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EA suspends all live esports events to curb coronavirus spread

(Image credit: EA/Respawn)

EA is halting all live esports events amidst growing concerns around the spread of novel COVID-19.

The suspension applies to any event that uses EA games, whether EA-operated or third party. Only online events, where "participants and staff are remote and separated," will proceed as planned. That means Apex Legends Global Series, EA Sports Fifa 20 Global Series, FIFA Online 4 Live Events, and Madden NFL 20 Championship Series events are being shuttered until further notice.

EA says the move is to protect "competitors, our employees, our partner’s employees and our communities," as well as "to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic."

"As we continue to monitor the situation around the coronavirus and receive updated guidance from health officials around the world, we will use this time to determine next steps for moving forward with all of EA’s Competitive Gaming live events and online broadcasts," the announcement reads.

The news comes amidst a string of high-profile cancellations, postponements, and changes related to the alarming spread of the coronavirus. Notably, E3 2020 was canceled Wednesday, Pokemon Go implemented changes to encourage social-distancing, and Disney postponed seven live-action productions.

On a more positive note, Nvidia is giving PC gamers a chance to make a real difference by using their hardware's internal grunt to access the Folding@home application, which lets you donate unused computing power to help with research into the coronavirus.

Until this all blows over - hopefully sooner rather than later - here's our beginner's guide to esports and competitive gaming.