For the Overwatch League, the games must go on. Starting March 21, the League will continue to play scheduled matches in a live online format amid the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Overwatch League previously canceled ten homestand events scheduled for the months of March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic. The affected homestand matches will be continued online and broadcasted live on the league’s YouTube channel, with videos to be made available on demand shortly after.
“Online play allows us to prioritize the health and safety of our entire community while still continuing to bring fans high-quality entertainment and competition,” the Overwatch League said in a statement.
The Overwatch League said that they are working on a revamped match schedule that will allow all of its teams around the world to begin competing this month. To minimize latency concerns, teams will compete within three groups based on regional geography.
The league will share the restructured match schedules for March and April to the public next week.
The league added that they will also be canceling the Midseason Tournament and moving the All-Star Weekend event to a later date after the 2020 season due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With that said, the Overwatch League said that they still plan on returning to its previously-planned team-hosted homestand competitions in front of live audiences “as soon as it is safe and logistically possible.”
The coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt the global esports industry, with events such as the ESL One Los Angeles Dota 2 Major and League of Legends’ Mid-Season Invitational notably being postponed as the pandemic continues to worsen.