The 2020 season of Overwatch Korea will begin on Wednesday, March 18, as initially planned, with matches played offline, as opposed to online, which has become the preferred format for many esports leagues during the coronavirus outbreak, however, there will be no live audience.
The news of Overwatch Contenders Korea surfaced on Friday on Runaway's Twitter page, where the Korea Overwatch Contenders team unveiled the start date of the league, as well as the announcement of there being no live audience present during the matchdays.
While Contenders decided for an offline format with no live audience, the Overwatch League just recently announced they will be cancelling all Home Series in March and April, which includes events that were slated to be played in Europe and North America, adding to the list of previously cancelled events that were supposed to be played in China and South Korea.
On a more positive note, all OWL matches that were scheduled to be played will still go through, although with an online format with a provided broadcast, meaning Overwatch fans will still have a lot of Overwatch action to enjoy during the worldwide panic due to COVID-19 outbreak. Overwatch League is said to return back to the normal schedule and offline fixtures after one year of online matches.
Overwatch, however, is only one of many esports titles that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Other esports titles include:
Rocket League; cancelled its Season 9 World Championship
NBA 2K League; league start postponed to a later date.
LoL; League Champions Korea (LCK) suspended indefinitely; League Pro League (LPL) moves to an online format, League Champions Series (LCS) will be played without live audience, League European Championship (LEC) suspended indefinitely.
Call of Duty League: cancelled all home events and transitions to online play.
Dota2; ESL One Los Angeles postponed to a later date (no date is given).
Super Smash Bros.; Panda Global Rankings (PGR) will be on hiatus and only return when the travel conditions are safe.
CS:GO; ESL Pro League Season 11 and FLASHPOINT will be played entirely online.
Apex Legends; Global Series Major 1 postponed
FIFA; several events across the globe either postponed or cancelled.
Hearthstone; Masters Tour will move to an online format
In addition to all affected esports events, some gaming events have also been cancelled or postponed to a later date, which included TwitchCon, SXSW, while there is a high probability BlizzCon could be cancelled as well.
Although Overwatch Korea will be played no matter the current situation in the country and televised on YouTube, it remains to be seen whether there will be an English broadcast. That said, fans will be happy to hear that the Overwatch league broadcasts will have English casters.
The first match of 2020 Overwatch Korea will kick off with BATTLICA facing off against WGS Phoenix. The match is bound to be an exciting one, as it features WGS Phoenix, who competed in Contenders last year and the newcomers BATTLICA, who are a team assembled of experienced Overwatch players.
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.