Esports Arena: 2020 Arc World Tour Events Canceled; Riot Games Debuts New Shooter in Closed Beta

Valorant Closed Beta Art - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Riot Games

Elsewhere in competitive gaming, Psyonix launches a new online 'Rocket League' tournament.

Esports Arena is a curated weekly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of online competitive gaming.

Dragon Ball FighterZ and BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle developer Arc System Works have announced the full cancellation of the 2020 Arc World Tour. The announcement comes after multiple events in the circuit were canceled in the past month due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The World Tour would have featured the company’s newest fighting game, Granblue Fantasy Versus, as well as BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. Dragon Ball FighterZ’s third World Tour season is not included in this cancellation and there has been no announcement on that competition. 

Here’s what else is happening in the world of esports.

Verizon, FaZe Clan Team for Weekly Charity Gaming Event

Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live streaming series, encouraging viewers to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, has announced its gaming portion will feature members of major esports organization FaZe Clan competing with various stars every Tuesday night. This week saw Nate Hill from FaZe partnering with DJ Marshmello in a live Fortnite stream.

Riot Debuts Closed Beta for Valorant

Riot Games has announced a closed beta test for its upcoming competitive shooter game Valorant, beginning April 7. The beta will be available for the U.S., Canada, Europe, Russia and Turkey, with other countries currently tentative due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Players can sign up for the beta by heading to the Valorant beta website and following the directions to register, and invites will begin to roll out soon after. No end date has been specified by Riot Games currently, but the game’s full launch is targeted for this summer. 

Rocket League Announces $300,000 Online Spring Series

Psyonix has announced that its popular competitive racing/soccer hybrid Rocket League will hold an online-only competition starting in April. The Rocket League Spring Series will feature four eight-team tournaments — one for Europe, North American, Oceania and South America — with each tournament offering a minimum $50,000 prize pool. Competition begins April 14 with the South American region, followed the next week by North America, then Oceania and, finally, the European series. All matches will be available to stream live on the official Rocket League Twitch and YouTube channels, as well as on-demand after the events.

Overwatch League Cuts Down Number of Online Matches

Overwatch League’s first weekend of online matches saw multiple teams drop just before competition began, shortening the schedule from 16 matches to only 10. First the New York Excelsior announced they were dropping out of competition via Twitter, citing New York’s stay-at-home rules currently in effect, and they were soon followed by the London Spitfire and the Vancouver Titans, who are in the process of moving to Seoul, South Korea, temporarily. This weekend will see 10 matches played instead of 16, beginning with the Shanghai Dragons facing the Hangzhou Spark on Saturday at 1 a.m. PT.