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Coronavirus Outbreak Leads To Esports Cancellations And Venue Changes

The coronavirus outbreak started on New Year’s Eve in Wuhan, China and has infected over 75,000 people, with 2,000 sadly dying from the disease. While the outbreak has largely been in China – only 1000 cases have been detected outside of mainland China – a disease like this can clearly spread quickly, and every country, along with the World Health Organization, is doing what they can to combat it. The virus, named COVID-19, is an airborne disease that is spread by the coughing or sneezing of an infected individual.

As an airborne contaminant, one of the easiest ways for COVID-19 to spread is during events that find large numbers of people inside a single structure. Concerts, casinos, and movie theaters are perfect examples. So are esports events. Obviously, no one wants to help spread COVID-19, so many esports events that were set for the coming weeks have been canceled or relocated.

The Overwatch League had week six and week seven matches set to happen in Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai, but has smartly decided to move those weeks to Seoul, South Korea. The League of Legends Pro League Spring Split was set to resume on February 5 after the end of the Chinese New Year festivities, but it has now been delayed indefinitely. The start of the League of Legends Development League has also been postponed. The mobile fighting game Honor of Kings was set to kick off its 2020 King Pro League in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but has decided to move the games to online only.

While COVID-19 has not had a major effect on the United States yet, there have been 15 confirmed cases in 7 states so far, including Illinois and Wisconsin. And while there is no reason to panic, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. If you are going to any major tournaments in the coming weeks, there are some things you may want to keep in mind:

  • Wear A Facemask
    • If you’ve been to a few tournaments, you’ve probably seen some players wearing facemasks in the past. Players will often wear them when they have colds because gamers can be really cool and they don’t want to spread their germs to others. So if you are concerned about people giving you the side-eye, don’t worry, you likely won’t be the only one with a facemask.
  • Cover Your Coughs And Sneezes
    • If you can’t wear a facemask, you can always cover your dang mouth when you cough or sneeze. Using a tissue is best, but don’t keep reusing the same tissue! Once you let loose with the phlegm and snot, toss that used tissue into a lined trashcan, then go wash your hands.
  • Wash Your Hands
    • Speaking of washing your hands, do it and do it often. When washing with soap and water, keep it going for at least 20 seconds. If you use hand sanitizer, make sure it contains 60-95% alcohol and rub it into your hands until they feel dry.

The true tragedy of COVID-19 is the tens of thousands of people who have been infected and the climbing death rate. Our hearts go out to those who are affected by this horrible virus. Hopefully, COVID-19 will be contained soon and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.

For more information on COVID-19, head over to the World Health Organization’s information page.

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