As most are aware, the COVID-19 virus has suspended play in traditional sports and esports. The NBA started the trend postponing games then the NHL and MLS followed. The MLB announced that the start of the season is postponed and yesterday the world found out the 2020 Olympics are postponed until 2021. This eventually bled over into the esports world with Overwatch League, CDL and various League of Legends regions pausing to figure out their plan of attack.
Video games have been a platform for people to escape the real world and distract themselves with beautiful stories or the thrill of competition. Thankfully, a lot of competitive gaming can be accomplished online and does not need to be an in-person event. With the remote nature of online gaming, the world experienced something…interesting. Teams like the Phoenix Suns announced they would play the rest of their schedule online in NBA 2K20 to ease the burden of nonexistent NBA basketball. FOX teamed up with iRacing to bring eNASCAR to streaming platforms and on FS1. It’s a beautiful sight to see traditional sports embracing the esports and gaming community.
At the time of this article, the following states have issued a stay at home order according to CNN.com:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
Now is the best time to catch the competition online since most fans will be forced to stay home. The list below outlines some esports events for fans to enjoy while stuck at home.
2 days. 16 games. Welcome back everybody 💪#OWL2020 returns in epic fashion this weekend 🙌
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 23, 2020
Last weekend, Los Angeles country issued a “safer-at-home” order for the county. This required non-essential businesses or gatherings to cease. The order then in-turn forced OWL to cancel the games. Thankfully, Mitch “Uber” Leslie and Matt “Mr.X” Morello were there to save the day as they hosted “Friendly” matches with the teams that were scheduled to play. These games took place on the Public Test Realm and showed off the new hero Echo in the hands of pros. The event helped, as it broke the two-week drought of OWL cancellations. The even better news for OWL fans is that it is returning this weekend.
Not only do fans get to see the return of league matches themselves, but they get their first look at the Chinese teams. 16 games grace the schedule this week, all starting on Saturday, March 28th at 4 am eastern with the Charge taking on the Dragons. The games continue until Monday, March 30th at 12 am eastern. This is a much-anticipated return for the league and an exciting one as the fans finally get to see the pacific east teams compete.
League of Legends
The 2020 #LCS Spring Split Standings at the end of week eight:
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 22, 2020
After March 9th’s “Monday Night League” matches, the LCS saw a brief pause. The LCS returned after a week off, switching to just Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the season. Fans of the LCS can watch the continuation of LCS this weekend on Twitch starting at 5 pm eastern.
Two other regions that took a pause in their season were the LEC and Korea’s LCK. Similarly to the LCS, the LEC made their return last weekend. Their season is hitting its final stretch Friday and Saturday this week starting at 1 pm eastern on Friday and 12 pm eastern on Saturday. Korea’s LCK makes its return to competitive play this weekend. Wednesday, March 25th marks their first block of games since Friday, March 6th. Since these games are in Korea, they have an early start time for a North American audience, starting at 2 am eastern time. Both LEC and LCK can also be caught on Twitch!
Call of Duty
The CDL community learned on March 12th that CDL will be moving to an online-only format to curve the spread of COVID-19. This announcement was made on the official CDL website. While fans of CDL wait patiently for the online portion of the season to start back up, orgs and influencers have been hosting Modern Warfare Warzone events. These events have helped bridge that gap between the pause in play with the CDL until now.
Faze has started up a weekly event called “Fight Fund.” Money raised during these warzone events goes towards COVID-19 related issues. Week one and two have both been played on a Monday with the last one occurring on March 23rd. Faze has not released the amount of money raised in week two but week one brought in a healthy $46,289.57 USD. Follow the FaZe Clan Twitter below for updates on upcoming “Fight Fund” tournaments.
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) March 20, 2020
Lastly, starting this week Daniel “Keemstar” Keem is hosting “Warzone Wednesday.” Keemstar is best known for his Drama Alert series on YouTube. This tournament can be caught on his website or the individual participant’s Twitch pages. The “Warzone Wednesday” tournament features streamers and COD pros battling for a chance to win $20,000.
Follow Rocco on Twitter @MaridonGaming for all things Philadelphia Fusion! You can also reach out to them on Discord and talk some OWL! (Maridon#6912)
Featured Image Courtesy of Twitch.tv
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