According to multiple journalists covering the league, Riot Games has suspended the LCK indefinitely as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. The league is often viewed as the best in the world, and will shut down after the first round of games on March 6. In addition to the competition, “Sunday Night LCK,” the league’s weekly talk show, will also be suspended.
From the big dogs: Riot Korea also commented on the subject, “Due to the on-growing Corona19 epidemic, in order to ensure the safety of the members of the league, we have decided to have the LCK and Challengers Korea go on an indefinite hiatus. Currently, we do not have a set return date, and will keep a close eye on the epidemic to choose the appropriate date of return.”
Things continue to escalate: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a level three travel health notice for South Korea, which means travel should be avoided unless deemed essential. This region alone has more than 4,800 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, with 28 deaths attributed to the virus. Additional countries that have received a level three warning includes China, Iran, and Italy.
How this affects future competitions: The LCK joins myriad other events that have been postponed or outright canceled due to the outbreak. China’s LPL recently announced an online-only league after weeks of delays, so it may only be a matter of time before the LCK follows a similar route. However, this does mean that the regions will be greatly hindered when it comes to preparing for the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), which is also in an unknown state.