Activision Blizzard has officially called off all scheduled Overwatch League events for the months of March and April, a decision that, like many others across the industry, was made in light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.
The company’s decision follows in the wake of several other esports events and industry shows that have had to cancel large gatherings for fear of aiding the spread of the virus, and comes just as the World Health Organization officially declares COVID-19 a global epidemic.
“The health and safety of employees, fans, players, teams, and partners is paramount to Activision Blizzard Esports,” reads the statement. “We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus), city-level recommendations and mandates, and all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After careful review and working in close collaboration with our teams, we are cancellng all Overwatch League events schedule for March and April.”
The season is set to run from February 8 to August 9, and Activision Blizzard notes later on in the statement that scheduled matches outside of that two month zone will go on as planned, that it is working with each individual team to “see that all matches are played when it’s safe and logistically feasible,” and that it hopes to do “as close to our originally planned schedule as possible.”
“We are considering the various options available to esports in this effort, so that all teams—including those previously impacted by scheduling changes in China—can get back to doing what they do best,” writes Activision Blizzard.