The coronavirus is causing yet another major esports event to shut down, this time in the Overwatch League (OWL). Paris Eternal confirmed via Twitter today that they are officially canceling their Homestand weekend. Paris’ Homestand Weekend was originally scheduled to take place in Week 10, on Apr. 11 and 12.
This comes as a result of a ministerial order on Mar. 9 that bans gatherings of more than 1,000 people in France due to the coronavirus. The virus has already been responsible for shutting down OWL events in China and South Korea, and it will most likely cause more shutdowns before it runs its course.
This puts a real damper on the inaugural season of Homestands in the OWL. So far, every Homestand has taken place in the United States, while all others have been canceled. It is entirely possible that, as the virus continues to spread, Homestands in the States will get canceled as well.
Will the OWL reschedule canceled events?
Communiqué officiel – Paris Eternal. pic.twitter.com/cITPhzLiOB
— Paris Eternal (@ParisEternal) March 11, 2020
The OWL has not announced a plan of action for rescheduling these events. There are several different routes the league could take, such as playing with no audiences and airing the games on YouTube as usual. They could also reschedule them at a safer time or cancel them outright.
So far, the Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Guangzhou Charge, Shanghai Dragons, and Seoul Dynasty have yet to play a single game. Their first scheduled games were in Paris, which will no longer happen. Assuming there are no further changes, these teams won’t see their first matches until at least week 11, where all of them except Guangzhou will play.
It will be interesting to see how the OWL handles all these cancellations. So far, things don’t look good for the future of the 2020 season. Hopefully, the league can figure it out in a fair and safe way for all the teams and players involved.
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