Activision Blizzard announced on March 12 that all Call of Duty League Home Series for 2020 are officially canceled going forward, citing concerns over the global coronavirus outbreak.
The official announcement comes after it was announced that Activision Blizzard’s other main esports venture, the Overwatch League, was canceling all of its events for March and April.
In a followup to the original statement regarding OWL, the league’s commissioner made the point of clarifying that matches will still be played and broadcast during those months, but not in front of crowds at homestands. In their announcement, the Call of Duty league made a similar clarification.
In the league's statement, they said that all matches for the remainder of the season will take place online, and that those will still be broadcast to fans.
CDL says "dates will be announced shortly" regarding the online broadcasts, indicating that the matches that would have taken place during the upcoming Dallas home series may be postponed.
The Dallas Empire are already trying to make the best of the bad situation, as owner Mike 'hastr0' Rufail called for the community to come together during this tough time, and the team's Twitter posted a hilarious joke about their online Modern Warfare success.
I’ve been competing in Call of Duty esports for 14 years. Our roots were spread online. We’ve grown so much since those days. Let’s make the best of this as a community and embrace where we began to get to the next level after we conquer this virus. We will get through this! https://t.co/LdHrU0IU28
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) March 12, 2020
— Dallas Empire (@DallasEmpire) March 12, 2020
Several fans recognized the potential for Home Series to be canceled prior to the announcement from Activision Blizzard, as cities like San Francisco, Paris, and Chicago started banning or canceling large public gatherings.
This is just the latest entry in a growing of list of gaming and esports events that have had to change plans due to coronavirus scares.
Overwatch League homestands in both Korea and China had already been canceled before the latest decision from Activision Blizzard. E3 2020, TwitchCon Amsterdam, the Rocket League World Championships, and several FIFA events will also not be taking place.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 11, 2020
Leagues and organizers who chose not to cancel have made several alterations to their events to promote safety and wellbeing. ESL Pro League, FLASHPOINT, LCS, and LEC, just to name a few, have either moved locations or restricted fan access in some regards.
Some of these events will take place without any crowd presence, such as the IEM Katowice CS:GO World Championship major.