The NBA 2K League has postponed its annual Draft Clash due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, the league announced earlier today.
After careful consideration regarding the health of our players, staff and fans, tonight’s NBA 2K League Draft Clash Powered by @GameStop at OS Studios will be postponed to a later date as we continue to monitor the situation.
The event was set to take place at OS Studios in New York City featuring rookies competing against veteran NBA 2K League players.
The move comes after the NBA suspended its season on Wednesday after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus (teammate Donovan Mitchell subsequently tested positive as well). The G League later followed suit early Thursday morning, and a number of other professional and collegiate leagues have suspended or canceled events.
The NBA 2K League did not comment on the possibility of matches being played online. The season is set to begin on March 24 with the Tipoff tournament in New York City.
The health and safety of NBA 2K League players, fans and employees is our top priority. We are reviewing what impact this will have on the 2020 NBA 2K League season and will share additional information as it becomes available. https://t.co/koUnfZEgtQ
The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and has since spread outside the country; as of publication, there are over 1,000 confirmed cases in the United States. Over 4,000 people globally have died of the disease, which can be spread by person-to-person contact, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Other esports competitions have also taken precautionary measures. China’s League of Legends Pro League suspended play in January and recently resumed this week with online games. South Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea first played matches without spectators then went on an indefinite hiatus. Apex Legends and Hearthstone have had major tournaments delayed while Rocket League canceled its season nine championship and E3 canceled what would have been its 25th annual convention.
The Overwatch League canceled its live events, including team-hosted homestands, but will still play its matches out. The league has five teams based in China that have yet to play a match since the season started on Feb. 8.