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Overwatch League matches in China canceled due to coronavirus fears

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(Image credit: Activision)

Blizzard has announced it will cancel Overwatch League matches set to take place in China between February and March. In a statement posted to Twitter, the company writes that the move has been made in order to "protect the health and safety of our players". This is an allusion to the 2019 novel coronavirus, which has already caused 170 deaths, according to the Guardian.

"We have decided to cancel our February and March matches in China in order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff," the statement reads. "We hope fans have a safe and happy Lunar New Year, and we remain incredibly excited to play Overwatch League matches in China later this season.

"We'll share more information about when and where the matches will take place at a later date."

This follows a similar move earlier this week by the Chinese League of Legends Pro League. Due to the spread of the virus, which is reported to have originated in the Hubei province, Chinese authorities have put strict travel restrictions in place around the area, including the suspension of air and rail travel.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.