Overwatch League Match in Shanghai Faces Coronavirus Threat

An Overwatch League match scheduled to take place in Shanghai on February 15th may be interrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak, which has over 6,000 confirmed cases in China.

According to the Washington Post, Overwatch League executives and teams will be meeting soon to discuss how to tackle the Coronavirus situation.  An additional statement is expected sometime this week. The match is scheduled to include teams from Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou, as well as the host city, Shanghai.

Some teams have already stepped forward with statements regarding their plans heading into the match.  The Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge have both relocated their teams to South Korea (some pending Visas).  The Chengdu Hunters, however, are heeding the advice of the government and extending their Chinese New Year holidays. In other words, they are staying put at home. The fourth team has not released a statement at this time. 

The Overwatch League match isn’t the first Shanghai-based gathering to be disrupted by the Coronavirus.  Over the weekend, Shanghai Disney was closed until further notice due to the threat.  This type of prolonged closure is unprecedented in Disney park history.

At this time, Shanghai has 96 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus.  Many have noted that the city has become eerily empty as the virus spreads, with many citizens wearing masks and disinfecting every surface they come in contact with.  Shanghai is over 500 miles away from the hardest hit city, Wuhan, but much of the country has taken precautions to prevent the spread of the illness. 

Gaming events elsewhere in China have also felt the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.  Both a League of Legends Pro League event and WESG’s Asia-Pacific Finals were completely cancelled due to the outbreak.  WESG was set to take place in Macau, which currently has seven confirmed cases

Even eSports events outside of China are being effected by the event.  A Chinese Fortnite player will have to miss an event in Australia due to the Wuhan quarantine

As stated in our Shanghai Disney post, we’ll keep up to date on all Coronavirus news that relates to the focus of our website.  Essentially, if geeky events or theme parks are impacted, we’ll update you about it.

For broader coverage, we recommend The Washington Post, NPR, and Al Jazeera.  And please check the CDC and WHO for more detailed Coronavirus updates.

Stay healthy.  Wash your hands.  Don’t travel to China unless you have to.  And if you must, please wear a quality mask.  Check out these tips from the CDC.

Update: The event was officially cancelled. 

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They identify as queer.

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