The New York Excelsior (NYXL) has announced that they will be temporarily stepping back from playing matches in the Overwatch League. According to their Twitter announcement, this move comes in response to the New York order that non-essential workers stay home in response to the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency.
The NYXL are the first North American team to announce that they will be suspending their involvement in the Overwatch League in response to the COVID-19, even as the teams based in China and Korea are finally returning from their own suspended involvement due to the pandemic.
The NYXL pulling out is the latest roadblock in the Overwatch League’s repeated attempts to resume their regular season. In February, the Overwatch League canceled its homestands in Asia in response to COVID-19. Earlier this month Overwatch League canceled all of its homestand events, in their entirety through the end of April to protect the safety of their broadcasters, teams, and fans. A few days later they announced that Overwatch League was moving to an online format, only to have last weekend’s matches canceled due to a stay at home order in California, where Blizzard Entertainment’s broadcasting studio is located.
WE'RE BACK! …ONLINE! 📡
Here is your Week 7 schedule! 📅 Tune in for your #OWL2020 action!
— overwatchleague (@overwatchleague) March 15, 2020
The Overwatch League is returning once again this weekend, hopefully for real this time. There will now be 10 matches, rather than the previously planned 16 matches.
With a few schedule changes, #OWL2020 is officially BACK 🤩
Tag your teams, tell your friends, and don't miss a moment 🙌
— overwatchleague (@overwatchleague) March 27, 2020
Five matches will be hosted on Saturday and remaining matches will take place on Sunday.