Regarding our February Homestand pic.twitter.com/UOQ3u6waMN
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) January 30, 2020
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.”
We are saddened by the impact that the coronavirus has had in China and elsewhere. We also understand our fans’ concerns about our plans and the safety of our team in China and would like to provide an update. pic.twitter.com/y7cTmCFQ4R
— Guangzhou Charge (@GZCharge) January 28, 2020
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.
Statement regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak in China. We will keep our fans updated as our plans develop. pic.twitter.com/WyJRSbXfmJ
— Chengdu Hunters (@ChengduHunters) January 29, 2020
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.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 30, 2020
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.