League of Legends Pro League games will be played online

LPL

The LPL will resume next month after the league was postponed due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Chinese League of Legends teams will be back competing on March 9, but for the first time ever the league will be played online until esports venues can be used “safely” again to host matches, according to a statement. While the LPL’s statement acknowledges that there may be “unforeseen technical difficulties” with the matches being played online, it is still taking measures to uphold the league’s integrity. All players will play from their respective team’s headquarters, with referees attending “when available” to oversee the matches.

The LPL will also require players to undergo a “14-day monitored quarantine period” and pass a series of health checks before they are allowed to compete. While the circumstances are not ideal, the ever growing outbreak of coronavirus in China – which was the epicentre for the virus – means that the numerous lockdowns across the country will likely not be lifted for some time.

While all the games will be streamed from the get go on March 9, English-speaking broadcasts will not be shown until March 15 as casters make their way back to China.

Coronavirus has caused mass disruption to esports events both in and outside of China, such as Chinese homestands in the Overwatch League being rescheduled to take place in South Korea and the final stages of the Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland being forced to play without a live audience.