LPL organisers explained their decision of postponing the event through a statement made on Weibo. In it, TJ Sports expressed their concerns, saying: “We have decided to postpone week 2 of the LPL until we can ensure the safety and health of our players and fans.”
At first, organisers planned to celebrate the competition on 5 February; however, now the LPL has been held-back indefinitely.
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, China’s General Administration of Sport advised suspending all activities and events at least until April due to the high risk of infection. By the end of January, concerns about the pandemic have affected many events in the industry.
For instance, Riot Games stated that the Korean League of Legends Champions (LCK), will take place this month. However, there will be no live audience.
Polygon announced the WESG Counter-Strike finals, meant to take place in the city of Macau, have also been postponed until further notice.
Blizzard announced through their official Twitter account that the Overwatch League matches in February and March would be postponed indefinitely.
We hope fans have a safe and happy Lunar New Year, and we remain incredibly excited to play Overwatch League matches in China later this season.
The long term effect of these cancellations is still unclear. For now, the postponement of the LPL could affect the calendar at an international level, especially with the Mid-Season Invitational that usually takes place in May. Plus, on a larger scale, the effect on the Chinese economy is being marked by the decline in tourism, with airlines canceling flights, and tourists canceling their plans to visit China.
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