Thursday, January 30, 2020

Overwatch League Chinese Teams Relocate to Korea Due to Coronavirus

Two of the four Chinese Overwatch League teams have relocated to South Korea in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, with at least one more still yet to announce its plans. The League as a whole has cancelled matches due to be held in China in the next two months. Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge have both issued statements on Twitter regarding the relocation of their teams: “After taking into consideration our match and practice schedule, we will be temporarily relocating all our players and coaching staff to Korea effective immediately,” said a Shanghai Dragons spokesperson. In a similar statement, Guangzhou Charge said: “Our top priority is the health and safety of our players above all else. To that end, we have decided to move our pre-season training base to South Korea.” They added: “Earlier today, we moved our non-Chinese players to South Korea, while we expedite visas for our Chinese players to join them as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, Chengdu Hunters have opted not to relocate, but are taking precautions. “Once [team members] arrive at our training facility, we will check both player and staff members' body temperature and fully sanitize them,” a Twitter statement from the team explained. Hangzhou Spark, the last of China's four teams, has yet to make a public statement on its plans. Overwatch League organisers have since cancelled all matches due to be held in China in February and March, saying that updates on when and where those matches will take place will come at a later date. IGN has reached out to Blizzard to enquire about those moved matches, and Hangzhou Spark's plans. Coronavirus, which has infected over 7,000 people and killed over 170, is causing a raft of follow-on effects. China's biggest League of Legends tournament has been delayed, 70,000 movie theaters have been closed and, more curiously, mobile game Plague Inc. has topped the charts in the country, leading to the developer to tell people to go to the World Health Organisation for advice, not its game. [poilib element="accentDivider"]


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