Coronavirus outbreak halts LoL and Dota 2 pro events (Updated)

(Image credit: Valve (Instagram))

Update 2 (1 pm ET, March 14): The LCS has now suspended all LCS and Academy games, while the Spring Finals will be relocated from Dallas to the league's studio in Los Angeles. 

Update (2 pm ET, March 13): The LEC has now decided to suspend the spring season entirely. 

Original story:

Three more esports tournaments have been forced to change their plans in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: The League of Legends Championship Series and European Championship (LEC) spring seasons have been suspended indefinitely, and the ESL One Dota 2 Major scheduled to run March 20-22 in Los Angeles has been postponed.

Last week, the LEC announced that its spring finals event would take place in its Berlin studio, rather than the originally planned location of Budapest, but said at the time that it would still be played out in front of a live audience. Earlier this week it updated the plan to eliminate audiences and press attendance for the rest of the Spring Split, including the finals. As noted above, the season has now been halted entirely.

The LCS had hoped to continue its spring season with games in studio locations, but commissioner Chris Greeley said in a Twitter update that the decision has now been made to suspend operations entirely, including all LCS and Academy games. The spring finals will be held in the LCS' studio in Los Angeles, rather than in Frisco as had been planned.

ESL, which yesterday announced that the ESL Pro League Season 11 will be played entirely online, pulled the plug on the ESL One Dota 2 Major planned for Los Angeles. There's no word on rescheduling but information on ticket refunds is expected in the coming days.

"While we were all very excited to bring the first-ever Dota 2 Major to Los Angeles, the safety and well-being of our players, attendees, coaches, talent, partners and ESL crew come first," it said. "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."

We're maintaining a roundup of esports competitions and other gaming events that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that you can keep up with here

For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.