Overwatch esports games moved from China to Seoul amid virus

FILE - In this July 28, 2018, file photo, London Spitfire fan Rick Ybarra, of Plainfield, Ind., reacts after London won the second game against the Philadelphia Fusion during the Overwatch League Grand Finals competition at Barclays Center in New York. The Overwatch League took another step in its ambitious vision when franchises in Dallas and New York hosted season-opening matches last weekend. They were the first of 52 scheduled events on OWL’s home-and-away calendar requiring teams to visit host arenas for all 20 teams spanning Europe, North America and Asia.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Overwatch League is relocating scheduled esports matches from three cities in China to Seoul due to the outbreak of a virus which has killed nearly 1,400 people.

The OWL postponed matches scheduled in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou for February and March two weeks ago due to the virus known as COVID-19. It announced Friday that those matches will be played at a studio in Seoul in mid-March.

The league said in a statement it made the decision “in order to protect the health and safety of our fans, players, and staff.”

This is the first year for OWL's unprecedented global schedule including host matches for its 20 city-based franchises in Asia, North America and Europe. The league has four Chinese teams and had expected fan turnout to be strong in China, which has a passionate Overwatch player and fan base.

The league opened its third season last weekend with matches in New York and Dallas. For the first two seasons, all franchises were based near Los Angeles for nearly all practices and matches.

———

More AP esports: https://apnews.com/Esports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.