The 2021 Overwatch League playoffs have hit a slight snag. Yesterday, the League introduced it’s going to now not host reside playoff matches in Dallas and Los Angeles.

“Due to significant changes in the environment affecting travel for some teams, we’ve decided to pivot away from originally scheduled live events in Dallas and Los Angeles,” the League wrote in an announcement on Twitter. “Instead, postseason competition will return to Hawai’i for playoffs.”

The transfer is probably going in response to the COVID-19 delta variant surge that’s spreading throughout the globe and the diminishing skill for vacationers to acquire visas to and from the USA.

Final season, the League break up into two areas: North America and Asia Pacific, or APAC. Common season play and the playoffs have been sequestered inside the areas, with every sending their prime crew to Korea to play in a web-based broadcast LAN grand closing. This yr, the League determined to introduce cross-regional play by sending qualifying NA groups to Hawaii. Dubbed “Project Aloha,” the Overwatch League partnered with the College of Hawaii Manoa to supply services and help for visiting Overwatch League groups to play towards groups in Asia on servers designed to scale back recreation latency.

Whereas Undertaking Aloha was an effective way to introduce cross-regional play — one thing the Overwatch League neighborhood vastly desired throughout the 2020 season — it wasn’t an ideal answer. Groups nonetheless needed to journey to Hawaii, a problematic answer since COVID numbers are surging there and the governor is presently urging guests to remain away. And although groups have been enjoying on servers at as low a latency as potential, latency can’t be completely eradicated, affecting the standard of play.

After the announcement, Overwatch League gamers voiced their considerations on social media with some remarking that it was unlucky as a result of they believed the setup deprived North American groups.

The Verge requested the Overwatch League why it determined to renew sending groups to Hawaii for video games. A supply with data of the state of affairs confirmed that visa difficulties and the consistently evolving state of affairs with the delta variant necessitated an answer that diminished worldwide journey.

Esports organizers are discovering it more and more troublesome to plan reside occasions because the world opens and shuts again down once more as a result of delta variant. League of Legends’ Worlds event and Dota 2’s The Worldwide each made adjustments to their venues as nations limit worldwide journey and reside occasion gatherings.

The Overwatch League’s determination to desert reside occasions comes amid Blizzard’s persevering with authorized battles towards the state of California for enabling harassment and discrimination. Earlier this week, the Division of Honest Employment and Housing (DFEH) accused Blizzard of “withholding and suppressing evidence.”

The League is presently taking a brief break because it prepares for the playoffs that start on September 4th.

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