In an unfortunate turn of events, and after nearly a month of being off-air, the Overwatch League has postponed their March 21 & 22 matches.
Concerns over the COVID-19 strain of the novel coronavirus have skyrocketed over the past month, with event cancelations across most entertainment industries. Earlier in February, the Asiatic-based homestand events were canceled due to the coronavirus spreading rampantly through China and surrounding countries. In the early days of March, the Overwatch League announced that all homestand events would be canceled for the foreseeable future out of the respect for the safety of fans, players, and staff.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 11, 2020
This weekend, matches were set to continue once more after the League worked to broadcast the matches online from remote studios. This weekend the matches were set to be played in Los Angeles, giving the Pacific Conference teams a chance to catch up on missed matches. Following a new order from Los Angeles County, at 11:59 pm PT on Thursday, all public gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. Amongst that, business, malls, restaurants and just about every public service is being shut down to shunt the spread of the coronavirus.
This ‘stay-at-home’ order is meant to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus and spreading throughout the dense city and state. The city of California projected that 25 million coronavirus cases in California will be present before the illness runs its course. This move was not a great option for the Overwatch League, but with the fate of so many relying on public safety procedures, it was the only option. There has been no word if matches next weekend will continue as planned given that a majority of the teams from around the world will be competing remotely.