Coronavirus at E3
Due to the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus, E3’s event planners have canceled the annual, international gaming conference. Serving as a yearly bastion providing upcoming game previews, the fabled holy grail of gaming fans worldwide will miss its first event since its conception in 1995.
While Sony had already planned to not attend E3 for a second year in a row, they have been showcasing their State of Play to feature their upcoming games. Given the recent crisis, Sony’s contingency plan may have saved the company from a serious dilemma.
However, more than just E3 are being affected by the Coronavirus. With recent diagnosis affecting the U.S. as well, there has been cause for major concern regarding other international gaming events. While major national programs, such as the NBA, suspend their upcoming season indefinitely, gaming events are also in high concern for cancellation.
One event includes the upcoming fighting game tournament, CEO, which has run for over 11 years in Florida. Due to the Coronavirus, however, the annual fighting game event in June may face lower attendance or even a cancellation. While nothing has been said of the main event, this weekend features CEO Dreamland, a spin-off event of CEO, exclusively featuring Super Smash Bros. titles and other platform fighters, such as Rivals of Aether and Brawlhalla. This weekend’s Orlando tournament comes in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis as tournament owner, Alex Jebailey, has already issued refunds in regards to cancellations. Despite attendees canceling, however, Jebailey still plans to run CEO Dreamland in Orlando.
Another event includes Atlanta, GA’s own Momocon. This international anime and gaming convention, which is held every May, brings in over 30,000 people as of the last few years. With international guests from the gaming and voice acting industry, Momocon is not only known for its cosplay and panels. It has also become one of the leading Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments in the world. Featuring top level talent and nearly 1,000 players in attendance, the tournament pot bonuses number in the tens of thousands.
Multiple attendees continue to stress their concerns regarding Momocon potentially being canceled due to the Coronavirus. However, Momocon staff currently plans to host the event.
Smash World Tour
The recently announced Smash World Tour, an international tournament circuit, will be postponed due to the Coronavirus. Earlier today, Smash World Tour brought the attention to social media that Pound 2020, a major Smash tournament in Virginia, will be canceled this year. Moreover, several tournaments will also be postponed while others will no longer qualify for Smash World Tour points. Be sure to follow Smash World Tour on Twitter for more updates.
While the virus has largely been compared to the likes of SARS, Birdflu, Swineflu, and other subjects of mass-media scare, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared Coronavirus a pandemic. To better understand the importance of canceling events, please read more about the Coronavirus here.