Last month, Blizzard announced that all of its scheduled Overwatch League games in China during February and March were canceled in the wake of the coronavirus. Now the publisher has revealed its plan to reschedule the games — and it involves moving them out of the country altogether.
According to Blizzard, all of the canceled matches — which were set to take place in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou — will now take place in a studio in Seoul. The matches will be played during the sixth and seventh weeks of OWL, which take place on the weekends of March 14th and March 21st. Previously scheduled games in Miami and Atlanta that were set to take place those weekends will be unaffected, according to Blizzard. Specific match times are expected to be announced “soon.”
(Seoul will also be home to OWL games on the weekend of March 7th, when the Seoul Dynasty host matches at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.)
The Overwatch League is far from the only esports league impacted by the fallout of the coronavirus. The League of Legends Pro League in China has postponed matches indefinitely, while League of Legends Champions Korea is currently playing games without spectators present for safety reasons. Similarly, a PUBG tournament in Berlin scheduled for April has been postponed with no makeup date announced.
OWL kicked off its third season on February 8th with games in New York and Dallas. This season is particularly important for the league as it represents a move toward a city-based structure, with matches hosted by teams around the world. Week two starts on February 15th with matches hosted by the Philadelphia Fusion.