As announced earlier this Thursday, March 12, Super Smash Bros. PGRU is being suspended until further notice amid coronavirus outbreak and travel restrictions.
The announcement was made public on PGstats' official Twitter page, where the organisers claimed PGR and TTS will be frozen, with no further events including CEO Dreamland will count towards player rankings until travel is again safe worldwide. PGstats also explained that depending on the length of the freeze, this may lead to only one ranking at the end of the year.
"This decision was made after discussion with many TOs, issued travel bans, and community feedback. It includes both MPGR and PGRU," read the announcement.
"We do not wish any members of the Smash community or otherwise to risk their health in pursuit of their ranking."
Unfortunately, due to the worldwide epidemic, PGstats decided to announce events from March 11 no longer count towards player rankings for the first half of the year in both Melee and Ultimate.
This decision essentially puts the Smash competitive season in a standstill. With that, players don't need to travel to the events, because their PGR Rank will not be affected in any way, until the season is in frozen. That, however, was the main goal PGR wanted to achieve, as claimed by PGstats director Luis "suar" Suarez.
"Do not worry about the PGR season, worry about your HEALTH," said Mr Suarez.
"We'll likely have a crater in the TTS this Spring/Summer and it'll be what it is, but you can't compete/host/commentate if you're deathly ill."
"The world is about to undergo massive shifts so be aware and plan for it"
This is a massive blow to the Smash competitive scene, which finally gained traction in the esports scene in 2020. Just recently, Smash announced the Smash World Tour, which was billed as the biggest event in the history of Smash' competitive scene with a record-breaking US $250,000 in the prize pool.
Unfortunately, Smash scene is not the only one heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, not by a long shot. League of Legends scene as a whole underwent massive shifts. Asian leagues in League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) is currently on an indefinite hiatus, while League of Legends Pro League (LPL) just recently resumed with an online format.
What's more, ESL One Los Angeles Dota2 Major, which was set to take off this weekend has initially rumoured to be completely cancelled, however, it was later revealed the organisers decided to postpone the event due to coronavirus concerns and travel restrictions, which prevented some players from getting their visa approved.
The official announcement on ESL's official page read:
"In light of recent travel restrictions and the evolving COVID-19 situation, ESL is postponing the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Dota 2 Major."
"While we were very excited to bring the first-ever Dota 2 Major to Los Angeles, the safety and well-being of our players, attendees, coaches, partners, and ESL staff must come first. We are working closely with Valve to determine a new time and location for the Major."
"We are deeply disappointed but believe this outcome is in the best interest of all of the people who make these incredible events possible.
ESL also claimed they will be working with venue and ticket providers to refund all ticket purchases as soon as possible. Everyone who bought a ticket for ESL One Los Angeles can expect to get an email in the coming days.
ESL Pro League Season 11, on the other side, will be played entirely online, while the finals, which were initially planned to taker place in Denver, Colorado, will move to a studio location.
"In order to ensure the safety of players, fans and our crew in the current global dynamics, Season 11 of ESL Pro League will be played entirely online and the finals will be moved from Denver to a studio location," read the announcement from ESL.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.