The 2021 Overwatch League playoffs have a small catch. Yesterday, the league introduced that it could not play dwell playoff video games in Dallas and Los Angeles.
“Due to significant changes in the area that are affecting the travel of some teams, we have decided to deviate from the originally planned live events in Dallas and Los Angeles,” the league wrote in a press release on Twitter. “Instead, the competition will return to Hawaii for the playoffs after the season.”
The transfer is probably going a response to the surge within the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading around the globe and the lowering skill for vacationers to acquire visas to and from america.
Final season the league was break up into two areas: North America and Asia-Pacific or APAC. The common season sport and playoffs had been segregated inside the areas, with every sending their high workforce to Korea for a web-based LAN Grand Closing. That yr, the league determined to introduce nationwide play by sending qualifying NA groups to Hawaii. The Overwatch League, referred to as Mission Aloha, has partnered with the College of Hawaii Manoa to supply amenities and assist for visiting Overwatch League groups to play towards groups in Asia on servers designed to scale back sport latency.
Whereas Mission Aloha was a good way to introduce cross-regional play – one thing the Overwatch League group very a lot needed through the 2020 season – it wasn’t an ideal repair. Groups nonetheless needed to journey to Hawaii, a problematic resolution as COVID numbers are rising there and the governor is at the moment urging guests to remain away. And despite the fact that the groups performed on servers with as little latency as attainable, the latency can’t be fully eradicated, which impacts the standard of the sport.
Following the announcement, Overwatch League gamers voiced their issues on social media with some feedback that it was unlucky as a result of they believed the setup was placing North American groups at a drawback.
The Verge requested the Overwatch League why they determined to ship groups to Hawaii to play video games once more. A supply aware of the state of affairs confirmed that visa difficulties and the ever-evolving state of affairs with the Delta variant required an answer that diminished worldwide journey.
Esports organizers discover it more and more tough to plan dwell occasions because the world opens and closes once more because of the delta variant. The League of Legends Worlds match and Dota 2’s The Worldwide have each modified venues as nations limit worldwide journey and dwell occasion gatherings.
The Overwatch League’s determination to cancel dwell occasions comes amid Blizzard’s ongoing authorized battle towards the state of California for enabling harassment and discrimination. Earlier this week, the Division of Truthful Employment and Housing (DFEH) accused Blizzard of “withholding and suppressing evidence.”
The league is at the moment on a brief hiatus to arrange for the playoffs, which start September 4th.