The relocation of the two teams could help even out the asymmetric schedule of Overwatch League's contigency plan.
Following recent concerns due to the pandemic threat of COVID-19, the Vancouver Titans are in the process of relocating their players and staff to South Korea. GGRecon followed information from multiple sources and upon reaching out for comment, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Titans said the following: "The team is currently in Vancouver but I can confirm that we are working on relocating them back to South Korea imminently." The team is currently scheduled to be playing the Dallas Fuel on Sunday. It is currently unknown whether the team will play out the match. Furthermore, Vancouver Titans' spokesperson stated they would be able to “provide more detail next week when we have more clarity.”
Additionally, multiple sources inside the Overwatch League have confirmed to GGRecon that the London Spitfire have cancelled their scrim blocks for the next two months, allegedly indicating a relocation to South Korea. According to those sources, due to the team being made up entirely of South Korean citizens, it is likely that the Spitfire will send the team back to their home country. It is speculated that the reason for said relocation has to do with health concerns due to COVID-19 though sources disclosed that they didn't know the specific reason that led to the decision.
Overwatch League schedule to be amended
Following the relocation of both teams, sources have confirmed to GGRecon that the season schedule will have to be amended to accommodate the new location of both teams.
As part of their contingency plan, the Overwatch League had divided teams into new regions based on the location of their home base to allow for competition to be moved to online play. The regional separation saw Asian teams numerically underrepresented, as only the four Chinese teams remained on the continent with the Dynasty having relocated to Los Angeles earlier. This had caused an asymmetric season schedule, putting teams up to five times against each other (over the maximum prior amount of two matches between interdivisional opponents) or requiring them to play each other on consecutive days during one weekend of play. With both the Vancouver Titans and allegedly the London Spitfire taking residence in South Korea, it would in theory help even out the number of teams based in each region, allowing the Overwatch League to amend the schedule accordingly.
It is currently not known how or if this will impact the schedule for the matches this coming weekend, though head coach of the Toronto Defiant, Félix "Féfé" Münch has speculated on his stream that some matches may not be played. Furthermore, Münch elaborated that he believes Korean teams residing in America are worried about the level of health care they can expect to receive.
According to the official Overwatch League schedule, the Spitfire are set to play the Eternal on Saturday and the Defiant the following day while the Titans would play the Fuel later on Sunday. GGRecon reached out to the Titans to confirm whether this match will be played out and has yet to receive a reply as of time of publishing.
GGRecon reached out to the London Spitfire and the Overwatch League, though have yet to receive a response. We will update once more information is received.
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.