Esports Arena: Postponements, Cancellations Abound Across Leagues

Adela Sznajder
'League of Legends' World Championships 2019

Elsewhere in competitive gaming: Twitch introduces new esports directory; 'MLB The Show 20' tournament wraps up; and 2019 'Overwatch' League MVP jumps ship for 'VALORANT.'

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

Multiple major competitive gaming events saw postponements or outright cancellations due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic this past week.

Valve postponed DOTA 2’s The International without setting a firm date for its return. In a blog post last week, the company said it has “been exploring various date possibilities,” but mentions that it’s likely that the event “will need to happen in 2021.” The post also mentions that the 2020 DOTA Pro Circuit season will be modified for the fall, with more information coming soon. 

Evolution, the largest fighting game competition in the world, officially announced the cancellation of its 2020 event in Las Vegas slated for July. In a Twitter post on Friday, the esports organization said it will look to bring the event "online this summer” and promised further updates in the future. Eight games were previously announced to be featured at the event, including Street Fighter V, Tekken 7 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate

The 2020 Fortnite World Cup was also canceled, with Epic Games announcing it will be pivoting to smaller online tournaments throughout the rest of the year. Last year’s World Cup sported the largest prize pool ever in esports at the time, with $30 million given away throughout the three-day event. 

DreamHack announced the postponement of three of its top events — DreamHack Summer, DreamHack Dallas and DreamHack Montreal — until 2021, with DreamHack Valencia delayed to Oct. 8-12. The next event on the DreamHack schedule is the Masters Spring Group Stage for the European and North American regions, set for May 19-30.

Finally, Tencent announced the cancellation of the 2020 Arena of Valor World Cup. An official statement was released on the game’s Twitter, saying its esports team “has been monitoring the situation very closely and heeded advice from relevant authorities.” Neither Tencent nor the AoV team has announced plans for rescheduling as of this writing. 

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

Twitch Introduces Esports Directory

Twitch has begun curating esports-related content into a new Esports Directory, allowing fans to access past matches, live streams and top players’ personal channels in one place. The new directory will pull all competitive gaming content on the Twitch platform into one place, letting fans access competitions big and small. This new Esports Directory will be “rolling out over the coming days," Twitch said.

Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell Wins MLB The Show 20 Championship

The three-week, 30-team MLB The Show 20 Players League ended Sunday with Blake Snell, starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, defeating Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito for the championship. Snell lost only one game the entire weekend, the first semifinal game against the New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil, including his sweep of Giolito in the finals 3-0. With the win, $30,000 in Snell’s name will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast. 

2019 Overwatch League MVP Moves to VALORANT

The Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock have announced that star player and 2019 league MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won has left the team and retired from competitive Overwatch. The announcement came via Twitter, simply saying, “Thank you and best of luck in your future endeavors,” while Won himself said he “straight up just lost passion for the game” while thanking his teammates. On the same day of Won's retirement from OWL, esports organization Sentinels announced via Twitter that he would be joining the org’s competitive VALORANT team, confirming earlier reports than Won was leaving Overwatch for the newest entry in competitive gaming. 

Star League of Legends Player Signs Extension

Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, formerly a top member of Team Liquid’s League of Legends team, has re-signed with Team SoloMid and inked a contract extension through November 2021. Peng initially announced his return to TSM, where he played from 2015-2017, via Twitter on April 26 with no mention of his contract’s status. However, the Riot Games Global Contract Database lists his contract with the new November 2021 expiration date. No specific financials have been announced regarding Peng’s contract, and he is now part of the team in time for the start of the LCS Summer Split on June 13.