EA halts all live esports events, including the first-ever Apex Legends Global Major

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Describing the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak as "unprecedented," Electronic Arts announced today that it is suspending all live events in its competitive gaming series, including the Apex Legends Global Series, EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series, FIFA Online 4 Live Events, and Madden NFL 20 Championship Series, indefinitely.

"This includes EA-operated events as well as third-party events run under license from EA," the company said. "Additionally, this includes all competitive gaming content except for broadcasts that can be individually produced remotely."

"Online events, where participants and staff are remote and separated will continue. This suspension of events and broadcasts will start today, March 13th, and will be in effect until the global coronavirus situation improves."

EA doesn't operate big-money tournaments on the scale of Dota 2's The International, but the FIFA Global Series is a big deal, and the first-ever Apex Legends Global Series Major, with a $500,000 prize pool, was scheduled to begin today at Esports Stadium Arlington. EA confirmed in a separate announcement that the event has been postponed, also indefinitely. The next Apex Legends Global Series Online Tournament, scheduled for March 21 and 23, will proceed.

"This decision hasn't come easy, but given the large, global nature of the event, we believe that making this change is in the best interest of protecting the health of the community, including competitors, attendees and staff," EA said. 

"As we continue to monitor the situation around the coronavirus and receive guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), we’ll continue to evaluate and provide more updates as it relates to all Apex Legends Global Series events."

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.