Arena of Valor World Cup (AWC) 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as announced by Tencent this Thursday.
The decision was made to prioritise the health and safety of all those who would be involved in the tournament, as stated by the AoV developer and publisher. Tencent also assured its fans and players that all possibilities to keep AWC on the schedule were explored, however, due to the ongoing situation caused by the pandemic, no other option was left but to cancel the event altogether.
"We are making the difficult decision to cancel the Arena of Valor World Cup (AWC) 2020 due to the evolving global situation surrounding COVID-19. Our commitment has always been to prioritise the health and well-being of those involved. This is what ultimately led us to making this decision," read the announcement.
“Our esports team has been monitoring the situation very closely and heeded advice from relevant authorities. This is an unprecedented period for offline and online sports- especially so for international events - and everyone is striving to do their utmost for their communities, and planning around the situation. We would like to assure players and the fans that we have explored all possibilities before landing on the decision to cancel AWC 2020."
"We are still committed to bringing AOV esports content to our community. The team is hard at work putting in place all our plans and we share more details with you soon.
"These are challenging times for all of us, and we would like to thank our AOV community for your understanding and continued support. The health and well-being of everyone is of utmost priority to us now."
AWC is just one of many esports events that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, most of which were cancelled, indefinitely postponed or opted to move the competition to an online format. As it stands now, it's still unclear whether AWC will follow the footsteps of other major Dota2, CS:GO and League of Legends tournaments who transitioned to online play, however, Tencent unveiled more information about the future plans should be revealed soon.
The AWC is one of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments in the international Arena of Valor esports scene. It's an annual competition which features the best AoV players from all over the world, who compete under their national flag instead for an esports organisation. The first iteration of AWC was held in summer of 2018 in the United States, where we saw Korea defeat Thailand in the grand finals to hoist the trophy and secure the mouth-watering US $200,000 in tournament winnings.
The 2019 edition of AWC was held in Vietnam from June 27 to July 14. Just like the 2018 AWC, it featured $500,000 prize pool with 12 teams in attendance. Korean national team, who reached the finals in 2018 crashed out of the event without winning a single match, whereas 2018 runners-up Thailand made it to the quarter-finals, where they got eliminated by Thailand Wildcard. The 2019 AWC ended with a grand final between Chinese Taipei and Vietnam, with the latter edging out a close 4-3 win to secure a title of world champions and $200,000 in tournament winnings.
The grand finals match had a peak viewership number of 764,358 people, making it one of the most-watched esports events of the year.