Citing coronavirus, CDL cancels all home series

Fans watch as the Dallas Empire compete against the Atlanta FaZe during Day 2 of the Call of Duty League launch weekend at The Armory on Jan. 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Call of Duty League announced Thursday that it will cancel all live events for the remainder of the season because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

"After careful review and working in close collaboration with our teams, we are shifting all currently scheduled 2020 Call of Duty League live events to online only competition," the league said in a statement. "The new online only matches will be broadcast live to fans. Dates will be announced shortly, along with tune-in details."

This follows news about Overwatch League, another Activision Blizzard-run esports entity, which announced Wednesday that it will be cancelling all homestands in March and April but will determine the best course of action to play and broadcast league games. Previously, homestands in South Korea and China had been postponed.

"The COVID-19 crisis has posed incredibly serious challenges to so many people around the globe, and the Call of Duty League community has felt its impact as well," Call of Duty League commissioner Johanna Faries said in a statement. "The decision to shift upcoming live events to online competition was a difficult one for all of us, but done with the goal of ensuring the wellbeing of our incredible fans, players, coaches, employees, and partners. We plan to publish more information about upcoming online matches soon, still broadcast live on our YouTube channel.

"We understand how disappointing this may be for fans who planned to attend upcoming live Home Series and we hope to be back in front of live audiences later this year. In the meantime, let's continue to support our teams and players in doing what they do so well."

Dozens of esports and gaming events around the world have been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected around 128,000 people worldwide and killed more than 4,700, according to The Associated Press. The sports world has been impacted as well, with the NBA, MLB and NHL announcing the postponement of their seasons and NCAA announcing cancellations of its men's and women's college basketball tournaments as well as its baseball and softball championships.