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Chinese Overwatch team Chengdu Hunters released an official statement regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Despite growing concerns for the safety of their players, the team has decided to stay in China while taking extreme precautions. This announcement comes right before their opening Overwatch League match, taking place in Shanghai.
In the official statement, the team thanks fans for worrying about their health. At the moment, they are on a Chinese New Year holiday break. Once they return from the holiday, however, they will find their way back to the Chengdu training facility.
Statement regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak in China. We will keep our fans updated as our plans develop. pic.twitter.com/WyJRSbXfmJ
— Chengdu Hunters (@ChengduHunters) January 29, 2020
“We will strictly order our team members to follow prevention procedures to keep themself [sic] and the people around them safe,” read the statement. Each staff member to arrive at the facility will have their temperature and overall wellness checked. Workers will provide the staff with masks and disinfection tools to ensure sanitation.
Some vocal fans are questioning the decision, noting that teams such as Guangzhou Charge and Shanghai Dragons took different actions. These teams have moved their players to South Korea for the remainder of their practice. Since Chengdu Hunter’s players are all Chinese, there has been some speculation that there might have been visa issues. It’s also unclear how travel restrictions out of China during the crisis might impact Chengdu Hunter’s ability to compete if the outbreak persists.
Other esports team in similar situations
This news is hand-in-hand with the current situation many esports organizations face. As many sporting events in China are indefinitely suspended, teams are unsure of what to do next. Currently, this deadly virus has infected over 6,000 people all worldwide, claiming 132 deaths. Many people are trying to prevent exposure to the virus by wearing masks and staying indoors.
At the point of time, Chengdu Hunters have shared that they will keep up with the latest news. As we find out more information about the virus as it relates to esports, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.