon 2019, which was held from November 1-2 last year, notably hosted the Overwatch World Cup, Hearthstone Global Finals, and the Starcraft II World Championship Global Finals.

“We’re feeling deeply disappointed about this decision, and imagine many of you will feel the same. I truly love BlizzCon, and I know that’s a sentiment shared by everyone at Blizzard. We will sorely miss connecting with so many of you at the convention and “recharging our geek batteries” this fall. But we will meet again!” said Smith.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the gaming and esports industries. Many esports tournaments and gaming events all around the globe have either been canceled, postponed, or shifted online in response to the scale and dire effects of the virus.

Check out our list here to see every gaming and esports event that has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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