The coronavirus is something that no one can plan for. With the outbreak delaying or possibly canceling the homesteads in China and Korea for January and March, fans’ concerns are starting to appear, especially the Pacific East fans, about the future of their teams’ in Season 3. Seoul Dynasty canceling their homestand for the safety of the players, staff, and fans was the bright light at the end of the tunnel of not being able to see their teams play.
The first worry is scheduling. Last year had a mid-break of four weeks that would’ve given buffer room for the league to work with. This year there is only one halfway through the all-star weekend on Week 13. When will the league find the time without, overloading the players, pushing back other homestands, or conflicting with already put in place schedules? Season 3’s schedule is already packed all the way through. With more homestands being canceled and no idea when the Coronavirus will be contained enough for matches to occur this could potentially throw off the whole league.
There is no set date when the matches in Asia will be able to be played. The Seoul Dynasty will have to have a massive push to fit in all the missed matches. If any team has to do back to back weeks with no breaks because of the rescheduling, that could really increase the chances of player burn out.
The Pacific East fans surely enjoy the matches of the other divisions, but it is not their teams. Fans have gotten glimpses of players from these teams playing on ranked through Twitch, but the drought of a professional match between these teams seems will be dragging on.
The Overwatch League as stressful as it is, can provide a threshold of practice for teams at a high level that scrimming contenders teams could possibly not supply. The other Pacific East teams are all located in Korea as well. The Seoul Dynasty may not want to scim against other Pacific East teams as they would not want to give away techniques or strategies. Is it better to scrim against each other instead of scrimming against contenders teams or not scrimming at all.
Once they do start play in the Overwatch League, will their lack of playing against the professional scene impact their performance? This has been seen many times when a team is on the side of the bracket that has weaker teams. When they face the other side who had to go through a tougher run to the finals many times that time will win out compared to the team with an easier time. High-level competition should not be ignored as a major factor when they start in Season 3. Will they have a competitive edge like the other teams who have been playing in the league for weeks already?
The Seoul Dynasty is refunding all Tiger Nation Club Member’s full amount as well as anyone who bought the tickets for the March event. This is a gracious and right step thing for Gen G, and the Seoul Dynasty, to do as they do not know if or when the event will be rescheduled. They had already pledged to give all proceeds to organizations helping fight the coronavirus. It seems as if now they will have to cancel all their plans they had for the homestand after all the hard work and effort the staff had put in to plan it.
The ticket refund has a big impact for the Tiger Nation Club Members as their May and March tickets are combined, which means that the May tickets are also refunded. Tiger Nation Club members had already picked out their seats for both events. That means they will need to rebuy their tickets for May and hope to get good seats again as it is up in the air.
This is a lose-lose situation but the League and Teams are doing what is best for the staff, players, and fans which ultimately is all that matters. Tiger Nation were sad to see the Seoul homestand canceled and are even more sad to know that the hard work that the Gen G staff put into the homestand will not be seen by the fans. There is no doubt that the fans will stick through this rough patch.
The bright spot now for Tiger Nation is Week 9 when they play against the Vancouver Titans in Dallas. Hopefully, there will be no travel restriction to not allow them into the USA to play this match as both teams as of this article being written are located in South Korea. Tiger Nation will be holding their breath in hopes when the Seoul Dynasty and any of the Pacific East teams play, that they will have a good showing and jump right back into the League format and routine.