Despite announcing just this week that Overwatch League matches would continue online, Blizzard has been forced to cancel the first round of online matches, which were due to take place this weekend, due to a new California statewide ‘stay at home’ order.
“For the overall safety and well-being of our players, teams and staffs, and in alignment with California’s statewide ‘stay at home’ order, we are canceling this weekend’s scheduled Overwatch League competition. We will share more details on match rescheduling and look forward to returning to action soon,” said the Overwatch League in a statement.
The order affects three Overwatch League teams based in California, namely the Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, and San Francisco Shock, as well as league production staff residing in the state.
Those three teams, alongside the Seoul Dynasty, were originally scheduled to compete in the league’s first weekend of online matches.
A total of 16 matches were also scheduled to be played from March 28-29. There has been no word from the league whether those will be postponed as well.
In response to the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the Overwatch League notably canceled its live Homestand events in China, South Korea, and the United States for the months of February, March, and April. The league also opted to move its canceled matches for March and April online in order to continue league play amid the crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the global esports industry, with the League of Legends professional leagues in North America, Europe, and South Korea notably also being forced to move online.
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