'Call of Duty' League Shifts to "Online-Only" Events Due to Coronavirus

Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Activision

"We understand how disappointing this may be for our fans who planned to attend upcoming live Home Series matches," said commissioner Johanna Faries

The Call of Duty League is the latest esports organization to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"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, effective immediately," the league announced on Thursday. 

The news comes amid a slew of other cancellations in the world of esports, including Wednesday's announcement that the Overwatch League — which, like Call of Duty, is operated under publisher Activision Blizzard — would be canceling "all events" in April and March. Overwatch league commissioner and Activision Blizzard esports CEO Pete Vlastelica later clarified the statement saying, "To be clear, we WILL be playing matches in March and April. We cancelled the events, not the matches (though we will have to move a few things around in the schedule to make this work)."

Similarly, Call of Duty League will continue to host online-only matches that will be live-streamed for fans. Dates and broadcast details will be shared in the future, the league said. 

“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," league commissioner Johanna Faries said. "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."

Faries also said that upcoming online matches will be streamed live on Call of Duty League's official YouTube channel.

The league was scheduled to host its upcoming Home Series event in New York City this weekend. Future events were set to take place in cities like Toronto, Dallas and Chicago. The league's most recent Home Series, held in Los Angeles, took place this past weekend.

"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," said Faries. "In the meantime, let’s continue to support our teams and players in doing what they do so well.”