The “broadcast portion” of Hearthstone Masters Tour Los Angeles, scheduled for March 20 to 22, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, Blizzard announced last night. The players will be able to compete in online matches, however.
In addition to the offline event being canceled, all matches before the playoffs won’t be livestreamed. Blizzard is still looking for a solution to broadcast the top-eight matches of the tournament, though. “It is our intention to find a solution to showcase the Top 8 matches on Sunday,” Blizzard said.
There are many ways to broadcast the top-eight matches of the Masters Tour. Blizzard could choose to simply broadcast them without commentary or with commentary provided by casters working from home, but that would require a good home setup and connection.
Players won’t be authorized to stream their matches during the Masters Tour “to preserve competitive integrity.” They’ll be able to upload them on YouTube the next day, however.
Yesterday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s residents to stay at home. This order will force residents to limit outdoor movement to what is absolutely essential. He predicted that half of California’s residents could get the coronavirus in the next eight weeks. This announcement may have led Blizzard to decide to cancel the Hearthstone esports event.
Despite Masters Tour Los Angeles starting today, the qualified players and schedule have yet to be revealed. The matches, if they’re streamed on Sunday, March 22, will be available to watch on the official YouTube channel.