Two Chinese Overwatch League teams are relocating to South Korea due to growing concerns over the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
China is currently dealing with the spread of the coronavirus, a pneumonia-like disease that's similar in severity to SARS. There are currently 7,711 confirmed cases of the disease in the country and it's spread to most areas along with multiple foreign countries, although the bulk of the outbreak is contained to mainland China.
As a consequence of this health crisis, two of the Overwatch League teams headquartered in China will be temporarily relocating their players elsewhere. The Guangzhou Charge and Shanghai Dragons will be making their way to South Korea.
Where Are the Chinese Overwatch League Teams Going?
Both the Guangzhou Charge and Shanghai Dragons have stated their intention to move their teams and coaching staff to South Korea.
"Our top priority is the health and safety of our players above all else," began a statement from the Guangzhou Charge. "To that end, we have decided to move our pre-season training base to South Korea."
"Earlier today, we moved our non-Chinese players to South Korea, while we expedite visas for our Chinese players to join them as soon as possible."
The Shanghai Dragons issued a similar statement regarding the two Chinese Overwatch League teams moving eastward.
"Our priority is to ensure the safety of all our players and staff along with providing the best possible environment for them to practice in," stated the announcement from the Shanghai Dragons. "As such, after taking into consideration our match and practice schedule, we will be temporarily relocating all our players and coaching staff to Korea effective immediately."
What About the Homestand Games?
One other item of concern is the "Homestand Games". If you haven't been following the Overwatch League, 2020 was to be the year when they moved to a model closer to sports like basketball and soccer where teams would travel around the world to meet up for competition.
Unfortunately, getting thousands of people together in one location while the Coronavirus floating around is a very bad idea — which is exactly why the Shanghai Dragons have canceled their Homestand Games in-country.
"In the interest of supporting epidemic prevention and control, we are very sorry to announce that the Shanghai Dragons Homestand in February will be canceled," read the statement.
It should be noted that China actually has four teams in the league. The Chengdu Hunters have put out an announcement of their own, stating that they are extending their players' holiday time. The Hangzhou Spark has yet to make any statement regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
Judging by the statements from both teams, it seems that any Homestand Games in regions under the Coronavirus threat will likely be relocated somewhere safer. Considering that these two teams already have people on the ground in South Korea, I would put my money on that being the new location.
What do you think of the two Chinese Overwatch League teams moving their players to South Korea?