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Coronavirus moves major Chinese e-sports tournament from stadium to virtual space

King Pro League, featuring Tencent’s Honor of Kings, will be held online.

Photo Source: shutterstock.com

Esports tournaments can typically draw thousands of spectators into sports arenas, but the coronavirus has forced some of China’s biggest gaming events to either postpone or relocate. Yet at least one league is still determined to charge ahead: Organizers say they’re moving the King Pro League (KPL) and its Global Tour online.

KPL is China’s top professional competition for Tencent’s mobile blockbuster Honor of Kings, known elsewhere as Arena of Valor. Game tournaments already attract huge online audiences, but moving the entire competition online could introduce new challenges. To ensure fairness, for instance, e-sports computers are typically provided by the contest organizer, while tools like mice and keyboards are inspected before the game begins. KPL says it will do its best to overcome difficulties to ensure a fair competition.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, some e-sports tournaments have moved matches outside of China. Blizzard’s Overwatch League announced last week that it’s relocating matches from three Chinese cities to Seoul, South Korea.

This article first appeared in Abacus News