Blizzard has cancelled all Overwatch League events for March and April.
As announced on Twitter (below), the American firm has pulled the events due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. It claimed it is unwilling to put the players, fans and staff at risk.
"We are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus), city-level recommendations and mandates, and all guidelines are set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Blizzard.
"After careful review, and working in close collaboration with our teams, we are cancelling all Overwatch League events scheduled for March and April.
"Concurrently, we are working hand-in-hand with our teams to see that all matches are played when it is safe and logistically feasible, staying close to our originally planned schedule as possible."
Blizzard continued: "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."
March 11, 2020
The coronavirus has had an impact on various sectors of the industry. Namely, various events have been cancelled for health and safety reasons. Last month, GDC 2020 got postponed. However, companies such as Electronic Arts and Kojima Productions had already pulled out. It has since been confirmed that GDC will stream sessions for the cancelled event.
Recently, several other events got chopped. One of which is Game Connection America 2020, further events include SXSW 2020 and Mojang's Minecraft Festival – the latter of which was scheduled for September.
However, the most significant event to get cancelled is E3. The news was confirmed yesterday, despite the ESA insisting the event would still go ahead in recent weeks – even with Los Angeles being declared a state of emergency.
Industry production lines have been impacted too, Valve, in particular, has suffered low unit numbers for its Index VR kit. Despite getting stock back in on March 9th, it sold out that same day.
Various companies, including Microsoft, Bungie, Facebook and Google, have asked its staff to work from home. Currently, two Microsoft employees have contracted the virus.