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E-sports matches resume in China with masked players and casters

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Tencent’s League of Legends Pro League League kicked off its spring split with online-only games.

The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) is a big business in China, where it has hundreds of millions of fans and many high-profile sponsors. After a nearly two-month-long delay, the popular e-sports league recently started its spring split online. But now all players and game casters are wearing masks, which they’re required to do in game rooms and in broadcast studios.

Like the NFL or NBA, the LPL has a franchise-based system with home and away games, where hundreds of fans can show up to cheer on their favorite teams in a local e-sports arena. But with the COVID-19 pandemic growing around the world, all live audience events have been canceled.

The Overwatch League, which has four China-based teams, is another e-sports league scrambling to find ways to continue matches during the pandemic. After previously canceling matches in China, it’s now canceling all matches in March and April. The league said it’s working on a plan to continue matches online.

This article first appeared on Abacus News

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