The League of Legends global esports scene has been interrupted further by the coronavirus outbreak as the LoL Champions Korea (LCK) has opted to prevent press or any other members of the media from attending live matches at the LoL Park arena in Seoul.
ESPN journalist Ashely Kang broke the news on Twitter and explained that there’s a strong possibility there will be no press activity for the remainder of the LCK Spring Split. The last time the National Threat Alert Level in Korea was at its highest was during the Swine Flu back in 2009 and that threat level remained for five or six weeks.
The news comes just a couple of days after LCK host Mona Kim was discharged from quarantine after the presenter was struck with a fever and was feared to have been affected by the coronavirus. LCK shoutcaster Nick “LS” De Cesare has also addressed his fears of the virus which is becoming more prominent in South Korea. He posted a map of the area surrounding his home in Seoul and pointed out four locations of recent coronavirus cases that were just 10 minutes away from where he lives.
Pretty unsettling. These are new corona cases, I live at the blue circle area, the yellow dots are new cases and just a 10min walk away. pic.twitter.com/6fsPxXGfqv
— Galileo Galilei (@LSXYZ9) February 23, 2020
The LCK had already prevented fans from attending live matches for the remainder of the season and now press, who previously had to wear face masks at all times, have now been subject to the same rule. However, Kang says she fully agrees with the decision: “I fully support Riot Korea’s decision today. The health of the players, staff and journalists equally come first and foremost and this was the best way to achieve this.”
To add to this.
I fully support Riot Korea's decision today. The health of the players, staff and journalists equally come first and foremost and this was the best way to achieve this.
I'm taking this in an heartbeat over the LCK itself being postponed https://t.co/0JmBmNZDon
— Ashley Kang 애슐리강 (@AshleyKang) February 25, 2020
While the LCK is still going forward with matches for now, China’s LoL Pro League (LPL) has had play postponed since the first week of the season though the league is beginning to broadcast an online scrims league.
Fears have been raised over LoL’s international competitions this year with the World Championships scheduled to take place in China later this year. Meanwhile, the location for the Mid Season Invitational (MSI) still hasn’t been revealed despite the fact the tournament would usually be held just over two months from now.