We’ve mentioned this topic several times already, but the Overwatch League made the possibility official just yesterday. The home games being played in China for the four Chinese teams in the league will be delayed until later in the season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Making it official
As already mentioned on our website, three out of the four Chinese teams in the league had already announced they would temporarily move out of China. This included the Guangzhou Charge and, more recently, the Chengdu Hunters. But now, the official Overwatch League Twitter account has announced that the home games for China are gone.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 30, 2020
This isn’t permanent, as they are planning to redo the homestand later on in the season.
Figures sound off on China and the coronavirus
This led to many different figures’ responses on this, with almost all of them agreeing this was the right call. It’s unfortunate, but with the circumstances that are occurring, it’s no doubt necessary. Avid reporter Arran “Halo” Brown took that stance not too long after the news broke.
While it is obviously a shame for Chinese fans who wanted to see their teams play early on, this is 100% the right decision at the moment. https://t.co/wG26BsbuX0
— Arran “Halo” Brown (@haloofthoughts) January 30, 2020
Many others seem to agree with this, including other OWL teams like the Dallas Fuel and players like Becca “Aspen” Rukavina. The rest of the replies to the Overwatch League’s tweet are filled with people similarly expressing their support for this decision and their hopes that the Chinese people will get through this tough time.
How will this affect the League?
This is sure to affect the Overwatch League quite a bit financially. They were looking forward to franchising in China because of the size of its market. That’s why there are four Overwatch League teams in China as opposed to two in Canada or one in Europe. But with this cancellation, it means money that was supposed to be earned there will be delayed, and possibly just taken back. Those who had tickets for this event had planned on it being in February and March, not later.
Of course, this is less of an issue due to the circumstances of the decision. There is nothing else they could do given the coronavirus’ spread. It’s the right thing to do in the end, but it still could cause repercussions that we won’t see until much later on in the year.