EA is postponing all of its esports events in a bid to limit the impact of coronavirus. The move means the first-ever Apex Legends Global series won’t be continuing as normal, nor will major events for FIFA 20 or Madden NFL 20.
The suspension applies to both events hosted directly by EA and those run by third-parties using its license. It won’t affect all online events, as participants and staff can be isolated from one another with little risk. The only criteria for virtual events is their ability to be individually produced remotely.
“Our priority is protecting our competitors, our employees, our partner’s employees and our communities,” says EA in a statement. “As we continue to monitor the situation around the coronavirus and receive updated guidance from health officials around the world, we will use this time to determine next steps for moving forward with all of EA’s Competitive Gaming live events and online broadcasts.”
EA is also recommending that all of its employees in Europe, North America, and Australia work from home until the start of next month. However, it says contractors and others who work on-site at EA will still be paid even if they can’t work from home.
Unfortunately, there’s no such timeframe on EA’s competitive events. Instead, the publisher will hold off “until the global coronavirus situation improves”.
The first Apex Legends global series major was set to run from March 13 to 15 at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Given the global situation, I doubt many expected it to go ahead. Thankfully, EA separately confirmed that Apex Legends Global Series Online tournament, scheduled for March 21 and 23, will still go ahead.