The NBA 2K League has postponed its third season due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, the league announced today.
NBA 2K League Postpones Start of 2020 Season
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 postponed its annual Draft Clash early Thursday. Teams will compete in preseason competitions remotely from their own market. The league was set to begin on March 24 with the Tipoff tournament in New York City.
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.