The number of deaths from the Coronavirus outbreak in mainland China rose by 136, pushing the nationwide death toll to 2,004, according to China’s National Health Commission today. The outbreak has shaken the industry and it has negatively impacted the ecosystem around the globe. Gaming and Esports industry is no exception. A few days back, Overwatch league was cancelled and WESG Asia Pacific finals are also cancelled and many more are adjourned or cancelled because of the outbreak. The virus is contagious and in order to control the spread of the coronavirus the management are taking decisions to adjourn the matches for some time or cancel the matches.
After careful consideration and recommendations from public health experts group, consultation to the local authority of the host city and discussion with our co-organising partners, AESF announced the postponement of the inaugural AESF e-Masters Chengdu 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Two qualified teams for the quarter-finals were supposed to set their journey to the Chengdu-China for the quarter-final match scheduled for 22 February till 25 February 2020 followed by the final from 28 February 2020 till 1 March but the dates are to postpone because of Coronavirus epidemic. Among the qualified teams for the quarter-final, two qualified Indian teams are also supposed to join the tournament but due to Coronavirus epidemic the tournament has been postponed and they are now waiting for the rescheduled dates.
Esports Federation of India (ESFI) director Lokesh Suji Lokesh Suji said, “For us, the well being and safety of our esports athletes is the top priority. Though the teams were very excited and energized to represent India at e-Masters, this situation was an unfortunate event. All our thoughts and well wishes are with the people who have been affected by the virus and pray for their speedy recovery. The event has just been postponed, it will eventually happen. On the bright side players now will have more time to practice”
The official post of the AESF also revealed that the decision for the postponement was to ensure the safety of their athletes, officials, organisers, the fans and media.
Understanding how the Indian teams (who are qualified for the quarer finals of AESF e-Masters Chengdu 2020 ) are responding to the postponement, Animationxpress has reached out to them and this is what they said:
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne player Arun “Neohartrix” Mozhi Varman qualified for the quarter-final expressed that “I am deeply saddened to see the situation in China with respect to the Coronavirus. As an esports enthusiast, it is not the best start to a new year. With Chinese esports industry growing rapidly, there was a slew of esports tournaments which got cancelled during the last 45 days including the WESG final at Macau in January. Many have been postponed until further notice which includes CFPL, CFML, LPL and LDL.
Unfortunately, e-masters is postponed, too. So, we are not sure when exactly the LAN event will take place. At this point in time, it is imperative to support the efforts of China and bring about a cure for the virus which is on a killing spree. On a lighter note, esports athletes outside of China get to practice more for the delayed events, which can help, maybe or not.
We should also appreciate the generosity of giants Tencent & Netease who donated about $43m USD and $15m USD respectively to fight Corona.”
Arena of Valor team (comprises of Sonukaran J M Shinil R, Aditya Katoch, Manmohan Singh and Aakash Chadalavada, Dwayne Fernandes) Nefarious captain Sonukaran J M expressed “It’s concerning to know the situation in China and how much it is affecting the business and processes that are interconnected with the rest of the world. While the postponing of the match will buy us more time to practice, the cause of the ban is what worries us more about the people there. We pray that things will return to normal and those amazing people will bounce back from this international tragedy.”
The team has also highlighted the fact that the delay in the Indian server update is a cause of concern for them. And with the postponement of the dates, they are hopeful that they receive the update before the event date is announced. With that, they will get enough time to practice in a new patch and will be able to adapt to the changes.
AESF has also expressed that they will continue to monitor the situation closely and the rescheduled dates for the AESF e-Masters Chengdu 2020 will be announced in due course of time.