Hainan Master Invitational and WESG APAC finals postponed
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Last week, the World Health Organization categorized the coronavirus as a global health emergency. Due to the spread of the disease outside China, the WHO called on all countries to contain its spread.
Since the outbreak in China, several matches and events scheduled to take place in the first couple of months of the year have been postponed or canceled. Some of these events are the Overwatch League and League of Legends Pro League. Meanwhile, the League of Legends Champions Korea will begin this weekend without a spectator audience.
Joining the list of esports events that are making the health of its players, staff, and audience, their priority is WESG APAC LAN Qualifier Finals and the Hainan Master Spring Invitational. The WESG Qualifier Finals was first meant to take place from January 3-5 but postponed to February 16-18 with its venue moved to Macau. With the disease now reportedly spreading outside China, the event has been postponed until further notice.
The cancelation notice reads:
"Since now it is a special period, to reduce the unnecessary population flow, we've decided to cancel the 4th WESG APAC Final originally scheduled in February in Macau. In terms of later schedule and arrangements, we'll make adjustments according to the situation and notify you in time."
In Hainan Master Spring Invitational's case, it was initially scheduled to take place from March 3-8 in Haikou, China. The organizers have announced via their Weibo account that they are considering moving the LAN segment of the tournament to another country.
Several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have instituted a two-week quarantine for individuals that have been to China in the past 14 days. Numerous foreign airlines have also temporarily canceled all trips to the country.
Considering the importance of upcoming events like ESL ONE Los Angeles Major and StarLadder ImbaTV Kyiv Minor to the Dota Pro Circuit, Chinese teams may find it hard to make it to The International this year. With no vaccine in sight and the coronavirus spreading across the world, it will be virtually impossible for Chinese teams to make the Minor's March 3-8 date in Kyiv or the LA Major's March 15-22 date.
As the situation is still developing, nothing is set in stone quite yet, and Valve is probably looking into ways to make sure no teams are sidelined or have their health put at risk.