The outbreak of coronavirus worldwide brought an overwhelming concern to the whole game industry. We’ve discussed the impact of coronavirus in a previous article, and here are some updates from the past two weeks.
All live Overwatch events will be canceled but matches will resume online according to Blizzard’s announcement made earlier today.
Matches will resume on March 21, and will be broadcasted live on Youtube. Teams will play in three groups determined by geographic compatibility to minimize latency issues.
E3 2020 is canceled because of the growing concerns over the novel coronavirus. This world’s biggest trade show in video games was planned to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June.
The organizer of E3, Entertainment Software Association, explained that this difficult decision was made “after careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry”. There were a few sources said that E3 will be canceled on Tuesday night, but it was until Wednesday morning that ESA published an official statement of cancellation.
After the statement was issued, big names such as Microsoft and Ubisoft announced to move the planned events digital. Other major publishers and developers have not released their plans regarding the cancellation yet.
According to XBOX chief Phil Spencer, Microsoft planned to present more details of XBOX Series X in its digital E3 event. Microsoft will be releasing its next-gen game console in holiday 2020, though there are doubts that it might be delayed due to the suspension of its supply chain in China.
Ubisoft also issued an update indicating that they are “exploring other options for a digital experience that will allow us to share all the exciting news we have planned.”
The officials of the Game Developers Conference announced that a few GDC 2020 sessions will be held online despite the event being postponed. Speaker-recorded versions of the talks will be streamed this week.
The Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards ceremonies will also be available on GDC’s Twitch channel on Mar.18 for free.
Microsoft also put up their schedule for streaming their presentations at GDC 2020 through Game Stack Live on their developer site. Highlights include new information of Xbox Series X in “Xbox Series X + Project xCloud = New Chapter in Gaming” session, and talks from the makers of Gears 5, Sea of Thieves and Forza Motorsport.
We summarized the latest update of upcoming esports events that are affected by the coronavirus for you:
- The first Apex Legends Global Series Major on Mar. 13-15 in Arlington, Texas is postponed.
ESL Pro League:
- Season 11 of the Pro League will be played entirely online, and the finals will be moved from Denver to studio location.
- Two FIFA events are canceled: FIFA Ultimate Team Champions Cup Stage V in Bucharest on Apr. 3-5 and the PlayStation Licensed Qualifying Event for May 2-3.
League of Legends:
- The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational moved to Jul. 3-19, and all Rift Rivals tournaments have been canceled.
- The League of Legends European Championship on Apr. 25-26 will be moved from Budapest, Hungary, to Berlin, Germany.
- China’s League of Legends Pro League resumes playing in an online-only format.
- The European International Championships scheduled in Berlin on Apr.17-19 is postponed.
- The Rocket League Season 9 World Championship to be held in Texas on April 24-26 is canceled.