Over the past month here at SlashShout, we’ve reported major changes to esports and gaming events as a result of the Coronavirus’ spread worldwide. To the dismay of many in the industry, the string of cancellations and reschedules shows no sign of slowing down as we move forward into spring.
ESPN recently compiled a comprehensive list of events that have been affected by precautionary measures against the virus.
- The Pokemon European International Championships set for April 17-19 are now postponed without a new date.
- Hearthstone Masters Tour, set for March 20-22 in Los Angeles, has now been moved to an online-only format.
- The new Counterstrike: Global Offensive league FLASHPOINT is now scheduled to have its debut take place entirely in a Los Angeles studio. A corresponding international event in Stockholm is also canceled.
- The League of Legends European Championship spring split finals are now rescheduled for April 25-26 in Berlin instead of Budapest.
- SXSW, the popular music festival which also hosts gaming events, is now entirely canceled.
These are just a few of the affected events changed so far. Currently, there are many more are in a state of review based on changes to the spread worldwide.
Why events being halted matters
Economy, economy, economy. With no seats to be filled, there are no tickets to be sold or merchandise to promote. While gamers are used to online tournaments and have access to Twitch and YouTube to watch their favorites play online, it doesn’t replace the live experience. Even content creators are affected, as completely canceled tournaments provide no footage to give commentary on. The next few months in the esports world will test the might of many developers and organizers; stay tuned for our continued coverage here as we monitor the changes worldwide.