Riot Games have announced week two of the Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) will be postponed due to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus in China.
The announcement which unveiled LPL Week 2 will be delayed has been made public earlier this Sunday, January 26, on LPL official Twitter page, with a post which read:
"We have decided to postpone week 2 of the LPL until we can ensure the safety and health of our players and fans."
"To our fans, we sincerely apologize that it has come to this and we will share any and all info as soon as we can."
After Week 1 of LPL Spring Split came to a close, the Chinese League of Legends pro scene went on a break in celebration of the Chinese New Year and was originally scheduled to return to our screens on Wednesday, February 5. However, the plans fell through as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The coronavirus outbreak started back in December in Wuhan, Hubei, China and has since spread to almost a dozen countries, reportedly infecting almost 2,000 people as of today and saw its death toll rise to 56, marking the first such deadly case of coronavirus since SARS, which killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.
The Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has already been addressed by the World Health Organization earlier last week, however, WHO stated that it has not yet become a "global health emergency", as its presence is mainly in China as of today.
As a result of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, China has decided for a complete lockdown of the epicentres of the outbreak, while heavily restricting any outbound traffic in a bid to prevent further spread of the virus to other cities and countries.
Earlier last week, EDward Gaming coach Ming “Clearlove” Kai announced he will miss out on the second week of LPL, as he has found himself stranded in Wuhan, where he celebrated the Chinese New Year, meaning the spread of the coronavirus already had an indirect effect on the LPL league before and will now force the whole league to postpone its fixtures.
As well as the return of LPL being delayed, the Chinese development League (LDL) has also been postponed. LDL was due to get underway alongside the Week 2 of LPL, but with the impact of the outbreak on China, it too has been delayed until further notice.
The 2020 LPL Spring Split began on January 13, with a clash between 2018 World Champions Invictus Gaming and the FunPlus Phoenix who took down G2 Esports in the 2019 Worlds finals to claim their maiden title of world champions. The said match saw IG shock the world as they defeated FPX to claim their first win of the season.
In the days that followed, we saw 13 more fixtures between Chinese top talents, resulting in JD Gaming, eStar, Invictus Gaming, Top Esports and Bilibili Gaming all ending week 1 with a perfect 2-0 score, which set them up nicely for the remainder of the season. That said, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the League of Legends teams will have to wait a bit longer before they will get a chance to step onto the Rift for the third time.
As of today, LPL has not yet announced the exact date when we can expect LPL to return to our screens, with more details set to be announced in the upcoming days.